One of the most anticipated new model launches in what seems like decades is the coupe created as a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru. Here in North America, the Toyota version will fall under the Scion umbrella, with the moniker FR-S. There have been few secrets about this car since its original reveal close to two years ago. During the final stages of development, we began hearing about tuner parts that were already being developed and then seeing videos of the car in action. As the car became available in Japan, we even got a glimpse of an inept journo behind the wheel of one. Toyota promised an affordable package, so the only real question has been: How affordable?
A few weeks back, we reported that U.S. pricing had been set to begin at a super reasonable $24,200. Here in Canada we hoped that pricing would be equally affordable. We were not to be disappointed. The “base” model, with a six speed manual (is there any other way to order it?) will come to market for $25,990. Opt for the paddle shift auto box and the price of entry increases slightly to $27,170.
Let’s see now, a rear wheel drive, manual transmission coupe with 200 horsepower and a standard equipment limited slip differential, all together for under 26 grand. Potential buyers had best put in their orders soon, as they aren’t going to build enough of these to keep them in the showrooms!
Head past the jump for the official press release and watch a video from DSport Magazine as they drive some early models.
Scion FR-S starts at Canadian MSRP $25,990
Toronto – April 2, 2012 – Scion’s high performance compact rear-wheel drive sports car will be available for sale this spring at a remarkably affordable Canadian manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $25,990. When equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission that features paddle shifters and rev-match technology the MSRP is $27,170.
“Scion’s goal was to achieve “Pure Balance” by designing a lightweight sports car with a low centre of gravity that also includes the world’s only boxer engine that uses Toyota’s D-4S direct and port injection system,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Scion in Canada. Add to this, the FR-S delivers exceptional performance and handling and a high level of style, and we’ve created a car that is fun to drive and offers a true sports car driving experience.”
The FR-S, which stands for Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport; is Scion’s definition of an authentic rear-wheel-drive sports car with exceptionally balanced performance and handling, compelling style, flexible utility and surprising fuel efficiency.
The FR-S is a true “scion,” born into a lengthy history of Toyota performance cars and motorsports. During planning and development, it was most inspired by the AE86 generation of the Corolla, better known as the Hachi-Roku, meaning “8-6” in Japanese. The AE86 was a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe that was lightweight and well balanced, making it a solid choice for driving enthusiasts.
Inspired by the AE86, the FR-S is designed around the core goal of achieving “Pure Balance.” The balance begins with the strategic use of the world’s only flat boxer engine in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. The engine’s compact size and flat shape allow it to be mounted mid-ship and extremely low, giving the car a dynamically favourable front-to-rear weight ratio of 53:47 and a low centre of gravity comparable to some exotic supercars.
The FR-S’s 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine is the result of a joint development between Toyota and Subaru. The partnership begins by combining Subaru’s newly developed, horizontally opposed engine and Toyota’s cutting edge D-4S injection system that incorporates both direct and port injection. The D-4S system, partnered with a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, results in an impressive 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.
The flat-four mates with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offers quick, precise shifts with a short-throw; while the automatic features aggressive up shifts and sporty rev-matched down shifts that are initiated by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Power is transferred to the pavement via a standard Torsen® limited-slip differential.
The idea of “Pure Balance” is further realized by the FR-S lightweight design and compact size. The combination allows the car to be quick and nimble into and out of corners, with dynamic manoeuvrability and confident handling. The coupe’s weight is kept to a minimum by utilizing a lightweight aluminum hood, a solid roof, and by featuring a trunk design instead of a hatchback.
The FR-S low weight is matched with a dynamically tuned suspension setup consisting of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone system in the rear. Lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels and ventilated disc brakes are standard on all four corners.
Powerful Exterior Design
The fierce exterior of the FR-S is a solid reflection of its inner power. The profile, inspired by the Toyota 2000GT, reveals a hood and roof-line that is remarkably sleek and low, giving it an aerodynamic shape that channels air cleanly over to the top. The low stance continues to exaggerate the coupe’s menacing face, which is made up of sharp lines, a wide mouth and angular headlights that house the projector-beam halogen lamps. The aggressive front fenders protrude upward and boast the iconic ‘86’ piston emblem, which highlights the car’s AE86 heritage as well as its unique new boxer engine. The rear fascia sits low and wide, with aerodynamic lower treatments that surround the sporty dual exhaust system. LEDs illuminate the edgy taillights, while centre-mounted backup lights finish the muscular design.
The FR-S will be available in seven colours including Raven, Asphalt, Hot Lava, Argento, Ultramarine, Firestorm and Whiteout.
The FR-S’s interior includes a 4 person seating configuration that is designed with both form and function in mind. The front seats feature deep bolsters and are mounted extremely low and are comfortable yet assertive, while the rear seat folds down flat, creating flexible space. The large centre-mounted tachometer is the focus of the three-gauge cluster and features a programmable shift-indicator, informing the driver of the engine’s vitals. Speed is monitored by both digital and analog gauges. The FR-S features a sporty leather-trimmed steering wheel that has both tilt and telescopic adjustment.
The FR-S will come standard with an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/USB/MP3 160-watt maximum output Pioneer™ audio system and an Auxiliary Input Jack. Standard features also include Bluetooth® connectivity that allows both hands-free phone connection as well as streaming audio capability.
Sports Car Performance with Excellent Safety Features
FR-S comes standard with six airbags, including dual-stage advanced driver- and front-passenger airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags.
Like all Scions, FR-S features the Star Safety System that includes Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Brake Assist (BA), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).