2013 Scion FR-S: Up Close



Scion’s FR-S sports car has a chance to be the next big hit in affordable performance with its promise of nimble handling combined with a driver-oriented cockpit and Jenny-Craig-like weight management. Like many sports cars, a big tachometer rather than a speedometer sits front and center in the FR-S’ gauge cluster to monitor engine revs.

More 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Other bits on the inside help the Scion pull off a driver’s car feel. The show car I inspected had red stitching on the steering wheel, gear selector, hand brake and seats, which were bolstered tightly to my sides. The quality of stitching and materials look and feel good for its rumored price of around $25,000.

The FR-S is a tiny car. While I was comfortable in the driver’s seat — I’m 6 feet tall with a slender build — there’s not much room to spare. Scion opted to nix a sunroof option and hatchback body style in favor of a solid roof and trunk for chassis rigidity and weight savings. The FR-S fits like a glove.

The outside shows off a badge featuring horizontally-opposed cylinders — the engine is a flat four-cylinder — and the numbers “86,” referencing a classic Toyota sports car, the AE86, that follows a similar performance approach. The badges look good in pictures and the idea is clever, but they look tacked-on and showy for what is otherwise a clean, chiseled package.

It’s been a long road to a production version of the FR-S with concept after concept after concept. For a select 86 people, that road may be shorter than others as Scion will give them the first crack at buying an FR-S at www.ScionFirst86.com, starting at noon EST Jan. 12 and running for 8 hours and 6 minutes.

Scion Scion FR-S 2012 2012 Detroit Auto Show Detroit Detroit Auto Show Passenger Cars Sports Cars


Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.  Email Joe

Enter to Win $300

Review your car to enter our drawing today.
Write a Review

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18+