As promised, the eagerly-anticipated Toyota 86 made its official world debut in Tokyo. Named in honor of the legendary Corolla GT AE86 model and co-developed with Fuji Heavy Industries, this rakish, rear-drive 2+2 sport coupe was designed from the outset to be an affordable lightweight sports car with impeccable handling credentials. Starting next year, a rebadged version of the Toyota 86 will be sold in the U.S. as the Scion FR-S and the platform will serve to underpin the new Subaru BRZ model, also being unveiled this week in Japan.

Looking much like the series of FT-86 Concept vehicles Toyota has displayed at various international car shows during the course of the past two years, the production Toyota 86 (or GT 86, as it will be known outside of the home market) embodies the latest and most aggressive form of the automaker's design language.

Bold fascias, pronounced fender flares, a sweeping roofline that flows into tasteful decklid spoiler, functional rear diffuser with twin chrome exhausts and unique 17-inch alloy wheels are complemented by prominent "86" badges on the car's front fenders. The Toyota 86's driver-focused interior is highlighted by a small-diameter thick-rimmed steering wheel, tri-gauge instrument cluster with a centrally-positioned tachometer, purposefully-contoured sport buckets, an aluminum pedal set and carbon-fiber-look accents.

Power for the Toyota 86 comes from a sophisticated 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated variation of Subaru's newest flat-four engine, here fitted with Toyota's unique D-4S system that uses both a port and a direct injector for each cylinder. Featuring an efficiency-enhancing 12.5:1 compression ratio, it develops 197 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque that gets sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or optional paddle-shifted six-speed automatic. The Toyota 86 is projected to sprint from 0-60 mph in less than 6.0 seconds and have a top speed of 142 mph.

In addition to its standard limited-slip differential, the Toyota 86 also features a specifically calibrated/driver-switchable stability control system integrated with the anti-lock brakes designed to permit full exploitation of the car's formidable potential with only minimal intrusion. That coupled with its low-mounted and deeply set-back powertrain, superior center of gravity, sport-tuned suspension and 53/47-percent front/rear weight distribution promise to endow the 2,600-lb Toyota 86 with truly stellar dynamics. Pricing for the Toyota 86 is expected to start in the $25,000-$27,000 range.

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