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 By Ketan Patel View Comments

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Scion FR-S 2013 Review

Scion unveiled the all-new 2013 Scion FR-S compact rear-wheel drive sports car to a crowd of eager car enthusiasts. 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 MPG. The high-performance coupe is the fifth model to join the Scion family and will go on sale in the spring of 2012.

We all like the idea of an affordable rear-wheel drive sports car but taking in consideration the characteristics of a sports car, affordable doesn’t really fit in in the description. Well, Scion is trying to prove this wrong with their latest Scion FR-S, a front engine rear-wheel drive two-door coupe boasting with almost perfect front-to-rear weight ratio and a low center of gravity which you only experience in modern exotic supercars.

According to Scion engineers the FR-S has been mostly inspired by the legendary AE86 Corolla, the two door coupe bearing the same characteristics mentioned above: front-engine, rear-wheel drive and almost perfect balance. Before we get carried by the wave however, let’s have a closer look under the hood and see if the numbers add up.

The Scion FR-S sports a 2.0 liter, naturally aspired four-cylinder boxer engine able to develop 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. However, the more interesting part comes when we learn that the engine was developed partly by Subaru and partly by Toyota, whereas Subaru provided the boxer engine, Toyota came with the highly acclaimed D-4S injection system. The flat shape of the engine itself allowed Scion engineers to mount the engine extremely low and right in the middle front-end of the car, resulting in a staggering 53:47 front-to-rear weight ratio.

The transmission consists in either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic gearbox which comes hand in hand with a set of paddle shifters on the steering wheel. In both cases the power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Everything sounds good so far, but things get even better. The Scion FR-S features lightweight aluminum hood and roof as well as a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, the result being an estimated weight of 2700 lb (1220 kg). Throw in a set of ventilated disk brakes on all four corners of the car and a dynamically tuned suspension setup and there’s no doubt the Scion FR-S can handle itself in the corners.

As for its design, the Scion FR-S draws from the legendary Toyota 2000GT, featuring a slick hood and roof-line complemented by aggressive front fenders that boast the “86” piston emblem, reminding everyone about its AE86 Corolla heritage.

On the interior the Scion FR-S offers a practical 2+2 seat configuration where the rear seats are able to fold down flat, and a somewhat simplistic dashboard sporting digital and analog gauges, a three-gauge cluster featuring programmable shift indicator as well as the ability to display a set of engine vitals. The sporty steering wheel is covered in leather for a more comfy feel and offers both tilt and telescopic adjustment.

As with the other Scions, the FR-S will come packed with the Star Safety System which consists in Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, ABS, and the Smart Stop Technology.

Bottom line is that on the whole, the Scion FR-S seems to be a very well designed car, so only one question remains unanswered: Is it really an affordable sports car? On short, not really. The manual gearbox variant is sold at the price of 24,200, whilst for the automatic transmission variant you need to throw in $1100 more. That’s basically Ford Mustang Coupe or Chevrolet Camaro territory.

Scion FR-S 2013


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