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2013 Scion FR-S "minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia

The second entry in Scion’s FR-S tuner competition, which competitors have $15K to build the most bad-ass FR-S for a change to win $10K, is Chris Basselgia’s entrant “minty FReSh” – you see what he did there? This custom FR-S creation, much like the “Carbon Stealth” before it, takes a much calmer approach to tuning.

Much like his competitor, John Toca , Basselgia left off all of the gaudy bodywork and focused mainly on a clean design. That’s not to say that his “minty FReSh” concept is free of any additions to the body, he was simply more careful and calculated with where he placed them. This ultimately brings the focus to the performance interior styling and sound system in the “minty Fresh” FR-S.

So, is Chris’ “minty Fresh” Scion FR-S up to the challenge of beating out its other two competitors and taking home the top prize of $10K?

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.

Exterior

Scion FR-S "minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia

Basselgia started off his project by installing a “Lipster” lip kit on the front end, which Juevos designed and Rmiller Autobody executed to perfection. This kit focuses more on a smooth front end than anything else, and features yellow front turn signals and marker lights on the outer edges. It is complemented by a shaved center grille, so things are nice and slick up front. As you come up the factory hood, you’ll find something missing. That’s right; the windshield wipers were deleted and replaced by a smoothed rain tray.

As you travel down the side of this sleek FR-S, you’ll find a set of body-colored APR race mirrors that sit atop thin pedestals. The antenna was shaved from the body in an attempt to enhance its overall smooth look.

Around the back end, you get an Rmiller Autobody diffusor at the bottom to help effectively channel air flow and maximize downforce. In the center of this diffusor, you have a metal insert with two exhaust exits in the center, which gives the FR-S’ relatively simple hind quarters a more aggressive look.

To slightly darken the look of this otherwise bright FR-S are tinted headlights and taillights. Also adding to its dark side are Rotiform Super Concave 3-Piece SNA wheels draped in BASF R-M Onyx matte Root Beer finish with a polished lip, measuring in at 19-by-9.5 inches up front and 19-by-10 inches in the rear.

Less the rims, the entire car features a coat of BASF R-M Onyx HD Fresh Mint waterborne paint. This is definitely a color that stands out in a crowd, making “minty FReSh” much more noticeable than its two competitors.

Exterior Add Ons:

  • BASF R-M Onyx HD Fresh Mint waterborne paint
  • BASF R-M Onyx HD Matte Root Beer waterborne paint
  • Custom “lipster” lip kit – Juevos Designed/Rmiller Produced
  • Rmiller Autobody molded duck bill spoiler
  • Rmiller Autobody rear diffuser w/ center exit exhaust
  • IAG Performance diffuser exhaust trim
  • Wiper delete and smoothed rain tray
  • Shaved antenna
  • Mild smoothed engine bay
  • Shaved center grille
  • Rmiller Autobody side brake vents with lateral slates
  • APR race mirrors
  • Smoked headlights
  • Red tinted brake lights
  • Yellow front turn signals and marker lights
  • Vinyl partner graphics by Advert Graphix
  • Rotiform Super Concave 3-Piece SNA wheels 19x9.5” – Front
  • Rotiform Super Concave 3-Piece SNA wheels 19x10” – Rear

Interior

Much like with the other competitors in the FR-S tuner challenge, Scion has yet to release any interior images. It has, however, given us a laundry list of upgrades that this “minty FReSh” FR-S does have. The interior has been re-trimmed in “distressed leather” – you know, like the distressed blue jeans that are halfway worn out when you buy them – and black ostrich leather. Also trimmed in distressed leather are the floor mats.

The driver’s interface with the FR-S is changed up, as Basselgia installed an IAG titanium shifter knob and a Nardi classic 360 mm (14.17-inch) wood grain wheel with chrome spokes. The steering wheel is held in place by an NR-G quick-release hub, so removing the wheel is quick and easy. Behind the steering wheel lay Stewart Warner boost, EGT, and volt gauges, so the driver can keep tabs on what is going on under the hood.

Adding a little extra flair are minor upgrades, like arm pads for the rear passengers and a custom rear-panel speaker grille.

The visual upgrades on the interior sound great, but what really completes this package are the audio upgrades that Basselgia installed. He installed a Sony XAV-6018T double-DIN head unit in the dashboard and strapped a pair of JL Audio amps to it – an HD750/1 and HD600/4. These amplifiers have the responsibility of driving a pair of HJL Audio 10-W7 subwoofers and four JL Audio 6-W3 mid-range woofers. Helping keep enough juice around to drive this system, Chris installed an Optima yellow-top battery.

Interior Add Ons:

  • Custom leather re-trim by BK Rodz
  • Distressed leather and black ostrich leather by Roden Leather
  • Shaved rear deck
  • Arm pads added to rear panel
  • Custom rear panel speaker grille
  • IAG titanium shift knob
  • Floor mats trimmed with distressed leather
  • Stewart Warner boost, EGT, and Volt gauges
  • Nardi classic 360mm wood grain wheel with chrome spokes
  • NR-G quick release steering wheel hub

Audio Upgrades:

  • Sony XAV-601BT double DIN touch screen
  • JL Audio HD750/1 amplifier
  • JL Audio HD600/4 amplifier
  • JL Audio 10-W7 sub woofers (2)
  • JL Audio 6-W3 mid bass woofers (4)
  • JL Audio power/audio/speaker wiring and fuse blocks
  • Optima Yellow Top battery

Engine and Drivetrain

Scion FR-S "minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia

The standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine in the FR-S is adequately powered, but nothing overwhelming. Part of this contest is to also make the FR-S mechanically superior. Basselgia made use of an IAG Performance billet aluminum intake manifold with an Eaton M62 roots supercharger strapped to it.

To help keep the forced air cool, “minty FReSh” includes an IAG Performance water-to-air intercooler inside the intake manifold and a Bosch Cobra water pump forcing cool water around the intercooler. Also added in was a Frozen Boost heat exchanger and a pair of 12-inch electric fans to extract heat from the exchanger as the forced air flows through it.

With the additional cooling needs, Basselgia added in an IAH water tank and overflow bottle. Also from IAG is a polished intake system and mass airflow housing, which allow more air to get to the supercharger.

IAG Performance T304 stainless steel exhaust routes the gasses from the combustion chamber and out of the 3.5-inch dual tips on the back end.

Scion does not list the horsepower for the “minty FReSh” FR-S, but we have our own estimates. We estimate this setup to produce somewhere in the 275-horsepower and 260-pound-feet range, but that is all dependent on how much boost the supercharger is pushing out. The torque curve will shoot up at an earlier engine speed, likely into the M62’s sweet spot (4,500 to 6,000 rpm, depending on the pulley ratio). Torque and horsepower will drop off sharply near the top of the rpm range, as the drag on the engine to drive the supercharger starts to negate the power gains.

The addition of multiple cooling stages allows Basselgia to keep the boost lower and still get good horsepower gains, but unfortunately, the physics of running a supercharger eventually take over.

Hooking up to the now-supercharged 2.0-liter engine is the standard 6-speed manual transmission that fires the power back to the rear wheels. We would love to see at least a clutch or flywheel upgrade here, but those were left out in favor of style and the almighty horsepower number.

Driveline Specifications:

Engine2.0-liter, 4-Cylinder W/ CNC Intake Manifold, Supercharger, Water-to-Air Intercooler and Heat Exchangers
Transmission6-Speed Manual
DriveRear-Wheel Drive
Horsepower))TBD (TopSpeed Est. 275 Horsepower)
TorqueTBD (TopSpeed Est. 260 Pound-Feet)
Acceleration (0-60 mph)TBD (TopSpeed Est. 6.3 Seconds)

Driveline Add Ons:

  • IAG Performance billet CNC intake manifold
  • Eaton M62 roots supercharger
  • IAG Performance water to air inter cooler inside billet manifold
  • Bosch Cobra water pump for intercooler
  • Frozen boost heat exchanger
  • Frozen boost 12” 900CFM electric fans (2)
  • IAG Performance T304 stainless steel exhaust system, 3.5” dual oval exit
  • IAG Performance polished water tank
  • IAG Performance polished coolant overflow tank
  • IAG Performance polished intake system and MAF housing
  • Green filter

Suspension and Braking

One area that no one ever questions the FR-S in is its ability to handle twisting roads. You can tell by the lack of modifications to the FR-S’ stock suspension setup that Basselgia realized that and only did minimal work in that area.

He added in a set of Airlift FR-S double bellow air struts controlled by an Airlift Auto Pilot V2 digital control system with 4-corner control. A 5-gallon tank assures there is always extra air in reserve and a Vivar compressor creates more pressurized air, as needed.

Scion FR-S "minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia

Keeping the FR-S glued to the track is a set of 225/35ZR19 Falken FK453 tires wrapped around the Rotiform Super Concave wheels. We have nothing against Falken tires, but in this build, we wouldn’t expect to see someone use a “discount” brand of tire. Granted, the FK-453 is a high-end tire, featuring a Z speed rating, a 300 tread wear rating and a AA temperature rating, but we find it odd.

Scion FR-S "minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia

At the corners, ”minty FReSh” features a Neo Motorsports brake upgrade. Up front, this includes 12-inch C-Slot race rotors and 6-piston caliper painted in a neo-chrome finish. On the rear, you get 13-inch, C-slotted race rotors with 4-pot calipers. Delivering the brake fluid to the calipers are Neo Motorsport braided stainless steel lines.

Suspension Upgrades:

  • Airlift FR-S double bellow air struts
  • Airlift Auto Pilot V2 digital control system with 4 corner control
  • 5-Gallon air tank
  • Vivar compressor
  • Falken FK453 tires - 225/35ZR/19

Brake Upgrades:

  • Neo Motorsports 6-Piston calipers w/ neo chrome finish – Front
  • Neo Motorsports 4-Piston calipers w/ neo chrome finish – Rear
  • Neo Motorsports 14” C-Slot race rotors – Front
  • Neo Motorsports 13” C-Slot race rotors – Rear
  • Neo Motorsports braided stainless brake lines

Conclusion

Scion FR-S "minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia

We should be hearing more about the “minty FReSh” FR-S any time now, as we quickly approach SEMA’s opening. We’re hoping that some emphasis is placed on the performance of the car and not just its stereo system and looks. We’ll update you with all of the official specifications when, and if, Scion releases them.

LOVE IT
  • Great choice of colors
  • Nice subtle additions to the body
  • Awesome cooling system for the supercharger
LEAVE IT
  • Have to wait for SEMA for the official specs
  • Not many interior upgrades
  • Falken tires are questionable


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