Translating Scion

In an automotive landscape where alphanumerics are replacing more conventional words, as in “names,” the shift of Scion products to Toyota badges is resulting in a replacement of another nature because Scions from the start never had names that weren’t combinations of letters that didn’t spell words (e.g., “Scion” is a word; “xB” is, well, xB). So consider the Scion FR-S.

In an automotive landscape where alphanumerics are replacing more conventional words, as in “names,” the shift of Scion products to Toyota badges is resulting in a replacement of another nature because Scions from the start never had names that weren’t combinations of letters that didn’t spell words (e.g., “Scion” is a word; “xB” is, well, xB).

FRS1

So consider the Scion FR-S. Those letters weren’t pulled from a hat. Rather, they signify “Front-engine, Rear-wheel-drive, Sport.”

Toyota announced that the FR-S name will be changed so that the vehicle, for 2017, will be known as it is elsewhere, as the Toyota “86.”

That’s right. Before letters. Now a number.

Again, the “86” wasn’t some fanciful number thought up by some people in the Toyota marketing department.

Rather, it goes back to the AE86 series of the Corolla, which was produced in the mid-1980s.

ScionFRS

This is a Corolla that isn’t like the one that is sitting on the floor of your Toyota dealership right now. Rather, the AE86—known in Japan as the Hachi-Roku, which means “8-6”—is a front-engine, rear-drive coupe that was used for racing and other high-speed activities.

When chief engineer Tetsuya Tada and his team started developing what was to become the FR-S, the project’s code name was “86,” harkening back to the Hachi-Roku cars.

86