2013 SCION FR-S
The production model revealed
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Dec 21, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
At long last, Toyota has revealed the actual production model of the highly anticipated front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car, the Scion FR-S (also known for several months as the FT-86 project, code-named after the legendary favorite of drifting enthusiasts, the Toyota AE86). LA Car was invited to the reveal. Mark Dorman reports. Words and pictures by Mark Dorman If you were ever (or still are) a Toyota car enthusiast—be it the legendary Supra, the iconic AE86 Corolla, the exotic MR2, or the sporty Celica—you've been anticipating the replacement for any or all of these cars. As early as the late 90s, there have been rumors of a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car to come from Toyota. Some of the rumors were linked to the Lexus LFA which many were hoping to be a Supra replacement. Unfortunately the limited production and hefty price made the LFA intangible (even more so then the fourth-generation Supra) for at least 99 percent of the car enthusiast population.
So what was a Toyota enthusiast to do? The answer: wait for the “FT-86” project that has been floating around since the early 2000s. So much anticipation and high expectations were set when Toyota first confirmed that they were developing such a car. There were mixed emotions when learning it would be using a Boxer style motor sourced from Subaru, and curiosity knowing that Subaru would have a hand in its development.
The first concept car renderings were released in 2009 at the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan. It was finally here. The first real, tangible replacement for the Toyota Sports car that had been long promised. All this excitement, just to wait until past 2011 for the actual production model. In 2010, we saw the first full scale concept car, which looked amazing. Aggressive and sophisticated at the same time. Sharing all the great qualities of the Supra, AE86 Corolla, MR2, and Celica, the FT-86 was looking like it would live up to the high expectations.
The big surprise came in late 2010, when Toyota announced that it will be selling the FT-86 as a Scion in the US. As most of you know, the Scion brand is aimed at the younger generation as being a sporty, fun alternative to the Toyota brand. To older enthusiasts, this is not a huge draw but the FR-S will definitely help bolster Scion's sales and makes Toyota keep the price reasonably low. Scion's president was adamant that the starting price of the FR-S will be quite pleasing to everyone while still delivering on the performance end. With what we know about the car's low curb weight, high power, and great balance, we should be seeing the next great tuner car.
The FR-S will have a slightly more upscale sibling in the Subaru BR-Z, which should come with additional standard features but the price will reflect that as well. I’m sure Scion fanatics cannot wait until the car hits the market. The production FR-S is almost here (by most accounts, Spring of 2012). For those standing in line for the new model, this should be well worth the wait.