2017 Toyota 86: The car so nice it's been rebadged twice
If you remember the excitement that surrounded the Toyobaru/Subota rear-drive sports coupes' introduction, you'll recall that Scion's Subaru BRZ twin landed in here as the FR-S. That car, along with the new iA and iM, will get a stay of execution next year when the brand bids adieu. We know it will wear a Toyota badge in dealers from then on, and there's a good chance it will get the 86 badge European models wear.
Toyota's version of the car goes by several different names depending on the market. It's only a Scion in North America, while it's sold as the Toyota 86 (in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa), Toyota GT86 (in Europe and New Zealand again), and Toyota FT86 (in Nicaragua and Jamaica). The 86 part of the name is a nod to the rear-drive AE86 Corollas of the 1980s. That's a history lesson Toyota likely won't have to teach its core demographic. Then again, this car's core demographic probably already bought one. There's also a possibility that this car will get yet another name combination: Toyota FR-S. For the sake of simplicity, let's hope not.
So yes, the rebadged 86 will be re-rebadged back to a Toyota. Functionally this means almost nothing. Buyers who were ordering badge-swap kits from overseas will save some money. Some enthusiast forums might need to change their names. And people visiting from Japan or Europe will feel a little more at home when they see a rear-drive Toyota sports car on the street. Meanwhile, FR-S – a name that may or may not have stood for "front-engine, rear-drive, sport" – will be quickly forgotten.
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