Scion FR-S Concept features rear-wheel drive and sporty flair

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Since Toyota exhilarated motoring enthusiasts with the release of its FT-86 Concept of 2009 and its FT-86 II Concept of 2011, the anticipation for the production version of its latest rear-wheel drive sport coupe has reached fervent levels. Such a car would mark a return to form for the company that brought us the now departed Supra, Celica, and MR-2, not to mention the original rear-drive Corolla GT-S upon which the FT-86 and FT-86 II concepts are "spiritually" based.

Enter Scion, Toyota's youth-oriented brand that focuses on appealing to consumers in their 20s and early 30s by offering them unique, sporty, and relatively affordable vehicles. At the recent New York International Auto Show, Toyota opted to release the latest version of its rear-drive sport concept as a Scion model. It's called the FR-S Concept.

The name stands for Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport and the Scion concept shares much in common with the Toyota FT-86 and FT-86 II concepts that came before it. Like the FT-86 and FT-86 II, the Scion FR-S Concept has a front-mounted 2.0-litre version of Subaru's venerable boxer engine. Subaru, partly owned by Toyota, is the co-developer of the concept car and will make its own production version later on.

Toyota's D4-S injection system is connected to the engine and is claimed to increase horsepower and torque throughout the power band by utilizing direct injection and port injection. Reportedly, the power increases come without any sacrifice to fuel economy.

Scion has mounted the engine lower down and further back in the engine bay so that the FR-S has a low centre of gravity and favourable dynamic balance. Transmission options include a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic outfitted with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Power to the rear wheels is transferred through a limited-slip differential.

The FR-S Concept is shod in massive 20-inch wheels that are 8.5 inches wide up front and 10.5 inches wide at the rear. They're large enough to provide clearance for the gigantic 18-inch carbon ceramic brake rotors that surely will not be standard on the production version of the car.

Front end styling is more aggressive than that of the Toyota concepts, while the side profile features a steeply raked windscreen and roofline that flow into the upswept trunk and broad, curvaceous rear fenders. Boomerang style taillights add more aggression to the rear end, as do a rear diffuser and "SCION" logo on the deck lid.

"Scion is always experimenting with new things," said Scion Vice President Jack Hollis. "The brand is iconic with the xB, adrenalized by the tC, and groundbreaking with the iQ. The FR-S will expand the brand into yet another new dimension that I know it is truly destined for."

With lineage and inspiration from the iconic Toyota Corolla GT-S, the esteemed Subaru boxer engine, and youth-oriented Scion style, the FR-S concept is a dream car for many enthusiasts. It will likely arrive in showrooms by next year. Until then, prospective buyers anxiously await its arrival and Toyota's return to the compact performance coupe scene.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Scion, 2011, FR-S Concept,

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