Here are some quick facts on the Toyota 86. It’s a 2+2 seater, front engine RWD sports car. The engine is a 2.0 flat 4 boxer engine that puts out 205hp and 156lb-ft or torque. Top speed is 134mph, 0-60 is achieved in 6.2 seconds.  Fuel consumption on the manual transmission is estimated at 24mpg combined. The automatic (with flappy paddles) is at 27mpg combined.

The car was originally marketed as a Scion FR-S. Scion was a division of Toyota which dissolved in Aug 2016. Toyota chose to continue making a few of the Scion’s and rebadge them as Toyota’s. One of those was the FR-S, now the Toyota 86. The vehicle is jointly developed with Subaru.

Subaru’s own version of the car being the BRZ. Both cars are practically identical as far as engine and drivetrain go. There are subtle differences in the styling such as badges and headlights. The main differences can be seen in the trim levels.

Photo: Toyota Pressroom

The Toyota 86 has 2 front bucket seats which are comfortable and hug great for going around those tight corners. They felt a little wider than the Fiat Spyder seats but not as wide as the Dodge Challenger seats. The rear ‘seats’ are what some might call a glorified back shelf.

The rear seats are also bucket seats but aren’t going to be comfortable for a fully grown adult on a long road trip. The rear seats will work for kids (latch system installed for car seats) or adults on small trips. Most useful is that they fold flat so can actually be used more purposefully for storage. Cloth interior is standard, if you want heated leather seats, you’ll have to opt for the 860 special edition.

Who is the Toyota 86 for?

Looking at previous Toyota sports cars, it’s bigger than an MR2 it’s not a convertible and it’s smaller than a Supra and Celica. It’s the in-betweener, like the middle child. So who is it for and what does it replace? The clue is in the name. 86.

Toyota’s AE86 is a legend when it comes to cars on the drift scene and before I moved the USA, I wanted one. Bad. The drift scene is exploding in Europe (where the car is called a GT86) and Japan. I haven’t heard much about it here in Wyoming.

“Drifting is a driving style in which the driver uses the throttle, brakes, clutch, gear shifting and steering input to keep the car in a state of oversteer while maneuvering from turn to turn”.

This car is aimed at people who want to learn to drive RWD in a spirited fashion or tune the car, or get into the drifting.

On the track
Toyota drift car
The Toyota 86 at High Plains Raceway, CO

I drove the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota 86 back to back on the track. Both with manual transmissions. The Subaru had the performance pack upgrade which is bigger wheels (17X17.5), Brembo® brakes and, Sachs performance dampers. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. The cars actually stuck to the tarmac more than I was expecting.

An extremely low center of gravity allows for sharp turn-ins. Toyota and Subaru recently put some more work into the handling characteristics of the latest models and it shows. I felt like they lacked power higher up the power band on the straights but wow on the corners. Lot’s of fun in the corners with minimal body roll. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to drift the cars but I can see the potential. That’s the idea behind this car. It’s not meant to stay at factory specs forever. It’s built with aftermarket, tuning, and drifting scenes in mind.

860 Special Edition

The 860 special editions will only be available in two colors. Supernova Orange and Halo White. A limited-edition run of 860 cars of each color will be made. These will add 17″ alloys,  heated mirrors, LED fog lights, and an aerodynamic underbody panel. Black striping from the center of the hood over the car complemented with a rear spoiler.

Other premium features will be a start button, Smart key, dual-zone climate control and touch-activated door unlock. Toyota also stated that “Each special edition will come with a 4.2-inch multi-information display that features a G-force meter and stopwatch, and displays vital information such as horsepower and torque curves, engine coolant and oil temperatures and MPG”. $26,255 is the starting MSRP from Toyota and the 860 special editions will start at $29,155 for the manual transmission. Special editions are available now at dealers.

There are some spectacular modified 86’s out there and setting records along the way.

“What Is Drifting?” Driftworks. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2017. <>