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Toyota Motor Corp. is renaming its enthusiast-favorite Scion FR-S the Toyota 86, a name used currently for the sports car in countries outside of North America.

The name change was announced Thursday, six weeks after the Japanese automaker announced it was killing its youth-oriented Scion brand and absorbing most of its vehicles into the Toyota brand.

“When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President Bill Fay in a statement “Enthusiasts have a strong association with the front-engine, rear-drive heritage of the ‘hachi-roku’ and the dynamic performance it offers.”

Nancy Hubbell, a company communications manager, said a great amount of thought went into the name change for the FR-S, with “a lot of executives weighing in.”

In addition to the 2017 Toyota 86 name change, the Scion iM hatchback will become the Toyota Corolla iM and the Scion iA sedan will move to the Toyota Yaris iA for the 2017 model-year. The Scion tC sports coupe will end production in August.

Hubbell said the Toyota 86 will go into production in July, followed by the Yaris iA and Corolla iM in August. All are due in dealerships this fall, she said.

Toyota also rebadged the Scion C-HR Concept it showed at the Los Angeles Auto Show to be a Toyota concept. The U.S. production version of the C-HR will be shown later this year and the vehicle will go on sale in spring 2017 as a 2018 model, the company said.

Hubbell said the 86 and C-HR will make their Toyota debuts next week on the show floor of the New York International Auto Show, which also will be the last auto show Scion is featured.

For its move to Toyota, the 86 sports car adopts more aggressive styling with a larger center intake emphasizing the low, wide stance of the car. The front of the car has a new design with re-configured LED front headlamps and turn signals, a new fog lamp bezel and revised bumper.

The rear now sports LED tail lamps and a new bumper design. The alloy wheels feature a twisted spoke design and 86 logos have been incorporated into a badge on the front fender, as well as inside the front headlamps.

mwayland@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2504

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