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

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.

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2013 Scion FR-S "Carbon Stealth" by John Toca

2013 Scion FR-S "Carbon Stealth" by John Toca

Just recently, we announced that Scion was planning a friendly little competition for the 2012 SEMA Show. In this contest, Scion handed each of three tuners a 2013 Scion FR-S base model and a $15,000 budget. The task at hand: to build the most awesome FR-S inside of the $15K budget. For their work, Scion will hand over a $10,000 grand prize.

The unfortunate reality of this contest is that, like most SEMA cars, these three FR-S’ will likely be stripped and crushed just after the show, but we get to enjoy them for just a short amount of time. Scion has decided to let us in on the main specs of the three cars as we close in on the opening of SEMA, and one of these models is the “Carbon Stealth” FR-S by John Toca.

Scion’s release on this car indicates that John built this car to give you the practicality and enjoyment desired from a daily driver, but the ability to toss it around a track at the drop of a hat. So, is this custom-built Scion FR-S really up to snuff?

Click past the jump to find out.

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Toyota Explains The Scion FR-S's Limited-Slip Differential

Toyota Explains The Scion FR-S’s Limited-Slip Differential

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 Scion FR-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.

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Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are the Fastest Selling Cars in the U.S.

Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are the Fastest Selling Cars in the U.S.

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.

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Subaru Building an FA20 Engine with a Turbocharger; is it for the BRZ?

Subaru Building an FA20 Engine with a Turbocharger; is it for the BRZ?

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.

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Possible Turbo for the BRZ, but No Love for the Scion

Possible Turbo for the BRZ, but No Love for the Scion

Ever since the Toyota-Subaru joint venture that netted three different models – Subaru BRZ, Toyota GT 86, and Scion FR-S – there have been speculations, rumors, and whispers of potential forced induction for these triplets. Recently an unnamed “source” informed our colleagues over at Car and Driver that “for the time being” the BRZ and FR-S will remain naturally aspirated and pumping out 200 horsepower.

The report went on to say that a turbocharged BRZ is a possibility in the future, but there is no way the FR-S will ever receive forced induction. The source also mentioned that the GT 86 could potentially get some added PSI into the intake. The reason being, according to this “source,” is because the Scion is considered an entry-level sports car and a turbocharger would push its $24,930 base price to near $30,000. At that price, most Scion buyers may start dreaming of a BMW 1-series or something a little more upscale. The Subaru and Toyota, on the other hand, cater to higher-end customers.

Being the car buffs that we are and lovers of a little forced air, this is a depressing thing to hear. It also slightly confuses us a little, as we don’t quite see how adding a turbocharger can pump the base price up $6,000. Even if it did approach those higher cars, like the 1-Series, a boosted FR-S would certainly pump out more power than the base 1-Series and is definitely a more fun car to drive.

So here’s to hoping that the three automakers come together and find a way to make a turbocharged version of all three models. A boosted model would likely have a massive impact on Scion’s popularity too. Heck, it may even get that nasty taste out of people’s mouths that the xB and xD models left behind.

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Video: 2013 Scion FR-S Hits the Dyno

Video: 2013 Scion FR-S Hits the Dyno

The Toyota GT 86, Scion FR-S, and Subaru BRZ are inching closer to getting a release date, and the lucky dogs over at Edmunds managed to get their hands on an FR-S a little early. Being the true car buffs that they are, what’s the first thing they did with it? They threw it on the dyno, of course!

You may be alarmed wondering why they are dyno testing a car that we all know produces 200 horsepower. Well, that’s not always the case. See, 99.9 percent of the time, automakers release horsepower numbers based off of the engine’s power, not the entire car. On average, you can expect to lose 10 to 20 percent of the horsepower through the driveline – transmission, driveshaft, and differential.

So what was Edmunds’ final determination of its horsepower? It was nothing short of impressively consistent. It repeatedly produced 173 horsepower at roughly 7,000 rpm and 143 pound-feet of torque at about 2,800 rpm. Not only were the peaks identical, but the horsepower and torque curves were nearly identical on every run.

To have that kind of consistency in a car is a testament to just how much engineering went into it. This also proves that the 2.0-liter flat-four that Subaru and Toyota collaborated on is truly a work of art to crank out 173 wheel horsepower. There are not too many sub-$30K four-bangers hitting that kind of horsepower consistently without the use of some forced air.

There is one very odd thing in this engine that again shows how much engineering went into it. At about 4,000 rpm you will see a 14-percent drop in torque, which the Subaru and Toyota engineers intentionally did to allow greater torque on the lower rpm range. Our collective hats go off to the team of engineers that developed this car. Now, can we just get a hold of a turbocharged model, please?

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2010 Scion tC with 1,100-hp by Team NFS and Rado

2010 Scion tC with 1,100-hp by Team NFS and Rado

If you believed you had to drive a Bugatti Veyron to enjoy an engine power of more than 1000 HP, you were wrong! A Scion tC with a few updates can take you for that same kind of ride, minus some luxury. It may have taken a lot of updates, but this Scion tC comes with a total output of 1100 HP.

The car was developed and custom built by Chris Rado and his racing team. It just made its debut last weekend at Road Atlanta and will be competing in the Time Attack series. This series won’t be anything new for the Scion considering Rado also suped up a tC for last year’s Time Attack series. The 1,100 tC will also be featured in the next Need for Speed.

This Scion tC was inspired by racing cars from the 60s and early 70s which saw the fastest race cars on the planet governed by next-to-no rules. This car has been a few years in the making. Rado really wanted a machine to take on the world’s fastest time attack cars, so an all new AWD Scion project would be needed.

Expect to see this beast in lots of 2011 competitions.

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Rockstar Scion TC Drift car

Rockstar Scion TC Drift car

How do you get a Scion TC to drift? Put a TRD spec NASCAR V8 in the hands of record setting drag racer Steph Papadakis and place Formula D Champion Tanner Foust behind the wheel. This combination of Papadakis as team owner and Foust as driver will be competing in the 2009 Formula D series.

More video after the jump.

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