In the rest of the world, the car we call the Scion FR-S is known as the Toyota GT-86. This is because Scion is a marketing creation of Toyota’s North American operations, and doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world.
However, the badge on the nose is about the only noteworthy difference between the two cars, as both have been received with open arms by the enthusiast community, which has long labored under the notion that it had no suitable rear-wheel drive sports cars to choose from, Mazda MX-5 Miatas notwithstanding. Still, the driver-focused car is a pretty groundbreaking vehicle, offering a combination of fun-to-drive characteristics and a low price that really is rare these days.
The company is touting its fun-to-drive nature in a new ad for foreign markets that portrays a world without the GT-86 as a computer game. The people, objects, and places are all victims of the “uncanny valley,” realistic, but obviously not real, and therefore a little creepy. The subject of the commercial finds a real GT-86, hops in, and breaks through the barrier of the artificial, computer-controlled world he’s in, and into our real world.
So what’s the irony? Well, many would tell you that the numb, isolated, computer-controlled world the man lives in was largely created by Toyota’s other products. “If it’s real you’re after,” he says, “you’ve gotta know where to look.” After decades of boring Camrys, Corollas and the like, who knew you’d be looking for a real driver’s car at a Toyota dealership?