The wait is finally over. The FR-S is officially dropping in a few months. After three years of picturesque renderings and prototype vehicles popping up at auto shows, the newest and arguably hottest Scion will be sold at dealerships around the United States in the spring of this year. (It’s about damn time! Ed.) There are numerous reasons why so much hype has been following this car . . . and with just cause. But if you’re still not convinced, here’s IT’s Top 7 reasons why your next car should be an FR-S.
The New Hotness: The unmistakable styling cues and sleek exterior design of the FR-S is a welcoming invitation to many who have become accustomed to the average consumer cars being sold in the United States that portray the look and feel of your average grocery getter.
Boxer Engine: By far the biggest controversy of this car has been the engine. The flat-four boxer engine was a joint collaboration with Toyota and Subaru and will be powering the ’13 FR-S, and with good reason. The low-mounted, N/A, 200hp, rev-happy boxer engine enables the FR-S to achieve excellent weight distribution, the lowest COG ever for a production vehicle, and will undoubtedly have numerous upgrades to ramp up its factory horsepower in the near future.
Rear-Wheel Drive: Sport compact enthusiasts had been begging and pleading for Toyota to introduce an affordable rear-wheel-drive platform. Toyota finally seemed to get a clue and decided to bring back a real sports coupe with rear-wheel drive, the first Toyota car to do so since the old MR2.
Balancing Act: Weighing in at less than 2,700 pounds the FR-S is not only lightweight, but it’s also designed with a well-balanced chassis that had been engineered to perform in considerable fashion both on and off the track.
Drivetrain: Available in both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions, Scion managed to keep the FR-S affordable, which unfortunately came with the price of sacrificing amenities like dual climate control, push-button start, big-brake kit, and HID/LED headlights to mention a few. On the flip side, in doing away with creature comforts, they managed to include numerous performance features, like beefy Torsen-type LSD, traction control, short-shifter–equipped six-speed, and an automatic transmission with paddle shifters that is both responsive and quick.
Tuner Friendly: The FR-S hasn’t even been released, but aftermarket manufacturers have already begun developing numerous parts in anticipation of the car’s debut as evidenced at the Tokyo Auto Salon. From superchargers to body kits, the 86/FR-S has been received with open arms and that’s a good sign for both the car and our industry.
Affordability: We won’t guarantee the soon-to-be-released FR-S is the cheapest sport compact ever made, but several sources say that the car will sell for about $25K. We consider it to be reasonably priced for what it offers in an auto market that’s saturated with vehicles that are either too cheap or overly priced.