By on March 11, 2017

2017-toyota-860-special-edition-101-876x535

With so much online page space taken up by the RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Tacoma and other practical, high-volume Toyota products, it’s often easy to forget that the staid and sensible automaker sells an entry-level, rear-drive sports car.

February marked a significant milestone for the Toyota 86 (née Scion FR-S), sibling to the Subaru BRZ, in that it was the first month since 2013 that didn’t see a year-over-year sales decline. That year was also the high water mark for sales.

No doubt aware of the rebranded coupe’s lagging fortunes, Toyota has adopted a time-honored method of drawing eyes back to its 86. Offer a slightly enhanced version, raise the price, and cap production numbers.

Enter the 2017 Toyota 86 860 Special Edition, which should reach customers by the end of March.

2017-toyota-860-special-edition-102-876x535

Aglow in Supernova Orange paint bisected by black racing stripes, the new variant carries the 860 moniker for a reason. And yes, you’ve probably already (correctly) guessed why. Toyota plans to sell 860 examples of the orange coupe, and another 860 decked out in Halo White.

Unlike its sister model, the 86 has only been offered in a single trim level. Until now. Basically, the newfound equipment brings the 86 860 Special Edition into the territory occupied by the BRZ Limited. No, there’s no extra horsepower, so 205 hp (in manual transmission guise) is all you’ll get to ferry around the new kit.

That radiant orange finds its way into the interior, where it can be found everywhere in the form of stitching. Joining the new threadwork are such niceties as a push-button ignition, dual zone automatic climate control, heated seats, and a new multi-function display in the gauge cluster that displays performance data. Outside, a black rear spoiler joins black chrome 17-inch wheels to dial up the contrast on this Japanese pumpkin.

Naturally, a small, numbered plaque will inform all occupants that the buyer isn’t faking this special edition.

All of this gear means a sticker price that tops a stock 86 by just under $3,000. Including delivery, a Special Edition will cost you $30,040. Add $720 to that if you’re eager to receive an automatic transmission and five fewer horses under the hood.

[Images: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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33 Comments on “Toyota Adopts a Time-honored Strategy for the 86 – Bring on the Special Edition!...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    And it needed a WRX engine to make it a stand out.

    This is a half assed Toyota attempt at a limited edition.

    Like one of my young guys at work did. Buy a bog stock 86 and use the money saved for a small turbo.

    Racing strips are easy.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Toyota is starting to look like those idiots in Detroit. Sell mediocre products and paint them up to make the 14year olds have wet dreams at night. Sad when you get only half of what you want [no real car and no real women either] When i say Detroit I mean the big 2 since FCX is really an italian company anyway. Sorry to bring this up but most fanboys seem to have forgotten this fact. But never let the facts get in the way of selling dreams.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    $30K?

    Meh – better off getting a Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback for $31K. The extra $1K gets you a whole lot more car and you you get Sync3, leather, heated/cooled seats, dual zone climate control, power driver seat, and an engine without a wonky torque curve.

    Or you could find a leftover 2016 2LT V6 Camaro (sticker $32.9K) with a MOUNTAIN of cash on the hood.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    If you don’t want a turbo or an automatic, is there anything else left? It’s too bad that Toyota partnered with Subaru to build this car. I drove one that had some miles on it, and the floppy frameless-window Subaru doors set the wrong tone with their cheap clanky thud upon closure. Subaru engines don’t hold a candle to Toyota’s in long term ownership either. It feels like I’m shopping for the last entertaining car I’ll ever buy, so I want something with the potential to hold up for many years. Unless CAFE goes by the wayside, there will be no more worthwhile cars. Even spending serious money is no defense, when so many exotics have gone the compliance route with turbos and automatics.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Camaro LS, LT1, or LT2 with the 3.6L V6 and a 6-speed manual.

      No turbo, row your own.

      Nissan 370Z, V6 with no forced induction and row your own – and certainly closer to the 86 in size and “spirit.”

      If you want a two door coupe in the $30K range you can add the Dodge Challenger to the list, but that’s even bigger than the bloated Camaro (physical size).

      All of these vehicles are competent. Both the Camaro and Mustang offer relatively speaking low cost performance upgrades by checking the option boxes to create a very competent version — you’ll have to find a leftover Mustang to get a V6 without a turbo.

      Worth noting that the 86, Camaro, 370Z, and Challenger all have different flaws:

      Camaro – near impossible to live with as a daily drive, no joy to drive below 6/10ths

      370Z – incredibly outdated at this point, Nissan has been phoning it in for a while

      Challenger – big, big, big, competent but won’t handle or brake as well as the Camaro, 370Z or certainly the 86.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I’ve driven a few V8 Challengers lately. Their clutches and shifters are remarkable considering the power and weight involved. My boss has a Hellcat 6-speed. Even it has a decent shifter/clutch and the power does a nice job of masking the weight. Unfortunately, I’ve seen how an R/T and an SRT-392 age over their first 20,000 miles, and it makes them better suited to people like my boss, who has more cars than I can keep track of and trades in his Challengers every time they make a faster one. A good friend has a new V8/6-speed Camaro. I do everything I can to avoid having to comment on it. They’re just such horrible cars in terms of comfort, controls and visibility that it doesn’t really matter how capable their engines or suspensions are. I’d rather drive almost anything else. I like it that Nissan still builds a Z-car, but I don’t care much for the platform or the engine they use to build it.

        I really wanted the 86/BRZ to be a car I could own, but unfortunately it just seems to be built to Subaru standards instead of Toyota standards. I don’t care about how fast it goes, and I like cars with flat torque curves that build power in direct proportion to RPM. I do care about the feeling of quality that a well-engineered body maintains over time. My takeaway is that the 86 is no better than a pony car in an area that it should have been beyond compare.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      I wish this had a turbo.

      Honestly, the 86 isn’t terrible, it’s just that for car bordering 30k, the interior is shit and the power is abyssmal.

      Srsly, the nav screen is a phone app. What kind of pissant crap is that?

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Drove one of these a couple of days ago (ok,not this special edition) as a courtesy loaner from the local dealer. Other than the speed, my old 1969 Fiat 124 was a far superior riding and driving vehicle. Sheesh, you could feel and hear every pebble you drove over, and the automatic was very ill suited. Strictly for 20 year old drifter wannabee’s. I would think a bit of cross shopping would eliminate this pretty early on. Given what Mustangs, Camaro’s, Challengers, even GTIs sell for, I don’t really understand what Toyota/Subaru were thinking. Hell, a clean, used, low mileage Z3 is 1/3 the price if you just need a weekend sporty two seater.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Marketing this car to the nonexistent enthusiast demographic was their first mistake. Making it to begin with was the second.

    People do not care about vehicle dynamics. The number of Challenger,Camaro, BMW M,Merc AMG and Corvette owners who know what a racing line is are a small fraction of the marketplace. If people who spend megadollars on enthusiast machinery cant be bothered to care about driving dynamics, where the heck is the market for it at the sub-30K level?

    The folks who buy AMGs and Ms and Shelbys do it for the same reason most folks drive pickups- social cool points, full stop.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Marketing this car to the nonexistent enthusiast demographic was their first mistake.”

      And now we know where the Scion marketing team went.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I disagree. The twins are “cool” from a visual perspective, but they aren’t fast. If it could keep up with a Mustang GT in a quarter mile it would sell better.

      People purchasing pony and sports cars might not care about racing lines or handling balance but they *do* care about straight line speed.

      • 0 avatar
        Snooder

        This. Or hell, at least improve the interior even if the car has to be slow.

        Everyone I know loves the idea of an 86. And the look. Then they go check one out and realize how crappy the interior is for the money they’re shelling out. So the half that’s all show and no go bows out.

        Then the performance folks look at it and realize that for the same money they can get an ecoboost, or a slightly used stripper bmw.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Akio can really hit ’em where they ain’t, ne?

          Japanese are long famous for being crazy into besoboru but that guy’s also a historian of the game.

      • 0 avatar
        Caboose

        @ajla,

        “The twins are “cool” from a visual perspective, but they aren’t fast. If it could keep up with a Mustang GT in a quarter mile it would sell better.”

        Agreed. Performance-wise, the twins are a fat Miata coupe. That an ND Miata can keep up with it (the Miata is down 50 hp but develops about the same torque and does so over a wider, smoother curve – and weighs a bunch less) should embarrass Toyobaru or, at least, let them know where they should be pricing the cars.

  • avatar
    86er

    Why are my ears burning?

  • avatar
    Marko

    860 edition: the Connecticut edition?

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    As soon as I read “special edition” the voice in my head said “body kit.”

    It wasn’t that far off.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    But the Silverado has 5 Special Editions!

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Toyota:

    250 hp/tq or bust.

    Seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Yep. This car with the WRX engine in it would have no need for special editions to make sales. The 86’s biggest feature now is its the “reasonable fast car” on the new season of Top Gear. And its back on the old track too so no more rally cross with a Mini Cooper.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    My first 124 was a 1969 124SC. Marvelous car, not real powerful, but with an Abarth exhaust, wondrous sounding. Not sure if any have survived the crusher, never achieved the iconic status of a MG, so disappeared. Too bad, I really thought the early ones were very good looking.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    If you are eager to receive an automatic transmission, this is not the car for you. It is fun with the row your own six speed but it is as dull as dishwater with the poorly matched slush box.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Is it just the convertible that makes the Miata the answer to everything vs this which gets so much hate heaped upon it? I’m serious- I don’t understand. Seems like the same people who appreciate a Miata would appreciate this for about the same reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      Caboose

      There are many who think they want a Miata but end up buying a coupe from another maker. I’d argue that what makes Miata “The Answer” is the low weight. That allows good handling and great driver involvement. The BRZ/FRS make about the same torque and a good deal more power (at the peak, anyway) but they are also ~400 pounds heavier than the Miata.

      The Miata offers a really compliant ride for what it is. A lot of reviewers call it soft. Either way, it’s designed for crappy country roads in off-the-shelf form. The FRS, OTOH, feels flinty and just… gross. More than just sports-car stiff; it’s crashy and yucky.

      I test-drove the FRS three times in a six-month period in late-’13/early-’14. I drove it again last year. I loved the looks and the interior didn’t bother me. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger because the engine *felt* slow unless you stayed over 4k revs All. The. Time. and the ride was sh177y.

      I’d’ve preferred a coupe, but I ended up in a Miata, too. I thought I’d miss the back seat; I don’t. I’m not a fan of the super-loud cabin at highway speeds with the top up, but it handles SOOO much better while maintaining a nice ride, too.

      Nothing I’m saying is new, but I think the 86 would benefit from a rear-seat delete, a lot of weight loss, and the I-4 from the Camry or Corolla (or the WRX engine), if they can make one of those fit. If Toyota insists on having the 86 compete price-wise with the V6 pony cars, it’ll have to go like them, too, which means a sub-5.0s 0-60.

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