Which must-drive road is the Toyota 86 now honoring?

May 16,2019

SOME call it “Japan’s Nurburgring.” It sits only a couple of hours from downtown Tokyo. And it is regarded as one of the best places on the planet on which to drive a really nice car. It’s a bucket-list staple for motorheads.

The place is the Hakone Turnpike, a toll road combining twists and straights that has seen the likes of McLaren and MotoGP champion Marc Marquez partaking of its delights. It’s only right, then, for Japan’s — as well as the world’s — largest automaker to honor it.

Toyota is paying tribute to this iconic spot, as well as other international sports car driving events, with its new 86 Hakone Edition.

Instantly identifying the special variant are its bronze, twisted-spoke, 17-inch wheels and black spoiler. In the cabin, the car gets tan-and-black Alcantara-wrapped seats, a tan Toyota 86 logo on the passenger-side dashboard, and tan stitching on the steering wheel, parking brake cover and shift boot. Contrasting this is black stitching on the door trim, knee pad and meter visor. Even the trunk carpet flaunts an embossed 86 logo.

But, certainly, the biggest giveaway that the Hakone Edition is no average 86 is its exclusive Hakone Green paintjob.

Its owner can also strut around in a pair of tan key gloves and a folio cover with an 86 logo and black stitching.

The 86 Hakone Edition is based on the 86 GT grade, meaning it offers a choice between a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission, and is powered by a 2.0-liter, 205hp, four-cylinder aluminum boxer engine (which drives the rear wheels). Its standard exterior amenities include LED projector-beam headlights and fog lamps, color-keyed power mirrors, a pair of chrome-tipped tailpipes, vortex generators on the front fenders and an aerodynamic floor undercover.

Some of the car’s posh items are dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, smart entry with push-button engine start, and a panic and trunk release button.

The new 86 Hakone Edition is set to arrive in showrooms as a 2020 model in the third quarter of the year. Which, coincidentally, is a great time to drive on the Hakone Turnpike.

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