The sudden death of Scion left many questions regarding the youth-oriented brand's lineup. What will happen to the fun-to-drive FR-S? We knew it would be absorbed into the Toyota lineup, but the automaker was at first unsure about a name change. At this year's New York auto show, we learned that the sports car formerly known as the FR-S would not only receive a new name but a facelift as well. But is the 2017 Toyota 86 better off with its slightly updated look and new badges?
The majority of the updates happen out front. The front bumper is smoothed out in some parts, losing the creases beneath the headlights, and it comes to more of a point. Horizontal slats cover the vents where the foglights used to be, and the front grille opening is wider with a different shape. The front valance is also redesigned, now curvier with two ridges that serve as teeth in the 86's more menacing face. The headlights feature LED accents and an 86 logo printed on the outside of the housings.
From the side, you won't spot too many differences. The 86 gets a new set of multi-spoke wheels, and the top part of the fender loses the boxer badge and gains a vent similar to that of the pre-refresh Subaru BRZ. The badge moves down on the fender, but loses the piston elements of the original design and is colored red. The rear gets new LED taillights and continues to be spoilerless.
Inside, the steering wheel is redesigned, with the 86 badge placed in the center and audio controls finally integrated into the wheel. The 7-inch Pioneer touchscreen introduced for the 2016 Scion FR-S continues to be available for the 86, and a backup camera should still be standard.
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