Meet Your New AE86: Scion FR-S Concept Announced


Yes, it’s a Scion, but who cares? It could be called a Toyopet and it’d still be downright sexy. Hot. A stunna. Unveiled in New York today, the Scion FR-S Concept is infinitely sleeker and more purposeful than the Toyota FT-86 Concept II that was shown last month in Geneva. Casting off extraneous plumage such as spoilers, LED banks, and more venting than your catty girlfriend on a bad day for a no-nonsense FR sports profile, Toyota’s born-again AE86 hits the mark on the head and cracks its skull wide open.


It doesn’t matter that under its long hood is a longitudinally mounted Subaru flat four. The 2.0L boxer has been tweaked with Toyota’s D4-S direct and port injection system so it’s not a simple drop-in. The increased horsepower and torque is funneled through either a six-speed manual or paddle-shift automatic, and a limited-slip diff.


At the unveiling, Scion VP Jack Hollis made references galore to the sports cars of Christmases past:

Now before I get too far into where the FR-S Concept COULD go… it’s important to know where it comes FROM.

The definition of the word scion… as you already know… means to be a descendant of… or an heir to. Well… the FR-S is an excellent example of that definition. Toyota’s lengthy history of performance cars and racing heritage trickles down into the overall design of the FR-S…just one of the benefits of being in such a great family.

You’re probably already pretty familiar with cars like the Toyota 2000GT… the MR-2… the Celica All Trac Turbo… and my personal favorite…the Supra Turbo.

The FR-S Concept… however… is most closely related to… and really inspired by… the AE86 Corolla…known by its true fans as the “hachi-roku…” which means 8-6 in Japanese.

The AE86 didn’t rely on brute horsepower… but instead a remarkable combination of a lightweight design… manageable power and great balance. It made its way into almost every genre of racing from grip to drift… and from the circuit to mountain roads.

Although this concept arrives here more than 25 years later… and doesn’t share a single common part… the spirit and the heritage of the AE86 has trickled down into every single detail of this FR-S Concept. The goal was to create an authentic rear-wheel drive sports car… with compelling style… exceptionally balanced performance and handling… flexible utility… and surprising MPG. I know the FR-S Concept will achieve all of that.

Ha, they said the word “hachiroku.” If this is the opening salvo in Akio Toyoda‘s charge to return the company that his grandfather founded to its performance roots, Toyotaku will follow him to the ends of the Earth.

UPDATE: Now with video.

Images: Toyota

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27 Responses to Meet Your New AE86: Scion FR-S Concept Announced

  1. JT191 said:

    Toyota’s bland image rehabilitation begins with more time building sporty cars and less time building sporty concepts, not the other way around.

  2. cesariojpn said:

    ****ing vaporware….

  3. Steve said:

    Who cares if it’s a Scion? I FUCKING CARE. I hate it. HATE. HATE. HATE. Does that answer your question? Scion needs to die. I want a TOYOTA sports car. I’m sick of not having one. We’ve been stuck with junk like the Corolla S for too long.

    • Jason said:

      Thank you Steve!! all this crap flowing out of Toyotas mouth about rich history this and the past that. BS. Scion is in none of that!! Im so angry im about to bust the keys on this keyboard. Ive been to every Toyota dealership locally to complain and complained to everyone whom I thought might help. What we should have done is showed up to the auto show with protest signs and shirts. The automotive press would have picked up on it if done right, and maybe just maybe swayed Toyota away from this mistake.

    • Sarcasmo said:

      EXACTLY!! Thank you, Steve. EFF Scion!!! They AND their owners BOTH need to kill themselves. Ever since that shyt brand entered the scene… Toyota has gone the way of the geriatric auto brand… like Oldsmobile, Plymouth and Buick(which needs to jump off a bridge). As soon as the XB and XA showed up, Toyota cancelled the MR2 and Celica.

      It’s like EVERY new and supposed sporty concept car, Toyota develops is either a Lexus or Scion?? Like the LFA, which at 1st was a concept Supra… then ends up as a Lexus???

      Thank God, I’m a Nissan guy anyways… the 2000+ Toyotas are LAMEASS. That’s why I drive a 1981 Toyota Corona… reliable, RWD, and fun to drive. One of the last of the GOOD Toyotas. Back when Toyota made fun cars with “the driver in mind”, NOT the environment in mind. Stupid, uglyass Prius.

      I would also take my 1987 S12 Nissan Silvia over ANTHING in Toyota’s lineup. RWD for the WIN!!!

  4. Dan said:

    Good things come to those who wait. As long as they stay true to the spirit of the AE86, I’ll be happy.

    • JT191 said:

      “Better never than late.”

      “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

      “Everything comes too late for those who only wait.”

      “There is an immeasurable distance between late and too late.”

      “A day late and a dollar short.”

      “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.”

      “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”

      “Procrastination is the thief of time.”

      “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”

      “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”

      “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

      “Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.”

      “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”

      “Don’t take tomorrow to bed with you.”

      “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.”

      “We usually lose today, because there has been a yesterday, and tomorrow is coming.”

      “Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized.”

      “Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.”

      “Abused patience turns to fury.”

    • Sarcasmo said:

      You want true, buddy….. LABEL IT AS A FRIGGIN’ TOYOTA!!!!!

  5. Nigel said:

    Now most importantly lets see them in the showrooms !!
    Would like also to see the Best Motoring special on this one.

  6. Tyler said:

    This definitely looks better than the last study they showed us, especially with the clean bodyside and as you say, less vents. The only thing that really bothers me is the giant grille. Seems that’s in style nowadays, for the worse. I’ll wait until Subaru comes out of left field with a production-ready version and decide which one’s better. ;)

  7. Eljay said:

    Gorgeous car! I wonder what the Euro-version will be called. Any thoughts?

  8. kingtoy said:

    Well it makes me feel slighty better that they are going to make this car a Scion. It would be a complete slap in the face to call this automotive abomination short-cut a Toyota. Now if Toyota would actually take the time a build a real sports car themselves we would have something.

  9. Ryuji said:

    gorgeous concept….but to be a true successor to the AE86…it should’ve retained the pop-up headlights! just kidding…but honestly i don’t see anything there that hints its intended predecessor like the GT-R’s rounded tailights or something like that…well, though for me its intended to be the successor, but i feel like this is an entirely new car.

  10. Yee said:

    Although I do like tradition, the boxer motor mounted low on this FR-S is a good fit for the svelte body shape. The long swoopy hood is fantastic. I am so glad they took off the boy racer parts and made this more elegant than FT86 concept II. This car is designed to appeal to young enthusiasts, so it does not bother me that it is marketed as a Scion. I wonder why they do not call it the FT86 anymore? Is it to avoid an obsessed fan base comparing this car to the AE86? Maybe that’s a smart move, given the comparison of the Honda CR-Z to the beloved CRX. Overall, I am glad Toyota is bringing enthusiasts back to their cars. I want to see this FR-S as a giant killer–lightweight, agile and easily tuned to take on more powerful/heavy cars like the 370Z and the Mustang GT.

  11. bert said:

    Scion is actually DEEPLY involved in Toyota’s history, as most of the first Scion’s were carried over from models used in Japan for years! Scion itself is just a name that Toyota is using to gain a new customer base. Nothing new, they did it in the late 80′s with a brand called Lexus! Most of the Lexus line, even though designed in the U.S. was carried over to the Toyota line in Japan. No matter what name they had on them, they were still Toyota’s, kinda like in the 50′s and 60′s when Toyota’s were called Toyopets?!

    Anyway, heritage or not, I’m glad Toyota is making some effort to return to their roots, but I find new cars ugly, PERIOD!

    • Sarcasmo said:

      Uh, Lexus was never AROUND in the late 80′s, guy. That was Acura, get your stories STRAIGHT, before you start giving history lessons, pal.

      Lexus was around in 1990… NO ’89 Lexuses exist. Acura was the FIRST luxury crossover brand from Honda, in 1986.

      Also, you said Lexuses were designed in the US??? Which ones??? Because the FIRST Lexuses were the ES250 and the LS400. Those were BOTH JDM Toyotas, just like the later GS300/400, SC300/400… which were ALSO JDM Toyotas.

      JDM Toyota models… turned Lexus-
      ES250 and ES300-Toyota Windom
      LS400-Toyota Celsior
      GS300/400-Toyota Aristo
      SC300/400- Toyota Soarer

      NONE of the Lexuses were designed in America, dude. You sound like a “know it all” who doesn’t know ANYTHING.

      • Sarcasmo said:

        Also, the IS300 is the Toyota Altezza in Japan.

        What Lexus was designed in the US???

        You post STILL makes NO sense.

      • Lincoln Stax said:

        “Uh, Lexus was never AROUND in the late 80′s, guy. That was Acura, get your stories STRAIGHT, before you start giving history lessons, pal.”

        Actually, Bert is correct. Lexus was introduced as a brand in 1988, the LS400 was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1989, and Lexus dealerships opened in September of 1989 to sell 1990 model cars. So Lexus did exist and was selling cars in the late 1980s.

    • Sarcasmo said:

      You mean the JDM Toyota line was carried over, to the US Lexus line.

      When Lexus was in the US, there was NO Lexus in Japan… those models were sold as Toyotas in Japan. Lexus didn’t became a brand in Japan, till the late 90′s or early 2000′s.

      Smarten up, Einstein.

    • Ben said:

      Actually the SC 300/Soarer was designed in the US, at Calty in Newport Beach, along with many Scions and Toyotas, going back to the 1978 Celica Supra.

      • Lincoln Stax said:

        The A40 Celica was designed by David Stollery, a very successful child actor (Spin and Marty, and a whole lot of Disney TV and movies). He grew up, went to college, studied industrial art, and became a designer at GM and Toyota. I always did like the A40. I had a silver coupe back around the early ’90s.

  12. Eljay said:

    Crikey,there´s an awful lot of anger and ill feelings here! Bet I´d find more cheer and good will towards men on a Sith forum…

  13. Luis said:

    wow, so angry!..lols

    all the cars i have owned have been corollas. i currently still do, an ae86, te72 and ae100.

    im glad they are coming out with something that roots down to the ae86, but it would be 100x’s better with a toyota badge instead of the scion badge. although only a badge, it should have what it was meant to be, a COROLLA FR-S. to pay homage to the “GTS TWIN CAM” on the sides of the 86, a “FLAT-4″ badge would be cool. but eh..

  14. Sprinter 1969 said:

    Thank God we don’t have the Scion brand in Australia – if we’re lucky enough to get this beauty it’ll be branded a Toyota.

    And you Yanks thought you live in God’s country….