First Drive: 2013 Scion FR S scion reviews first drives
2013 Scion FR-S. Click image to enlarge

Preview: 2013 Scion FR-S
Feature: Scion FR-S concept

Manufacturer’s web site
Scion Canada

Review and photos by Michael Schlee

Photo Gallery:
2013 Scion FR-S

The Scion FR-S is one of the most anticipated new car releases of 2012. In fact, it is safe to say that for many car enthusiasts, I included, this could be the most anticipated new vehicle release for 2012 period. Over the past five years concept cars and development rumours have held people in great anticipation of what the final product would finally be and, more importantly, how it would drive. Well guess what, that day is finally here.

Scion Canada invited us to Montreal recently to drive the new FR-S on both the road and the track. I am not sure who was smugger at the event, Scion Canada because they knew they had such a good product to show off or me, for getting the chance to terrorize the track in it.

First Drive: 2013 Scion FR S scion reviews first drives
2013 Scion FR-S. Click image to enlarge

For those unfamiliar with the FR-S, it is the offspring of an equal partnership between Toyota and Subaru to create a pure sports car that is affordable to the average consumer while being fun to drive. Three versions of this vehicle will be produced: this FR-S, Subaru’s BRZ and the Toyota GT 86. The first two will be available in Canada while the latter will be sold in other world markets. Toyota’s goal with this car was to create a spiritual successor to three cars from their past; the Sports 800, the 2000 GT and the Corolla GT-S AE86. For Scion, the FR-S is to be their halo car so a lot is riding on it.

Using a newly designed 2.0L horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine from Subaru, Toyota added their D-4S direct injection to create a naturally aspirated engine developing 200 hp and 151 lb-ft. Scion, Toyota and Subaru (Scioybaru?) are the only manufacturers in the world producing a front engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle powered by a boxer motor. By using this boxer engine configuration they were able to keep the centre of gravity at a very low at 460 mm. As all three manufacturers are quick to point out, that is lower than a Porsche Cayman.

First Drive: 2013 Scion FR S scion reviews first drives
First Drive: 2013 Scion FR S scion reviews first drives
2013 Scion FR-S. Click image to enlarge

Weighing in at a svelte 1,254 kg, the FR-S sends power to the rear wheels via a choice of 6-speed transmissions; one automatic, one manual. The 6-speed automatic transmission comes standard with steering wheel mounted paddles shifters and a multitude of settings. It has an available ‘M’ mode that gives the driver full control over the gears as well as a ‘D’ mode that will shift for you like a regular automatic. Automatic equipped vehicles also feature sport and snow modes that increase or decrease throttle response and gear change speed respectively. In sport mode the transmission will perform rev matching downshifts when driven aggressively. Thankfully, all FR-S models arrive with a standard LSD.

Initially the FR-S will be available in seven colours that have catchy names, but don’t overtly lead on to what they are: Whiteout, Argento, Asphalt, Raven, Firestorm, Hot Lava and Ultramarine. Adorning both front fenders of every FR-S is a logo with the number 86 (for AE86) set on top of boxer engine pistons. The theme of 86 continues throughout the vehicle as it also refers to the bore and stroke of engine and the inner diameter of the exhaust tip. The coolest exterior feature of the FR-S however is the center line marker positioned at the top of the hood by the base of the windshield. Its purpose? To help the driver identify the ‘stance and attitude of the vehicle’ while drifting driving.

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