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2013 - 2015 Scion FR-S

2013 - 2015 Scion FR-S

For all of the press and hype surrounding the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ, not a lot of people know or have given love to the third model of the bunch, the Scion FR-S.

All that’s about to change because the Scion FR-S has arrived. For those that have shed rivers of tears when they found out that neither the GT 86 nor the BRZ were headed Stateside, news that the FR-S will arrive in America is tantamount to a post Thanksgiving blessing.

Now, we’ve actually seen a concept version of the FR-S - called the FR-S Concept - at the New York Auto Show, so it really didn’t come as a surprise to a lot of us that the sports coupe was coming to the US, but seeing the concept and seeing the production version are two different things.

It doesn’t even matter that we’re not getting the GT 86 and the BRZ. We have the FR-S, and just like a child that comes to us, we’re going to shower it with as much love as we can possibly give.

Updated 05/15/2015: Scion today announced prices and updates for the 2015 FR-S sports car set to go on sale just in time for summer. Updates for the 2015 model year include: a more rigid front suspension and re-tuning of the rear shock absorbers, larger exhaust tips and for the interior an updated panel with a carbon fiber look. The model will also get auto on/off headlights. Prices for the 2015 FR-S will start from $24,900 for the six-speed manual version and $26,000 for the six-speed automatic one.

Find out more about the Scion FR-S after the jump.

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2017 Scion tC Release Series 10.0

2017 Scion tC Release Series 10.0

Scion bids its final farewell at the New York Auto Show with a modified Scion tC

It’s only been a little over a month since we news broke that the Scion brand would be no more, and now, Scion is set to make one final appearance in the place where it debuted the first Scion model – the New York Auto Show. Scion is looking to use the show has a final farewell and will display a number of models from the last 14 years, including the 2002 BBx Concept, 2004 FiveAxis speedster xA, 2009 Kogi BBQ Truck xD, 2009 iQ Concept, 2011 FR-S concept, and the 2014 Slayer tC. That isn’t all Scion is bringing to its last Auto Show, though.

Meet the Scion tC Release Series 10.0, a model that was designed in partnership with Kei Miura. As a final farewell, this special tC is equipped with a number of performance and visual enhancements that is said to make it the best production tC ever built. Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland said, “For those enthusiasts looking for a piece of history, this is a great opportunity to own our best tC ever. With the TRD performance parts, the JDM Aero Kit and the screaming red and black color scheme, it’s a fitting tribute to Scion’s mission to build cars for younger customers.” He continued, “We have a lot of fans that are sorry to see Scion being transitioned to Toyota. But it’s the right thing to do, and we know the spirit of Scion will live on, so we are going out in style.”

Scion is a youth-oriented brand, and aside from a couple of good years, it has struggled with sales pretty hard over its lifetime. There may be fans out there, but as unfortunate as it is for the brand, there weren’t enough fans to keep it alive. With that said, let’s take a look at Scions final model and see what Scion and Kei Miura did to leave a lasting impression on the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the Scion tC Release Series 10.0.

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2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0

2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0

With a revised version of the Toyota GT 86 / Scion FR-S rumored to arrive in 2016, the Japanese coupe might finally get the more powerful drivetrain it deserves. Meanwhile, Scion has released yet another "all show and no go" version of the FR-S that gets all sorts of goodies and gadgets but the same 200-horsepower engine.

Meet the FR-S Release Series 2.0, described as "the most stylish version of the sports car ever offered."

If the name sounds familiar is because Scion has already launched a Release Series version of the FR-S. It made its official debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show with a mild aerodynamic kit, a TRD quad exhaust system, a lowered suspension, HID headlamps, and black seats with a "T" pattern. Only 1,500 units were built.

The Release Series 2.0 is pretty much the same thing, sans the TRD exhaust but with a more luxurious cabin. "The FR-S is well known for being a fabulous sports car, and now we’re taking it up a notch in the luxury arena,” said Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland. “It’s the perfect car to take from the race track during the day to the red carpet that evening.”

So, what’s it all about and how much does it cost? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0.

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2015 Scion FR-S - Driven

2015 Scion FR-S - Driven

The 2013-2015 Scion FR-S is exactly the sort of car gearheads crave. It’s a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2+2 coupe with a manual transmission and an affordable price tag. Really, there’s nothing not to love with that combination. In 2012, when the FR-S and its corporate cousin, the Subaru BRZ came to market, we were overjoyed.

Many initial opinions of the cars suggested the 200-horsepower four-cylinder was underpowered, though with only 2,758 pounds to move and 13.79 pounds for each horsepower, its weight to power ratio bests the 2014-2015 Ford Fiesta ST and 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, at 13.8 and 13.93 pounds per horsepower, respectively. You hardly hear folks complain about those two being underpowered. Heck, it even bests the 2013-2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata’s 14.85 weight to power ratio. Sure, there are other variables to how powerful a car feels, like drive ratios and transmission gearing, but these stats still speak volumes.

Arguments aside, the FR-S has the spec sheet of a purpose-built sports car. Its engine is just a few millimeters forward of being a front mid-ship design and its weight distribution is only three percent from perfectly balanced. Heavily bolstered seats, good visibility, a manual transmission and parking brake, and an appetite for revs from its 2.0-liter flat-four gives the FR-S plenty of credibility.

To put its creds to the test, I spent a week with a 2015 FR-S fitted with three pedals. This isn’t my first time in an FR-S, but my last tester came with the kill-joy automatic. Thankfully my suspicions about the manual transmission curing all my reservations with the automatic FR-S were true. This car was made to row your own.

Continue reading for the full review.

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Revised Scion FR-S Will Bring More Power

Revised Scion FR-S Will Bring More Power

Toyota is gearing up to give the Scion FR-S a mid-cycle refresh next year, and rumors have it the car will come with brand new styling updates, improved suspension components, and, much to the chagrin of enthusiasts everywhere, a ridiculously modest power increase.

Citing an unidentified company insider, Aussie publication Motoring says the 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant will receive just minor mechanical improvements: "Engineers have focused on friction reduction engineering and a more efficient intake manifold design that will boost power and torque by around five percent, while improving fuel efficiency by up to seven percent," the source is quoted.

That means the Subaru-derived boxer engine will get nudged up to 210 horsepower from its original 200 horsepower. Not much, but certainly a step in the right direction. I guess.

Aesthetically, the car’s exterior will get a new front end consisting of a restyled hood, headlights, bumper and enlarged lower grille. In the back will be a new bumper, diffuser, and twin exhaust outlets that are moved further toward the corners of the car. 

And while few have complained about the FR-S’ handling capabilities, Motoring’s insider says the new car will come with “extensive chassis tuning feedback” from GRMN (Gazoo Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring), Toyota’s motorsports partner and in-house go-faster division. New Sachs dampers are expected to make the list of standard equipment, improving ride quality while maintaining the car’s highly praised cornering balance. The rear suspension subframe will also get reinforced for a stiffer tail. 

Continue reading for the full story.

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Jay Leno Reviews Speedhunters Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S: Video

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.

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Extreme Drifting in a 600-Horsepower Scion FR-S: Video

Extreme Drifting in a 600-Horsepower Scion FR-S: Video

Ah, the holidays. The perfect time to sit around the fire with family, roasting chestnuts and relaxing with a soothing cup of spiced eggnog. Well, either that, or roasting the tires off an FR-S with a super gulp serving of counter-steer.

That latter scenario was the retreat of choice for professional driver Ryan Tuerck as he slid his way up some 2,000 feet of switchbacks and blind corners in his 600-horsepower Scion FR-S. That hazy scenery behind the clouds of smoke is Burke Mountain in Vermont, which makes for some rather epic public-road drifting action. Adding to the fun, we find fellow Formula D driver Pat Goodin coming out in a black 1JZ-powered Nissan S13 for tandem madness.

Long story short, that white car isn’t stock. In this walk-around video, Tuerck lets us peek under the skin of this hyperspace FR-S. Motive power is provided by a turbocharged, Toyota 2JZGTE inline-six with cam gears and a stroker kit from Brian Crower. Making boost is a Garrett GTX3582R turbocharger, with two 44-mm (1.73-inch) wastegates. Two Radium Engineering catch cans condense blow-by vapors, while the tuner’s fuel regulator helps with the dino juice. Finally, Mishimoto cools with a thick radiator help in the corners. Dominant Engineering is responsible for all the fabrication work; check out the custom side exhaust dump peeking out of the passenger side fender.

The interior is gutted, while an ASD handbrake is in place for instant rear lock up. Recaro seats were installed to hold Tuerck in place. DBA Racing brake rotors, a Wisefab rear suspension kit, and BC Racing coilovers help round out the stop and turn. A Wisefab kit in the front helps eek out every last degree of steering angle.

With a car this wild, piloted by one of the drifting world’s best out in the unpredictable real world, you just know it’s going to be good. If you’ve been jonesing for some quality sideways hoonigenry, we have your prescription right here.

Click past the jump to read about the Scion FR-S.

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2014 Scion FR-S - Driven

2014 Scion FR-S - Driven

When Toyota and Subaru announced their plans to join forces and create a small, affordable rear-wheel drive coupe, the world rejoiced. With Toyota’s legendary quality and reliability coupled to Subaru’s knowledge of fun and exciting rally machines, this car had the potential to be one of the best enthusiast machines in years. The car that was created wears the badge FR-S for Scion and BRZ for Subaru. A while back our very own Mark McNabb was granted the keys to a Scion FR-S, but he was saddled with the automatic transmission. To get the most of a machine like the FR-S you need the ability to row your own.

When I got the call that a FR-S was going to be heading to my driveway with a proper three-pedal transmission, I was excited to see how different it was to drive compared to the automatic version that Mark had. I slide into the driver’s seat, slotted the slick manual into first gear and set off on a week of fun and mayhem with tiny sports car.

Click past the jump to read my full review of the 2014 Scion FR-S

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You Can Forget About a Turbo or Convertible Scion FR-S

You Can Forget About a Turbo or Convertible Scion FR-S

You don’t need to tell us, because we already know: the 2013 to 2015 Scion FR-S is awesome. It’s an affordable sports car in the traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, with a low curb weight and suspension setup that’s perfect for sideways high jinks. What’s not to love? Well, if the reviews are any indication, the slightly anemic four-banger under the hood can put a damper on things. And when it comes to sports cars, a roofless version, if done properly, can be a huge fun-factor multiplier.

So when rumors began to swirl that Toyota was interested in creating turbocharged and cabrio versions of the GT 86 platform, fans everywhere rejoiced. Unfortunately, that celebration appears to have been a bit premature. According to WardsAuto, Scion execs have confirmed the death of the FR-S turbo and convertible.

In an interview at the LA Auto Show last week, Scion’s senior vice president Doug Murtha seems downtrodden as the bearer of bad news: “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.”

We’re not so sure about that last part, but oh well. While a factory turbo FR-S appears DOA, there’s still copious support from the aftermarket for anyone willing to start down the long, winding path of vehicle modification. As for a roofless FR-S, all we can say is that with enough time and money, anything is possible.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion FR-S.

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2015 Scion FR-S Super Street

2015 Scion FR-S Super Street

In stock trim, the Scion FR-S is simply fantastic. It’s light, agile, and practically begging to be flogged. However, there’s always room for improvement; at least that’s how the folks at Super Street see it. The performance magazine is known for utterly transforming any car its folks lay their hands on, and have extensive experience rendering modifications that produce both substantial performance improvements and show-stopping looks.

The FR-S you see here is no different. It’s Super Street’s entry for the Scion Racing Tuner Challenge; a 90-day race between three media outfits to complete the baddest FR-S before an official reveal at SEMA. In an online poll, Super Street managed to beat out both GT Channel and Speedhunters by a convincing margin. The real question is- what will the judges think?

With one recent FR-S build already under its belt, Super Street has the history to back it. IT also knows what it takes to make a car stand out in a field of top contenders. The strategy employed here is clear: “wider, wilder, and louder.” With a $15,000 budget and enough yellow paint to cover a fleet of school buses, can it take home the win?

Click past the jump to read more about Scion FR-S Super Street.

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2015 Scion FR-S By GT Channel

2015 Scion FR-S By GT Channel

Few vehicles represent a love for driving better than a small, rear-wheel-drive, two-door coupe. There’s no space for cargo or excess passengers and no compromise in the layout; it’s all about maximizing the interface between the driver and the road, quickening your pulse, and plastering a big banana grin all over your face. There are precious few cars that meet all these criteria, but the Scion FR-S is undoubtedly one of them.

Launched in 2012, the FR-S, and its corporate twin the Subaru BRZ, quickly became the darlings of automotive journalists everywhere. The car is extremely tossable, with a suspension setup that almost encourages sideways hooning, while the naturally aspirated boxer four-cylinder provides adequate power for canyon carving.

To help celebrate the supreme awesomeness of this lead-foot daydream, Scion has dared GT Channel, SuperStreet, and Speedhunters to deliver their idea of the ultimate FR-S. Dubbed the Scion Racing Tuner Challenge, each publication was given a new FR-S, a $15,000 budget, and 90 days to complete their creation before the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

With only a few days left until the big event, you can be sure that crunch time is officially on.

GT Channel partnered with MotoIQ and legendary Japanese tuning house Mine’s to produce this FR-S under the guiding principle of “smart, sophisticated and stupid fast.” As a tuner car, the team wanted to build something that was functional and not simply a show queen. It’s a build designed to trounce competitors on the track, but still maintain some degree of civility on the street.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion FR-S By GT Channel.

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2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0

The Scion tC doesn’t get nearly the same level of press as the FR-S. That’s a shame because the tC actually holds more appeal as a sports coupe than the FR-S since it doesn’t have to worry about having identical versions from Toyota and Subaru. For our money, the tC might actually be one of the most underrated entry-level sports coupes in its segment that’s slowly getting some traction among consumers.

That’s precisely why Scion’s decision to unveil the new tC Release Series 9.0 happened at just the right time.

The launch of the tC Release Series 9.0 comes two years after its predecessor, the tC Release Series 8.0 was launched in July 2012. In that time, the tC has undergone a massive transformation looking a lot sportier than its ever been, making Scion’s decision to launch the Release Series 9.0 was a no-brainer.

The tC Release Series 9.0 will stand out anywhere it goes, thanks to a comprehensive list of upgrades that includes a new aero kit commissioned from noted aftermarket company Cartel Customs. Scion will only build 2,000 examples of the special-edition tC so if you fancy one, be advised that the car is expected to arrive in dealerships in January 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion tC Release Series 9.0.

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2014 Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC

2014 Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC

The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show holds a very special place in our hearts, largely because it’s a different take on what an auto show traditionally is. Instead of debuting production cars or unveiling concept cars, SEMA is the place where automakers show off customized versions of their respective production models. This year, Scion was one of the first to unveil its SEMA plans when it released the first details on its SEMA-bound models, including the Slayer-inspired "Mobile Amp" tC sports coupe.

The Slayer Mobile Amp tC is far from a sheep wearing wolf’s clothing. It’s an all-out assault to your senses, a living (albeit on four wheels) embodiment of Slayer’s aggressive and style of music. The exterior and interior of the tC sports coupe received equal amounts of details attributed to Slayer as it was built by Mike Vu of MV DESIGNZ. This program isn’t for the weak of heart, as the company did not settle for anything less than to make Tom Araya and the rest of the band proud to have their names attached to it.

Updated 10/30/2014: Scion unveiled the official details on the x Slayer Mobile Amp tC set to be unveiled next week at SEMA. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC.

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TopSpeed Podcast Episode 026

TopSpeed Podcast Episode 026

Well that was a wild and exciting Podcast. As always, we want to send a super special thanks to everyone who tuned in live, and to everyone who gave us questions to answer. If you didn’t happen to catch the live show, let me inform you of what you have waiting for you after you click that play button.

We start the show off in the usual manner with the Weekly Wheels segment where Mark talks about how good the Scion FR-S is, even though it had an automatic transmission. I then proceed to tell him he is incorrect, and then we move on to talking about my time with the long wheelbase Range Rover. Spoiler: it’s like driving a house made of $100 bills.

We had a pretty busy news week and so there was a lot to cover. We move from the Range Rover straight into Mark’s choice for the five best off-road machines, talk about a worthless BMW that someone tried to sell for $18k and we even talk about the new pointless Mercedes SUV… sort of.

In other car news, we cover the shiny new Volvo XC90, the upcoming Focus RS rumors and the potential for a Ford Mustang with a 10-speed transmission. You know, like a mountain bike.

We finish the show with a fairly lengthy Q&A followed by our signature Own, Drive, Burn. For the viewer questions we discuss when the new NSX might finally arrive, what our current dream long term test car may be, the potential future of the Mazdaspeed3 and whether it is a good idea to buy a nice used car or a cheaper new one. For Own, Drive, Burn we decide between three legendary classic Hot Hatches.

The show did run a little long, but since it was the six month anniversary of our first podcast, we figured you guys wouldn’t care too much.

A quick parting note to all our US viewers. This is a crazy holiday weekend, and traditionally there are lots of incidents involving motorized things and the use of alcohol. We want you back next week, so don’t do anything stupid like drink and drive.

Don’t forget to drop your questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for next week’s show in the comments below.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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2014 Scion FR-S - Driven

2014 Scion FR-S - Driven

The Scion FR-S and its corporate cousins the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 are still relatively new to the sports car scene, having been launched in 2012. The cars represent an interesting alliance between Subaru and Toyota, two Japanese automakers, with Toyota taking care of the design work and Subaru handling the greasy bits underneath.

Though the cars have been well received by journalist and enthusiast the world over, it seems sales, at least in the U.S., arn’t living up to the hype with just over 40,000 FR-S units moved since 2012 and roughly 18,000 BRZs sold. That’s an oddity considering just how well the cars fulfill the sport car checklist.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a Scion FR-S getting to know its personality. My tester came equipped with nothing more than optional six-speed automatic transmission. No navigation or SiriusXM; just an honest sports coupe with a willing powerplant and skinny tires that made driving anywhere an exciting event.

Click past the jump for the full rundown of the 2014 Scion FR-S

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