Toyota did fans a solid back in 2009, unveiling a real-life concept of the iconic “Hachiroku” from the Japanese comic series Initial D before officially introducing the GT-86 in 2012. The car ultimately evolved into Scion’s FR-S, but now that Toyota is shuttering the imprint, that means the vehicle is back with Toyota badging, returning for 2017 and ditching the “GT” in favor of a simple “86” moniker.
Still unmistakably inspired by the GT of old, the new take on the rear-wheel-drive coupe employs a larger central air intake and redesigned bumpers, fog lights, LED headlamps, turn indicators and wheels. Other modifications include an optimized suspension with new shock absorbers and spring rates, effectively making the rebranded FR-S more agile, but easier to handle than any to come before it. Under the hood is a four-cylinder naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine — boasting 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque — that’s coupled to a tweaked six-speed manual transmission. The 86 will even employ a “Hill Start Assist” to prevent it from rolling backwards on steep inclines.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the car next week as Toyota promises to show off its Alcantara-clad upholstery and instrument panel. The 2017 86 will go on sale in the U.S. this fall and make its way to Europe before year’s end.