Toyota GT 86 GRMN: Born in Japan, Tested on the Nürburgring [Video]

Toyota Gazoo Racing 86 GRMN

The Scion FR-S hasn’t seen any changes or significant updates since the first 2012 model was introduced and sales have been dwindling since its grand entrance four years ago. But Toyota is not letting the tail-happy sports coupe slip silently into the night. The FR-S and its Japanese cousins, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, are set to be refreshed following its official announcement at the Tokyo Motor Show mid-January.

Spy shots of a Scion FR-S prototype were published by Motor Authority in September and reveal some mild exterior changes and presumably a small bump in power. There is also speculation that the FR-S/BRZ twins will get some chassis updates in the form of a reinforced rear suspension sub-frame that will improve rear-end rigidity.

Toyota Gazoo Racing 86 GRMN

Now a special edition of the Toyota 86 has been revealed ahead its debut in Tokyo, named the GT 86 GRMN – an acronym that stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring. Built by Gazoo Racing – Toyota’s in-house motorsports group – only 100 units will be built and sold in Japan. The limited production rear-wheel drive compact hatch benefits from 216 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque, up from 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft in stock trim. New intake and exhaust manifolds, and low-friction components are in part responsible for the uptick in power.

A lower center of gravity, bigger brakes, and a sports suspension tuned on the Nordschleife bring it all together. Toyota has also reduced the sportster’s weight by replacing the hood, roof panel, and trunk lid with carbon fiber equivalents and using Plexiglas for the rear window. More weight savings was accomplished by removing the rear bench seat and infotainment system. The dieting shaves 47 pounds for a new curb weight of 2,711 pounds.

Visually, the 86 GRMN gets a prominent bumper, front air dam and splitter, vented hood, a huge wing on the back, a new rear bumper with a single round exhaust port, and wider alloy wheels. Occupants are treated to Recaro bucket seats with two-tone black and red upholstery, and red seat belts.

Toyota Gazoo Racing 86 GRMN

Base price for this special edition Toyota 86 starts at 6.48 million yen, or nearly $54,000 USD.

The almost identical Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ epitomize the light and affordable rear-wheel drive sports car. In this TFLcar 0-60 mph mashup review, find out if the BRZ with an automatic transmission is faster than the FR-S, which has a 6-speed manual.