Scion tC has been the annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Racecar ever since 2005, but things have changed for the 2013 model year. Toyota has decided to switch from the usual tC to the newer and more capable FR-S . The model has been specially designed to celebrate the 37th anniversary of one of America’s most entertaining motorsports events.
The standard Scion FR-S delivers a total of 200 horsepower, which isn’t too shabby. In the race version, however, the 2.0-liter boxer engine has been tricked to deliver a total of 210 horsepower. Along with the 10 extra horsepower, this race-ready FR-S has been equipped with numerous other enhancements from Toyota Racing Devel opment (TRD): stainless-steel exhaust, coil-over shocks and springs, big-brake kit with Hawk Performance brake pads, performance air intake and a set of 18-inch wheels.
In order to deliver the maximum performance while on the race track, TRD also installed a Centerforce single-disc racing clutch, front MacPherson struts and rear double wishbone suspension. The extra ponies shouldn’t do too much in terms of enhancing its performance, but the updated clutch should drop a tenth of a second off of its base 0-to-60 time, and the new braking and suspension components should help it in the twist.
Toyota didn’t offer any specifics on what’s inside the cockpit, but the images tell us all we really need to know. We can see that the front seats remain from the base model, but the rear seat backs are gone, a roll cage was installed and a set of red Simpson racing harnesses keep the driver and passenger save.
Toyota Motorsports and Scion announced today that the Scion FR-S sports coupe will be the official vehicle of the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. This first Pro/Celebrity race-ready vehicle is making its debut here at the Chicago Auto Show.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will take place April 20 and mark the 37th anniversary of the charity event held annually as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. It also marks the first time in 27years that a rear-wheel drive sports car will serve as the designated race car.
"The transformation of the FR-S into a race vehicle is a dream come true for many die-hard FR-S fans, and we wanted to share the journey with consumers at the Chicago Auto Show," said Doug Murtha, Scion vice president. “Scion vehicles have been driven in the Pro/Celebrity race vehicle since 2005, and we can’t wait to see the rear-wheel drive FR-S race around the historic street course.”
The race-ready, identically-prepared FR-S cars will produce 210 horsepower, equipped with performance enhancements that include a range of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) products such as: stainless-steel exhaust, coil-over shocks and springs, big brake kit featuring Hawk Performance brake pads, performance air intake and 18 inch wheels. Other custom equipment includes a Centerforce single disc racing clutch, front MacPherson struts and a rear double wishbone suspension.
A build video shows the transformation of the FR-S into a race vehicle and highlights the painstaking process and level of detail that goes into each of the 25 race vehicles created for the event.
“The newly designed Scion FR-S sports coupes are being prepared to debut in time for the 37th anniversary of one of America’s most entertaining motorsports events,” said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. “Our participants should find it easy to celebrate this year’s race theme – Revved Up to Race – sitting behind the wheel of a race-ready Scion FR-S. The drivers will compete for a chance to earn yearlong bragging rights and acknowledge charitable donations made on their behalf.“
Launched in the summer of 2012 to rave reviews, the Scion FR-S has earned a cult following and significant accolades including being named Best of 2013 by Cars.com, earning a spot on Car and Driver’s 10 Best List for 2013 and winning the first-ever Car of the Year Award from AutoGuide.com.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race has evolved into one of the longest-running corporate-sponsored events of its kind, pitting celebrities from music, sports and film against professional race drivers. The event benefits “Racing for Kids,” a nonprofit, national fundraising program that supports children’s hospitals throughout the United States.
Since 1977, Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race participants have included many Hollywood elites such as Keanu Reeves, Ashley Judd, Adrien Brody, Cameron Diaz, George Lucas, Queen Latifah and Jay Leno. Outside the red carpet, participants include former astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, NFL star John Elway, NBA All-Star Karl Malone, X Games Champion Tony Hawk, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton and twelve-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres.
Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization since 1991 on behalf of the Pro/Celebrity race and its participants. In addition to Toyota’s annual contributions, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 16th annual “People Pole Award.” Sponsored by People magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on April 19.