Grad Dreams: 2013 Scion FR-S
Sexy sports car is decked out in Scion attire.
Toyota’s Scion subbrand has college students and grads like you in mind as you shop for your first new car. Scion was created to appeal to niche first-time car buyers, 20-something people who are at the start of their careers and not necessarily in a position to drive a Bimmer unless, of course, that first job happens to be on Wall Street.
Dream Car Arrives
That all changes this spring when Toyota delivers the first FR-S models, a 2+2 sports car based on the Toyota 86 (eight-six) and also sold here as the Subaru BRZ. The FR-S is the product of a union between Toyota and Subaru, one forged in 2005 when Toyota bought a slice of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s parent.
Owning 16.5 percent of its one-time competitor allows Toyota to exploit the synergies of this relationship, outfitting the Scion with a 2.0-liter BOXER engine while also serving up its own technology with direct and port injection supplied by Toyota. This combination will help the FR-S make 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 151 foot-pounds of torque at 6,600 rpm. Speed times haven’t been determined yet, but the 0-60 MPH website has posted the new Scion’s 0-60 MPH time at 5.9 seconds.
Where did the FR-S name come from? That’s simple — Front engine, Rear-drive, Sport is how Scion explains the name, making more sense than the current Scion models that include the tC, xB, xD and the recently introduced iQ. That iQ, by the way, is the world’s smallest four-seater and priced from $15,995 or $9,000 under the starting price of the Scion sports car. With five models in its line up, Scion believes that it has a broad swath of the first-time car buying market in mind, perhaps convincing a few Wall Street-bound grads that the FR-S is a worthy alternative to the BMW 3-Series.
Exterior and Interior
With all of the back story information shared, what will drivers get with the FR-S? On the outside, you’ll see a whole lot of attitude and for people familiar with the Toyota 2000GT, you’ll get a profile that takes its styling cues from that limited production model built from 1967 to 1970. More recent models that favor the FR-S are the Toyota Celica and the Toyota Supra, sport coupes that were last sold stateside in 2002 and 2005 respectively. The new car’s hood line is sleek and low, featuring a menacing face with its wide mouth, angular headlamps and aggressive front fenders that point up. From the rear, aerodynamic touches surround the performance dual exhaust system with LED tail lights offering a striking contrast.
Inside, the FR-S features a 2+2 seating configuration with a rear seat that folds flat. Sure, you can hold two people back there in a pinch, but you may find that the expanded storage capacity suits you and your best friend just fine.
The front sport bucket seats offer ample bolstering and are mounted very low. A large tachometer dominates the three-gauge instrument cluster reports Auto Trends, with digital and analog read outs offered. A programmable shift selector, FR-S badged floor mats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with tilt and telescopic capabilities is standard.
You’ll also enjoy a premium sound system with the Scion FR-S, a 300-watt Pioneer unit that coms with eight speakers and offers HD Radio technology. Bluetooth connectivity is standard as is streaming audio capability.
Safety and Warranties
Your safety is important to Scion and every FR-S comes equipped with six airbags, traction control, stability control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. A 3-year/36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty is standard and every Scion now offers free maintenance for the first two years of ownership or 25,000 miles driven, whichever comes first. Not bad especially if you’re making your first car payments to go with student loan payments. A powertrain warranty, corrosion coverage and a roadside assistance plan are also offered.
Will you spring for a Scion FR-S or any new car for that matter? If so, consider your auto financing options before shopping for a new ride.
Photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.