We knew something big was going to go down at this year’s NYIAS, and we knew it was going to happen at the Scion camp. For the past couple years, rumors and various concepts of Toyota’s highly-anticipated FT-86 concept have kept auto enthusiasts guessing as to which auto maker (possible clues led to Toyota and Subaru) would officially be bringing the RWD sports coupe to the US and we finally found our answer here. Unveiled in typical high fashion by Scion execs, the FR-S Concept finally told us what we longed for, that the AE86 successor will come to us shortly (most likely by 2012) with Scion badging.
The FR-S Concept, crafted by the prototype masters at Five:Axis, is slated to be an affordable sports car that our industry is long overdue for, especially when you consider that 10 or even 20 years ago, we had far more RWD options available to us and today, there are hardly any. Standing for Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport, this car will be engineered alongside Subaru as the engine is set to be equipped with a flat 2.0L Boxer engine, which will be positioned lower and further back in the engine bay, providing greater balance and a lower center of gravity, not to mention an ideal front-to-rear weight ratio. Its engine will be naturally-aspirated, and the first boxer to use Toyota’s D4-S injection system, using both direct and port injection, which all adds up to more power and torque without missing out on MPG.
Although the Five:Axis prototype looks killer, we hope, that like most of Scion’s concepts we’ve seen out of their design studio, the final product comes close to looking like what we see here. Those aggressive fender lines with the 20" wheels would be a dream come true! And gotta have it in that Code Red hue…
Other Cars To Look Out For:
Lexus LF-Gh Hybrid Concept
How does a company like Toyota deliver a premium package that combines style, performance, efficiency and the “green” message? Easy; they did it with the LF-Gh Concept, yet another bold concept designed by Troy Sumitomo at Five:Axis. Here, Lexus wants this car to satisfy travelers on long distance drives on a possible RWD platform; the styling is extremely strong with LED running lights all around. The plan calls for a hybrid engine to power the LF-Gh as the Hybrid Drive badging suggests, but this sedan might just set the luxury and hybrid worlds off in a way we might certainly want to.
Fox Marketing Lexus CT200h
The Fox Marketing Project CT200h was on display sporting wildly flared fenders with a custom body kit, but it’s not simply looks alone that sets this car on fire. Along with an Eaton supercharger, the hybrid 1.8L now pushes 300hp, which is exactly the kind of power recipe the CT200h needs to make it perfect. Other mods include a Climax Racing intake manifold, 13-inch Baer calipers and a full respray with BASF Carizzma Cinnamon paint. You likey?
2012 Subaru Impreza
Subaru debuted its popular Impreza model at this year’s show, now in its fourth incarnation. Coming in either a 4- or 5-door design, the Impreza comes with an all-new 148hp 2.0L Boxer engine that actually offers a 30-percent increase in fuel economy over the previous generation, providing 27/36 city/highway; there are also two different Symmetrical AWD systems, a 5-speed Continuous AWD or Lineartronic CVT with Active AWD. It’s not STI or WRX, but with five trim levels to choose from, the Impreza’s shaping up to be a great basic platform.
Nissan LEAF NISMO
Last month, we briefly mentioned the NISMO edition LEAF as a project that would be hitting various motorsport events to do special demos throughout the year. At NYIAS, we were able to take a closer look at the little non-emissions racer on display. The 107hp may not be shocking anyone but you have to admire the 207lb-ft it has, just as much as you have to admit you like the race look of the 18" RAYS wheels.
2012 Hyundai Accent
Hyundai also brings a fourth gen model of their own to the table with the Accent, which comes powered by a 1.6L GDI “Gamma” (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine (the first of Hyundai’s vehicles to receive), dishes out 138hp and has a choice of either a six-speed auto or manual gearbox. The entry level Accent, previously offered in a 3-door, has been discontinued for 2012 with the sedan and 5-door as your new options.
Acura Hits the Big 2-5
Pop a bottle y’all; Acura celebrates its 25th anniversary as an auto manufacturer, and we thank them for giving us cars like the Integra, RSX, TSX, NSX and so many more.
You might not ever see fat pockets in your lifetime, especially if you work a job like ours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play the part, even if it’s just temporary. Enter the Signature Car Collection, a company based out of New Jersey and Miami (sorry West Coast), where for just a small rental premium, you can rent out one of their luxury exotics, ranging from their lowest line BMW E92 M3 to a Ferrari F430 Spider. While we were attending the NYIAS, SCC and the iD Agency graciously took us for a quick sprint around Manhattan in their fleet of dream rentals so that we could see what it would be like to feel like a million bucks. And let me say, it felt marvelous.