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Lighter, faster, and more powerful, the Toyota 86 GRMN is the FR-S we wish we could get

Enthusiasts have been clamoring for a more powerful version of the Scion FR-S (known as the Toyota GT86 in most global markets) since the coupe was introduced in 2012. While there’s still no turbocharged FR-S in sight, Toyota’s go-fast Gazoo Racing division is injecting the GT86 with a few more ponies in time for the Tokyo Auto Salon that will open its doors halfway through next month.

The limited-edition model is called 86 GRMN, an acronym that stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring. It’s equipped with a 2.0-liter flat-four engine that delivers 216 horsepower — 16 more than the stock model — at 7,300 rpm, and 160 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm thanks in part to new intake and exhaust manifolds and low-friction internal components. The four-banger spins the rear wheels via a GRMN-specific close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.

Bigger brakes and a sportier suspension fine-tuned on the Green Hell help motorists make the most of the flat-four’s grunt. To go along with the extra power, Toyota has lowered its center of gravity, and has also reduced the coupe’s weight by installing a rear window crafted out of Plexiglas, and by manufacturing the hood, the roof panel, and the trunk lid out of carbon fiber. Inside, the rear bench and the infotainment system have been removed and sent back to the parts bin. All told, the 86 GRMN tips the scale at 2,711 pounds.

The 86 GRMN isn’t for drivers looking to keep a low profile. It gains a SEMA-worthy body kit that brings a deep front bumper with a large air dam and a splitter, vents cut into the hood, a massive wing out back, a new rear bumper with a single round exhaust outlet, and wider alloy wheels. The cabin is spruced up with red seat belts and two-tone black and red upholstery on the Recaro bucket seats and on the steering wheel.

Toyota is seemingly not interested in bringing a more powerful version of the GT86 to the masses. The car maker explains the GT86 GRMN will exclusively be sold in its home country of Japan, and production will be strictly limited to just 100 examples assembled on a dedicated assembly line. Each one will carry a base price of 6.48 million yen, a lofty sum that converts to nearly $54,000. To put that figure into perspective, a base model Mercedes-Benz E-Class costs 6.87 million yen (about $57,000 in Japan).

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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