The 2013 Scion FR-S Visits Jay Leno's Garage: Video

The 2013 Scion FR-S visits Jay Leno's Garage

The 2013 Scion FR-S visits Jay Leno's Garage

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If you’re fans of Jay Leno’s Garage like we are, you know that it isn’t only mega-horsepower exotics that get featured on a regular basis. Not counting Leno’s extensive collection of vintage cars, we’ve seen the Fiat 500 and the Fiat 500 Abarth get the once-over in the last year or so.

Now it’s Scion’s turn to show off the new FR-S, so the automaker sent it’s vice president and general manager, Jack Hollis, along for a Q&A session. As Leno is quick to point out, the Scion FR-S may carry new lines, but it’s clearly influenced by Toyota’s of the past, such as the limited production 2000GT, built from 1967-70.

From the outset, the Scion FR-S was designed to be modest in power and light in weight. As with the Mazda MX-5, going fast in the FR-S is a matter of preserving momentum, not just mashing the accelerator.

Keeping the center of gravity low aids handling as well, and the Scion FR-S actually beats the Porsche Cayman here. In fact, it has a lower center of gravity than just about every production car, with the exception of the Ferrari 360 and the Lexus LFA.

Hollis seems to indicate that the Scion FR-S is only the beginning of what we can expect to see from Toyota and Scion, and even hints at “special order” models, perhaps stripped for track use. Such cars are available in Japan, but cost-prohibitive to sell in the United States.

There is one inaccuracy in the video (not including Leno’s reference to the A-pillar as the “B-pillar”), at least based on our experience: dealers here are asking between $5,000 and $7,000 extra for the FR-S, to “adjust for market conditions.” The Scion FR-S, then, is a $30k car, not the described $25k car.

That puts the FR-S in an entirely different price category, which defeats the purpose of building a low-cost sports car in the first place. We’re sure that dealer markups will go go down as deliveries ramp up, but we’re curious: what are dealers tacking on to the sticker price in your area?

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