Jay Leno Reviews Speedhunters Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S: Video
Back in November, I covered each of the competitors in the Scion Racing Tuner Challenge, which is an annual build-off between three automotive media outlets to create the “ultimate Scion” in the 90-day run-up to SEMA. Each participant was allowed a $15,000 budget and free reign in terms of modifications. Taking the win was this old-school throwback from Speedhunters, which beat out both Super Street and GT Channel for the $10,000 grand prize. The “86” racer recently made an appearance on Jay Leno’s Garage, giving us a close-up look at just how much work went into its creation, not to mention a quick blast around LA with Leno at the helm.
The video begins with some of the technical bits that make this Scion so special, including the wide-body kit and custom wheels. Speedhunters also decided to pay homage to the IMSA era of U.S. GT racing, with a white, red, orange and yellow livery. The “86” you see plastered all over the body panels alludes to the car’s forerunners, including the legendary Toyota AE86 Hachi-Roku sport compact.
The FR-S’sublime handling characteristics are beefed up with stiff RS*R Black-i coilovers, plus a few extra complementary components to give it that true race car feeling in the bends. But the best bit lies under the louvered hood, where Speedhunters installed a Cosworth supercharger kit that pushes the powerplant to produce roughly 300 horsepower at the wheels.
In true car-guy fashion, Leno has his fun on the freeway and through the canyons, praising the car’s extra power. At the very least, you gotta hit play to hear that tuned flat-four sing.
Continue reading to learn more about the Speedhunters FR-S.
Unlike the Super Street and GT Channel entrants, the Speedhunters Scion FR-S makes no claims to civility. The interior is stripped, a rollcage was installed, and the exhaust is loud enough to get attention from cops in the next county. However, it’s the commitment to a theme that probably gave it the win – while all three cars came neatly polished and bristling with expensive go-faster parts, it was the way in which the little details on the Speedhunters car that really set it apart, from the custom racing helmet to the glass retainer clips on the rear window.
Read our full review here.