Bringing back the enthusiast’s Toyota.
2000GT, AE86, MR2, Supra, and Celica; all were “enthusiast” Toyotas that brought together superb engineering, balance, power, and handling to create a driver-oriented machine. While Toyota today may be known for reliable, well engineered cars, they are often looked at as appliances designed to go from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. After the company came under fire in the past years, CEO Akio Toyoda proclaimed he wanted to bring back the sport that Toyota was once known for.
The process arguably began with the Lexus LFA, although it was in development for nine years. Even though it may be a halo car, it does show the engineering capabilities and driver oriented excitement that Toyota can produce. But, in order to truly bring back the sporty spirit, a more affordable car needed to be made. Enter the Scion FR-S.
After a great deal of speculation and waiting, Toyota has finally unveiled the production concept for the FR-S at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. What began as a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota dubbed the “FT-86” has resulted in a sporty rear-wheel drive concept designed for maximum driver involvement, excitement, and fun for the Scion brand. Introducing the FR-S as a Scion has led to some controversy though. Some enthusiasts would like to see the concept wear the Toyota badge because of the stigma that Scion brand may carry. However, from a business standpoint the move makes sense. For 16 months, Scion sales have dropped, leading to speculation that the brand may be headed to the junkyard. But, with so many enthusiasts longing for the reintroduction of a driver’s Toyota, badging the FR-S as a Scion could essentially save the brand by bringing a desperately needed sales boost.
The new concept car wears a different name than the original Toyota FT-86. Named the FR-S, it means “Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport.” The idea and concept for the original car was the legendary AE86-generation Toyota Corolla. Like the AE86, the new FR-S will be lightweight, rear-wheel drive, front-engined, and have superb handling. A new 2.0-liter flat-four will power the FR-S and be mated to either a six-speed short-throw manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, sending power to the rear wheels via limited-slip differential. The new engine will use Toyota’s D4-S injection system to boost power through the entire powerband by incorporating both port and direct injection.
“Scion is always experimenting with new things,” said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. “The brand is iconic with the xB, adrenalized by the tC, and groundbreaking with the iQ. The FR-S will expand the brand into yet another new dimension that I know it is truly destined for. Akio Toyoda has mentioned that he is going to bring the fun-to-drive spirit back to Toyota. I know that the Scion FR-S Concept is one of the ways that he plans to accomplish that.”
The design of the FR-S was directed towards creating a car that was sleek, quick, aggressive, and low; a true sportscar. Much of the design was inspired by the legendary Toyota 2000GT, giving the FR-S a sleek and low hood line and profile. A glimmering Code Red paint was also developed and features a combination of a candy finish and BASF-made developmental additive to make the rich color. The front fascia is intimidating with sharp LED headlights, large air inlets and muscular shoulders.
The bold looks continue to the rear where angular LED taillights mesh perfectly with the sculpted appearance. In the center of the trunk is an illuminated Scion logo, while lower bumper treatments merge with the tailpipes and create an aerodynamic tail.
Inside of the muscular wheel wells are large 20-inch Five Axis monoblock wheels. Measuring 20 x 8.5 at the front and 20 x 10.5 at the rear, the seven-double spoke wheels create the perfect staggered stance. Hidden behind the monoblock wheels are four-piston front calipers grabbing a hold of motorcycle-style 18-inch carbon ceramic matrix rotors.
The word on pricing and complete specifications for the Scion FR-S Concept still has not been released by Toyota or Scion to the public. We’ll be sure to keep all of you enthusiasts updated when they are FINALLY unveiled.
Scion FR-S Concept Specifications
Number of Cylinders: Flat (Boxer)-four
Type: Six-speed short-throw manual or Six-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Wheels and Brakes:
Type: Five Axis monoblock
Front Wheels: 8.5 x 20
Rear Wheels: 10.5 x 20
Front Brakes: Four-piston calipers with 18-inch carbon ceramic matrix fitted in motorcycle fashion
Length: 168.2 inches
Width: 71.5 inches
Height: 47.4 inches
Front Track: 61.8 inches
Rear Track: 59.9 inches
Wheelbase: 101.2 inches
Scion FR-S Concept Video
Scion FR-S Concept Gallery
Should the FR-S be sold as a Toyota or Scion? Leave a comment and let us know!