One of the most eagerly anticipated events at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, at least in our book, is the presentation of the three cars competing in Scion’s annual Tuner Challenge. This year, the Toyota-owned automaker decided to give three of the country’s best builders a chance to create their own custom FR-S in time for SEMA.

The three - John Toca from Chicago, Illinois, Daniel Song from Orange County, California, and Chris Basselgia from Lebanon, Pennsylvania - were each given a stock FR-S model to work with. On top of that, they were allocated a budget of $15,000 and three months to finish their project.

Needless to say, with SEMA less than two weeks away, we expect all three custom FR-S models to be on the last stages of their development before heading over to Las Vegas. We’re pretty excited to see what these three talented builders did with their respective FR-S models.

But before we get a chance to look at each one of them, we’ll have to settle for this teaser video that Scion presented of the FR-S Tuner Challenge 2012.


Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (346) posted on 10.21.2012

wow gabe, thanks for the info. that’s right in my budget. i guess i’ll get the manual one. after all, this is a sports car. and i don’t like flappy paddle gear boxes. they’re terrible in the town.

  (397) posted on 10.21.2012

marry, this car should be around 25.000$ with a manual gearbox and 26.000$ with automatic.

  (349) posted on 10.21.2012

i think this car is better for girls than it is for boys. i mean, 200HP is not that much for them. but it is more then enough for a lady in a hurry!

  (397) posted on 10.21.2012

i love how this contest is thought: give all the teams the same car and the same budget. that’s how it should be!

  (346) posted on 10.21.2012

how much is this car going to cost in the U.S.? i like it and i also have to buy a new car, so who knows, maybe i’ll get one of these.

  (377) posted on 10.21.2012

as a girl, i find this car quite appealing. it has nice rounded lines and 2 doors.

  (305) posted on 10.21.2012

why don’t get is why make the same car under 3 brands. you buy a car, not a brand!

  (312) posted on 10.21.2012

i will never understand export policies. why won’t toyota and subaru ship in their cars??

  (302) posted on 10.21.2012

competition is what makes us go better. this case will be a good example of that!

  (305) posted on 10.21.2012

the grapes are sour when you can’t get them! this is what we are saying now about the two other cars, the toyota and the subaru, just because we don’t have them here.

  (422) posted on 10.21.2012

even though the top scion version may not have 300 HP like it’s foreign siblings, i am sure after market tuners will make sure of that!

  (452) posted on 10.21.2012

SEMA takes the best out of all tuners. this will be a good challenge for all three tuners!

  (475) posted on 10.21.2012

out of the three: the scion, the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ, i’d have one of the last two. but then again, they don’t come to U.S. so that is kind of a problem.

  (509) posted on 10.21.2012

i like the fact that they chose the scion. maybe because it’s the only one available on american soil!

  (542) posted on 10.21.2012

that’s the way to compare 3 tuners: same car and same budget. then we’ll see how good they are.

  (516) posted on 10.21.2012

a very good idea. i love the fact that they have the same car and the same budget!

Car Finder: