SCHLOSS EMAU, Germany – Toyota is looking to move upmarket its 86 sports car, acquired last year from its old Scion sub-brand, in order to appeal to a wider range of buyers, including “empty nesters,” with its 860 Special Edition for 2017.
Toyota will sell 1720 of them in the U.S.; 860 painted the Supernova Orange color you see here, and the other half painted Halo White. Both come with a black racing stripe running through the middle of the body.
Upgrades over the standard Toyota 86, itself updated for 2017, include dual-zone air conditioning, pushbutton keyless start, heated, black-capped power sideview mirrors, black chrome alloy 18-inch wheels, European-version specification rear spoiler in two-tone matte black and gloss black paint, black exhaust pipe lower fascia finisher, black underpan that improves aerodynamics, orange stitched trim around the shifter boot, handbrake and on interior trim, and black leather seats with the orange trim, and heated in front. There are no performance nor handling upgrades to the 860 Special Edition.
So why consider one? If you want to dress up what is often considered a drift car, into a more sophisticated looking, mature sports car. It is, after all, one of the most pure sports cars on the market. And the 860 Special Edition adds less than three large to the 2017 Toyota 86’s bottom line.
Price is $30,050 with the six-speed manual, and $30,770, if you insist, with the six-speed automatic. Speaking of which, Toyota expects about 60 percent will be the manuals, which comes to 1,032 stick-shifts in either Supernova Orange or Halo White. So hurry to get the proper manual. The 2017 Toyota 86 860 Special Edition goes on sale in the U.S. in a couple of weeks, because if you don’t have your eye on an orange manual, we do.
If Toyota determines its target market will scoop up this car, you can expect to see more options, or probably a higher trim level in the future. It will appeal, Toyota hopes, to empty-nesters tired of their SUVs and minivans, and other customers with a bit of money, though not Porsche money. Yes, we know the close sibling, Subaru BRZ already offers two trim levels, with the current “base” Toyota 86 splitting the price difference.
Enhancements to the ’17 model base Toyota 86 help make the case for the 860 Special Edition. Toyota beefed up the architecture’s structure, adding more brace attachments to the rear quarter panels and a thicker under hood strut tower brace, while thickening the rear anti-sway bar and softening the springs. The ’17 86 also gets a 5-hp bump to 205 horsepower for the manual only, upgraded seats and added imitation suede accents on the dash, plus a new, smaller-diameter steering wheel, a new front and rear fascia, and small aerodynamic enhancements on the body’s side.
Price of this base model is $27,140 for the manual and $27,860 for the automatic.