Friday, April 27, 2012

Why is the Scion FR-S a Big Deal?

Scion FR-S

Whether you're a car enthusiast or know practically nothing about them, you should be excited for Toyota and Subaru's upcoming joint project. In Japan, it's being called the Toyota GT-86. To Subaru, it's the BRZ. Here in the states, it's the Scion FR-S, which stands for

ront engine

ear wheel drive

ports car

The reason this car is so significant is because the FR-S is Toyota's long awaited return to producing an authentic sports car, one that enthusiasts, racing fans, and just about everyone can enjoy. This is the kind of car that doesn't come around often. It's a rare combination of artistry and engineering that turns heads and gets people to go, "Wow, that's nice."

If you look back at history, Toyota has had a long reputation of cars similar to the FR-S, and has also been heavily involved in the racing scene, taking part in well known events such as the World Rally Championship and the Formula 1. Over the years, they developed some well loved and respected vehicles, most notably, the Toyota Supra and the 2000GT (fun fact- the 2000GT was the first car produced to break 13 world speed records, and it was featured in the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice"!)

Sadly, the 2000GT was only made until 1970, and the Supra stopped being produced in 2002. That means it has been a decade since Toyota has offered a legitimate sports car to its customers! By drawing inspiration from both vehicles, the FR-S is built to be a mean machine on a mission: to bring back the excitement and joy of driving a car with exceptional performance and handling.
Now, if that's not enough reason to get you jonesin' to test drive one, how about this? The CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, personally drove the FR-S himself  and gave direct feedback (and plenty of criticism) to Toyota engineers to ensure the vehicle was up to his very high standards. Or as he put it, a car "built by passion, not committee". Take a look at the video below and see for yourself- that is one boss who is not afraid to jump into dirt and snow for his love of cars!

The FR-S packs 200 horsepower into a lightweight package, topping the scales at just 2,758 pounds. When a car's weight is lowered, handling and turning is noticeably different and responsive than a typical 3400-3800 pound sports sedan. For a better comparison, imagine taking a jog. Now imagine if you weighed several hundred more pounds and tried to complete that same jog. Besides losing your breath much more quickly, you'll also notice how much more difficult it can be to dance around and act deftly. Fortunately, the Scion FR-S is the kid in gym class that got the President's Award and always finished the mile run in great time.

To add icing onto the cake, Toyota's newest creation gets surprisingly great mileage- ever seen a sports car get 30+ miles to the gallon? The FR-S is rated at 22 city, 30 highway for the six speed manual transmission and 25 city, 34 highway for the automatic. 

What aspect of the FR-S excites you the most? For full specs, visit the Scion FR-S webpage.

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