Sunday, June 3, 2012

First Impression: Scion FR-S

The Scion brand was created in 2002 by Toyota. All Scions are front-engine, front-wheel drive cars that came in one trim-level and are marketed towards the younger drivers. In 2012, Toyota started producing and selling the Toyota 86, a front-engine, rear-wheel drive car. Toyota collaborated with Subaru on the 86, using Subaru's flat-4 engine and rear-wheel drive system. Subaru has its own version of the car, the Subaru BRZ. The United States version of the car is sold as a Scion, not as a Toyota. The car is called Scion FR-S. The FR-S is the first car in the Scion brand with rear-wheel drive.

I first saw the FR-S at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. I was very impressed with the looks of the car. There was a big ring of people around the car. It got the most attention out of all the Scions at the event. The front looks sleek and aggressive. The fastback design adds to the sports car look of the FR-S. It does not look like the average Scion.

The FR-S is powered by a Toyota/Subaru 2.0 L flat-4 engine, paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, that produces 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and reaches a top speed of 143 miles per hour. The manual FR-S starts at $24,930 and the automatic FR-S starts at $26,030. This is the best performing car to wear the Scion badge. This is also the most expensive Scion, but that is a lot of performance for under $30,000.

The FR-S has been featured in Auto Esporte. The FR-S is playable in Car Town and Gran Turismo 5.

Final Thoughts: The FR-S is the best car to wear the Scion badge. It is the best looking car and best performing car in the entire Scion range. I do not know why Toyota brought the car over to the United States and badged it as Scion. But, this is car gives some much needed performance to the Scion Brand. The Scion TC is good, but the FR-S is better. For about $25,000-$26,000, you get a car that goes from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.0 seconds, which is quick. It is also the first Scion with rear-wheel drive. The TC is a good coupe, but it is no sports car. The FR-S is a good, affordable sports car. For any driver who wants a good Japanese sports car for under $30,000 should look into the FR-S. This is a quality car.

Photos were taken by a digital camera.
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