Essentially a rebadged version of the Toyota GT 86 sports car we saw at this week’s 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the new FR-S features a number of attributes making us all giddy inside.
Namely, a lightweight and rear-wheel drive chassis, a punchy boxer engine fitted with direct injection technology, and one of the lowest centers of gravity found in a production car.
The FR-S, which stands for Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport, will serve as Scion’s new halo model and is the fifth addition to the fledgling brand’s lineup. Like its Toyota and Subaru siblings, the FR-S is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer engine that develops 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 6,600 rpm.
The engine’s compact size and flat shape allow it to be mounted mid-ship and extremely low, giving the car a dynamically favorable front-to-rear weight ratio of 53:47 and a center of gravity of just 470 millimeters. Thanks to a number of aluminum components, weight has also been kept down to around 2,700 pounds.
The flat-four engine mates with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offers quick shifts with a short-throw; while the automatic transmission features aggressive up shifts and sporty rev-matched down shifts that are initiated by paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel. Power is transferred to the pavement via a limited-slip differential.
2013 Scion FR-SEnlarge Photo
Inside, there’s seating for four plus a large center-mounted tachometer, which is the focus of the car’s three-gauge cluster. Speed is monitored by both digital and analog gauges.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what that strange badge sitting on the front fender is, it's an iconic ‘86’ piston emblem, which highlights the car’s Toyota Corolla AE86 heritage as well as its unique new boxer engine.
The 2013 Scion FR-S will make its official world debut next month at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show before hitting showrooms next spring. In the meantime, follow our full Detroit coverage by clicking here.