If you're wondering what a "Hakone" is, you're clearly someone who wasn't a fan of Japanese car culture, Initial D, or Japanese geography in general. Hakone refers to a very specific region and route in Japan, with scenic views and breath-taking roads. It's a route of choice for many weekend drivers who want to stretch their legs in sports cars, and for some reason it's called the Mazda Hakone Turnpike - probably for the same reason Laguna Seca is called Mazda Raceway (they probably sponsored a lot of it).
In any case, so loved is the road that Toyota saw fit to produce a Hakone Edition of their 86, which - to the disappointment of some - consists entirely of cosmetic enhancements. The most striking aspect is the Hakone Green paint job, with 17-inch bronze wheels and a small black spoiler tastefully completing the look.
Mechanically and from a feature standpoint, the Hakone Edition 86 is identical to the regular models. It's the same 2.0-litre boxer engine, with the same option of manual or automatic transmissions. While not being the most mindblowing from a performance standpoint, it has served many driving enthusiasts well over the course of its life.
The inside gets a couple of trim pieces that subtly say "this car is special". Tan and black Alcantara seats, as well as tan stitching on every moving component from the steering wheel to the armrest are the most obvious cues, with a giant tan 86 logo on the dashboard as well. Even the key fob gets a tan cover instead of the regular black leather.
What may be confusing is that the Hakone Edition is the name given to this model for its sales in the United States. Back in Japan, this particular special edition variant was launched back in February and was known as British Racing Green Limited. We suppose that outside of cars and computers, one of Japan's biggest export is their culture itself.
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