Hachiroku, the digits 8 and 6, are legendary in the annals of Toyotaku by simply being the chassis code for last of the great FR Corollas. The car’s demise left a gaping hole in Toyota’s lineup that couldn’t be filled by FF Celicas and high-dollar Supras. Eventually, those disappeared too. For 20 years fans pleaded for a comeback, and in 2007 rumors of a modern-day revival for the bare-bones touge-runner, built jointly with Subaru, began circulating.
But when the global economy entered meltdown, its fate was questioned. Our hopes were pinned on Akio Toyoda, self-professed car enthusiast and racer that was favored to take the reins at Toyoda. Well he got the job, and apparently one of the new President’s first orders of business was reassuring fans that the project was still on during a speech at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
The entry-level FR will be sold for ¥2,000,000 (about $21,000) and it’s even internally referred to as the “086A” project. Color us hopeful, not just for this car, but for Toyota to return to sporting form. The invocation of these two measly digits at least shows that some in charge knows Toyota history. And with Nissan saying that the Silvia successor is dead, the 086A has this segment locked down.