The Scion FR-S has been in the news a lot lately. Recently, the Japanese sports coupe became the subject of an aerodynamic design build contest hosted by US-based tuner Stillen encouraging designers to come up with their unique body kits for FR-S.
Looks like Stillen’s not the only who’s about to do work on the FR-S. Our friends over at Fox Marketing also announced that they’re building a new FR-S project car and they’re bringing the entire gang along with them.
While Fox Marketing will collaborate with Yonaka Motorsports in overseeing the entire project, they’re enlisting a couple of their tuner buddies to take care of specific parts of the build, including BASF Refinish, which will be in charge of providing new clothes for the sports car. Meanwhile, WP Pro Brakes will be in charge of, well, the brakes, while Forgestar will be supplying the wheels. Other tuners that will be involved in the project include APR Performance, Takata Racing, and Toyo Tires.
The entire build will take place in Canada and while our only vestige of evidence is this rendering, we’re looking forward to seeing how the entire project plays out.
US tuner Stillen has come up with a new way to produce aftermarket programs; they want you to actually design the programs for them.
The idea isn’t entirely new because we’ve seen other tuners go down this road before, but Stillen is upping the ante by letting its readers design aerodynamic kits for the Scion FR-S. Design submissions will be accepted through August 14, 2012 and can be sent to email@example.com. All you have to do is download Stillen’s templates, design the front lip, side skirts, and rear valance (no full bumpers allowed). The design material is limited to only urethane; no carbon fiber, folks. Likewise, submissions must either be hand-drawn or digital.
The tuning company will then select the top five designs and post them on their Facebook page where fans will get a chance to vote through a poll. The winning submission, which will be announced on August 20th, will have their design built by Stillen and will also receive a two-night stay in Las Vegas and be part of SEMA 2012 where their design will be revealed for the first time.
So if you’re a young and ambitious designer, here’s your chance to make a name for yourself in the industry.
Scion has announced the special edition tC Release Series 8.0 (tC RS 8.0) - a model which will be on display in the Scion pit area at the next round of Formula DRIFT in Monroe, Washington on July 22-23, 2012. There will only be 2,000 units built, with prices going from $21,815 for the models equipped with a six-speed manual up to $22,865 for the models equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Scion tC Release Series 8.0 will be painted exclusively in Absolutely Red combined with contrasting black on the side view mirrors and on the 18" alloy wheels. Next to this paint scheme, the tC RS 8.0 will also receive an exterior kit inspired by Troy Sumitomo of Five Axis: front and rear lower valences, side skirts, and a rear spoiler.
For the interior, the Scion tC will get sporty seats wrapped in texturized black fabric with red stitching, a leather wrapped steering wheel, and an individually numbered badge commemorating the unique model.
Scion is also offering a series of performance parts from Toyota Racing Development (TRD), including lowering springs and an exhaust system that is integrated into the center of the rear lower valence.
Polyphony Digital has announced the addition of two new packs for their Gran Turismo 5 sim racing video game: the ’Twin Ring Motegi Pack’ and ’Scion FR-S ’12’ DLC. The best part of this announcement is that the FR-S will be available as a free download, in hopes of bumping up the amount of downloads taking place.
The new Twin Ring Motegi Pack, however, does not come free of charge, but includes the Twin Ring Motegi ’Road Course,’ the ’Super Speedway,’ the ’East Course,’ and the ’West Course’. For only $5, gamers will be able to try out the famous racetrack in Japan with its large variety of layouts.
The ’Scion FR-S ’12’ DLC is FREE and adds the new Scion FR-S to the gamer’s own garage. As a reminder, the model is powered by a 2.0-liter front boxer engine that delivers a total of 200 horsepower and 151 lb/ft of torque. The engine can then be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. On the US market, the FR-S is priced from $24,930.
Finally, the review we all have been waiting for! In the latest episode of "Jay Leno’s Garage," Leno was able to get behind the wheel of the brand new Scion FR-S and was kind enough to share his opinions with us! Leno wasn’t alone, of course. Scion also sent over their vice president and general manager, Jack Hollis, to answer a series of questions about the FR-S.
As a reminder, the Scion FR-S is powered by a 2.0-liter front boxer engine that can also be found on the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ. The engine delivers a total of 200 HP and 151 lb/ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. What’s unique about this new powertrain is that it carries Toyota’s new D-4S injection system, a technology that results in direct injection combined with port injection. With separate twin injectors for both direct and port injection, and a high compression ratio of 12.5:1, the D-4S system can increase the power and torque bands of the FR-S over a wide range of engine speeds, all without having to sacrifice the sports coupe’s fuel efficiency numbers.
The Scion FR-S is now on sale and is priced from $24,930.
For many people, the term “limited-slip differential,” or LSD, just means more grippy stuff and that’s that. However, there is actually a little science and physics behind understanding precisely what it does and how it does it. Toyota has done the less mechanically inclined auto buff the service of creating a video that gives the basic outline of what a limited-slip differential is and how it increases traction.
While the video is extremely simple and doesn’t really get into the inside of the LSD’s pumpkin to tell you precisely how it transfers power, it is still informative. Essentially, the Torsen LSD in the 2013 ScionFR-S senses when one wheel is spinning faster than the other (A.K.A. slipping) and transfers more power toward the opposite wheel. The Torsen system is unique in the fact that it can actually increase the power going to one wheel four times, if needed.
An LSD is good for two things. The most commonly understood benefit is in low traction situations, like snow, ice, and rain. When one wheel starts slipping, the LSD cuts power from the slipping wheel and transfers it to the one with the most traction, which is exactly the opposite of a posi-traction rear end. The Torson LSD also helps in handling, believe it or not, as when you take a corner at a high rate of speed, the inside wheel tends to lose traction and it also moves slower. The Torsen LSD transfers as much power as needed to the outside wheel, pushing the FR-S through the turn in a stable manner. This is all achieved through the binding and releasing of two gears placed about each side gear in the LSD.
For a clearer understanding, you can check out the above video.
Inventory turns are the bane of a car dealership sales manager’s existence, as the general manager will ride the sales manager like a rented mule if a unit stays on the lot past 30 days. In reality, the average car sits on a dealership’s lot for a little over 50 days – that’s a lot of gripe sessions from the GM. According to a report from Edmunds, via our pals at Auto Blog, the sales managers at Subaru and Scion dealerships can breathe easy every time a shipment of new BRZ or FR-S models comes rolling in on the back of a transporter.
Why would these managers be so happy to see a truckload full of these new sports cars? Well, because the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are No. 1 and 2 on the fastest selling vehicle list, respectively. There is barely enough time for the driver to unload the cars and for the service team to perform a safety check and get it detailed before a deal is being worked and the car is being driven off of the lot. Yup, the BRZ lasts a whopping four days in the dealership before turning into a sale and the FR-S lasts only five days.
This is all well and good, but another issue is starting to rear its head, and that is the fact that there just are not enough BRZ and FR-S models to go around. Toyota will only make about 10,000 FR-S models and Subaru is planning only 6,000 units, which at the current pace will be completely sold out well before the end of the model year.
We are willing to bet that neither Subaru nor Toyota will leave any money on the table, so we anticipate seeing production numbers ramped up in the coming months, if sales keep going the way they are. If Mazda is willing to increase the number of special edition RX-8s it is producing to keep up with demand, Subaru and Toyota likely will too.
Oh boy… It seems like the FR-S and BRZ just hit dealerships – oh wait they did – and already they are showing up on the recall list. So, does this spell disaster for the Sciobaru twins, or is this just a rocky start to something special, a la the Ford Escort? Well, actually the recall has absolutely nothing to deal with the overall build of the vehicle, but rather a strange safety requirement by the NHTSA.
This recall is still hot off of the press, as it just hit the NHTSA’s site on June 8 at 2:49 a.m. – ah, someone couldn’t sleep – but there is still enough info to pass along. It looks like there was just a small bit of information left out of the owner’s manual regarding how the airbag system works. You know, one of the many sections of the owner’s manual that the average owner just bypasses.
From the reports we are reading, the missing information is almost unnoticeable. As described by Subaru officials, the missing information in question is that the manual not making a distinguished difference between a child and a small female when it is describing the way the BRZ and FR-S weigh its passengers for airbag deployment.
Per the NHTSA, this recall only affects a small number of the first FR-S and BRZ models to leave the production line. It is estimated that roughly 1,156 Scion FR-S models are in need of replacement owner’s manuals, but the number of BRZs needing replacement manuals is undisclosed yet, though some outlets are reporting 1,600 BRZs.
Fortunately, this recall is just something small and not a safety issue, which could be catastrophic for a new car in the market.
Our friends over at Autocar are reporting a nice tidbit of tech news on the new Toyota GT 86. According to GT 86 project engineer, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota is working on a black-box system for the GT 86 that will monitor all of the car’s main functions (i.e. braking, accelerating, stability, acceleration, speed, etc.).
In short, the black-box system is nothing new, but what Toyota plans to do with it is. Engineers are working on installing software on the black box that is compatible with the PlayStation 3. At the same time, Toyota is hard at work mapping out all of the major tracks and raceways around the world and uploading them into the black box. All the driver has to do is take the GT 86 to a mapped track on the black box and drive the hell out of his car.
Once the driver has finished his track day, just hook up the black box to a PlayStation 3 and upload the data. After all of the data is uploaded, the driver can compare his data from the track with other GT 86 drivers that have run on the same track, making for some friendly racing, without the risks of swapping paint. This system will also provide pointers for performing better at the track and maximizing the GT 86’s potential.
Seems like a pretty cool idea on paper, but the issue becomes the fact that some street racers may find a way to upload public streets, then you have GT 86 drivers driving like maniacs on busy roads trying to beat their buddy’s time around the block. We hope that the engineers find a way to block this possibility prior to releasing it, if it ever becomes a reality.
For those that snag up GT 86s before this system debuts can easily retro-fit it onto older GT 86 models.
A few weeks ago, we let you in on the conversation that Car and Driver had with executives from Subaru and Toyota about the possibility of a turbocharger on the BRZ, GT 86, and FR-S. It was a flat out “No” on the FR-S and an “Eh, maybe, but not now” on the BRZ and GT 86. Well, first off we think that’s a load of corporate horse manure, as Subaru and Toyota would be out of their engine control modules not to force at least 8 psi into that new jointly built 2.0-liter engine.
Apparently, Subaru is taking a nibble of the bait that us turbo junkies are tossing in the water, as it has just completed development on a turbocharged version of the FA20 engine used in the BRZ, GT 86, and FR-S family. This engine is not an identical twin to the FA20, so don’t go getting your hopes up yet, but it is its fraternal twin at least. The only real difference is that Subaru scrapped the Toyota fuel injection system in favor of its own direct-injection system.
So what kind of power are we talking about? We are hearing that it cranks out a whopping 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque! Now for the bad news… As of now, this engine is only slated to be dropped into the JDM-spec Legacy. To make things worse, Subaru is linking this awesome engine to a CVT. What a gigantic waste.
Don’t go getting all sad on us now, this is a good start that Subaru is willing to slap some boost on this puppy and get nearly 300 ponies and 300 twisting power. Now just imagine that in a BRZ…
So we will reiterate what we said before. Regardless of what smoke and mirrors Subaru and Toyota throw up there, we will see boost in at least the BRZ and GT 86, and we would be willing to bet a penny that we see the FR-S whistling down the road one day too.