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  1. AutoGuide recently found patent filing in Japan for a possible hardcore version of the Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GT86. The filing features renderings of a coupe with a new front end, large rear wing, and a new set of wheels. This looks similar to the Subaru STI Performance Concept shown at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Now the filing has Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries - Subaru's parent company - listed as the creators. Not surprising since both have been working together on this coupe. One of the big questions lingering over this filing aside from when we could actual see this, is how much performance could this coupe have. The STI Performance Concept boasted around 300 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four. Source: AutoGuide
  2. One of the rumors that has been floating around for the past year or so was the Scion FR-S (Toyota GT86) possibly getting a hybrid powertrain as a way of boosting power. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We [have] already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and [the other is a] special hybrid system," said Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the FR-S last August. Well it seems that the hybrid powertrain is out. According to Autocar, Toyota is having a tough time trying to make a business case for a hybrid FR-S. "We can create a product with this technology, but it needs to make proper business sense. We have to prioritise,” said Toyota marketing director Fabio Capano. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 22, 2013 If you ever wanted to see a case of mixed messages in the automotive world, let us introduce you to the mess with Toyota and Subaru over the GT86 Convertible. Automotive News spoke with Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga and asked about GT86/BRZ Convertible. Yoshinaga dismissed the notion of convertible, citing the vehicles would need a redesign of the structure for that to happen. "We make the car, so if we don't make it, it can't happen. Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change." This kind of plays into a rumorpile story from last month where the GT86 Convertible project was canned for the time-being, possibly due to the model needing a lot reinforcing, thus adding weight and ruining the perfect weight balance. Yet, Toyota is still showing off GT86 Convertible concept and creating a number of variations to show off at auto shows. Also consider the comment made by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy made back in March when the GT86 Open concept was introduced, "I know you are all wondering about facts and figures, and body rigidity. Well, we have the same worries and Tada [chief engineer of the GT 86] and his team are deep into analysis. But GT86 was designed from the start as a cabriolet… That probably tells you all you needed to know." Someone apparently didn't tell Subaru or the two automakers disagree on the convertible idea. "I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car. But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties," said Yoshinaga. We'll keep you updated. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 22, 2013 The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S really doesn't have any direct competitors aside from the Mazda Miata. But that could be changing. What Car? is reporting that Nissan is readying a concept car that is the company's possible answer to the GT86. The design of this concept is inspired by a car from the company's past. Nissan isn't saying what that vehicle is, but did say it isn't a Z car. Nissan will gauge the reception of concept and decide whether or not to put it into production. If given the green light, the production model will use the Juke's turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder. Source: What Car? William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 6, 2013 The roller-coaster ride of the Toyota GT86 Convertible rumors appears to have crested. According to What Car?, Toyota has canned GT86 Convertible project for the timebeing. No apparent reason was given for the cancellation, but there is speculation that the added rigidity needed could have added too much weight for the coupe, ruining it's perfect weight balance. The report does say the project could be 'fast-tracked' if Toyota's management wants to restart the project once again. Source: What Car? William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 23, 2013 Peeking into the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 rumorpile, we have a number of stories talking about more power via two different ways; turbocharging and using a hybrid system. Add a third option onto that list. Chief engineer of the GT86 family, Tetsuya Tada told Drive.com.au that they are exploring of using a larger displacement boxer-four engine. More interesting is that Tada said the company is testing all three. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We [have] already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and [the other is a] special hybrid system," said Tada. Tada declined to give any details about the larger engine, but insiders say the engine is likely a 2.5L flat-four with 254 horsepower, a noticeable increase over the standard 200 horsepower of the current 2.0L. This option has two advantages over the turbo and hybrid plans; cost-effective and maintains the lightweight-ness of the vehicle. Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 11, 2013 The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S could get be getting a big and small brother in the near future. Speaking with Car Advice, FR-S chief engineer Tatsuya Tada said, “Akio Toyoda always says to me, Toyota sports car [family] should be three sports car brothers. 86 is in the middle.” What are these two sports cars? We know the big brother will be the resurrection of Supra. The small brother will be sub-GT86 model. When asked about names for this new small model, Tada said its far too early for that. Possibly the most interesting bit of information from Car Advice's story is Tada saying that the new sports cars might be done in a joint calibration. The GT86/FR-S was done by Toyota and Subaru, and the new Supra is reportedly being worked on by Toyota and BMW. Source: Car Advice William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 4, 2013 Here at the rumorpile, we've been reporting on a couple derivatives for the Scion FR-S for the past year or so. The first is a convertible FR-S which we got a preview of at this year's Geneva Motor Show and the other is a turbocharged version. But a new report says both models have been canceled. Automotive News reports that the two FR-S models have been canned due to return of the investment not being viable for those models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 8, 2013 Only being on sale for just over a year, Toyota is already working on a mid-cycle refresh on the GT86 coupe (Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ in the states). This news comes from the chief engineer Tetsuya Tada. Tada also revealed that Toyota is considering doing a high performance model. “We are already working on a mid-life facelift for the car, and we are investigating both turbocharging and supercharging too. But an electric motor assistance solution is also possible, and would bring benefits that forced induction does not,” Tada told Autocar. Using a hybrid system to increase the performance in the GT86 is an interesting option. Tada explains that using a hybrid system could provide a huge boost in low-rpm torque for the engine without affecting throttle response or compromising on fuel economy or emissions. This would add weight to the coupe, but Tada said the weight could be offset somewhat by further weight loss of the vehicle. “Our TRD tuning department has found it easy to take 100kg out of the kerbweight, and have developed certain underbody fins and plates that can be employed to alter the dynamic balance of the car, to increase or reduce oversteer at medium and high speeds. They have quite a pronounced effect." Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. For the past couple of years, we have reporting on countless rumorpile stories concerning the Scion FR-S. Most of these stories have dealt with a convertible and turbo power, and whether or not they are off or back on the table. Well it might be that two things may never come. Wards Auto spoke with Doug Murtha, senior vice president at Scion. Murtha explained that Toyota couldn't make a business case for either proposal. “So on the convertible we went down swinging,” said Murtha. “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.” This isn't the news the FR-S wanted to hear. At the moment, the model has been experiencing sales drop for most of the year. This is due to the phenomenon of sports car sales falling off halfway through the lifecycle of the vehicle, something Murtha admits. “You get 24 months out of those products and they tend to have a steep fall-off (and) we’re seeing a little bit of that. I don’t think that’s necessarily a surprise. I think the challenge is back to us to do some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.” For now, Scion is hoping the recently launched FR-S Release Series 1.0 will be able to bring back some interest in the sports coupe. Source: Wards Auto
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 10, 2012 The Scion FR-S marks a return for Toyota of building a sporty RWD coupe, and it might not be the only one. Top Gear Philippines had the chance to sit down with Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the FR-S and other members (Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ). Tada revealed that the FR-S was the first of three new sports cars being worked on by Toyota. "The first is more mass-market and cheaper than the 86. And the third is more upmarket than the 86," Tada said. When asked if the third vehicle is the successor the Supra, Tada said it could possibly be but that nothing is sure at the moment. Source: Top Gear Philippines William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 10, 2012 Lexus is in the middle of refreshing their entire lineup, giving them a bold look and some sport. So far, Lexus has unveiled the new GS and ES, and a refreshed RX. Coming up is the LS and following behind is the next IS. ''When you're a challenger brand and you're No.4 [in sales], you can't afford to be evolutionary,'' said Lexus Australia corporate marketing manager, Peter Evans to Drive.com.au. So what are we expecting with the new IS? Exterior design will have Lexus’ now trademark spindle grille wrapped in a coupe-like sedan.The interior will have a richer and more upmarket feel. As for the next IS' base, speculation points towards a modified version of the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S platform. This would help spread development costs for Toyota. Source: Drive.com.au, Motor Authority William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. AutoGuide recently found patent filing in Japan for a possible hardcore version of the Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GT86. The filing features renderings of a coupe with a new front end, large rear wing, and a new set of wheels. This looks similar to the Subaru STI Performance Concept shown at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Now the filing has Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries - Subaru's parent company - listed as the creators. Not surprising since both have been working together on this coupe. One of the big questions lingering over this filing aside from when we could actual see this, is how much performance could this coupe have. The STI Performance Concept boasted around 300 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four. Source: AutoGuide View full article
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 23, 2013 Peeking into the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 rumorpile, we have a number of stories talking about more power via two different ways; turbocharging and using a hybrid system. Add a third option onto that list. Chief engineer of the GT86 family, Tetsuya Tada told Drive.com.au that they are exploring of using a larger displacement boxer-four engine. More interesting is that Tada said the company is testing all three. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We [have] already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and [the other is a] special hybrid system," said Tada. Tada declined to give any details about the larger engine, but insiders say the engine is likely a 2.5L flat-four with 254 horsepower, a noticeable increase over the standard 200 horsepower of the current 2.0L. This option has two advantages over the turbo and hybrid plans; cost-effective and maintains the lightweight-ness of the vehicle. Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 22, 2013 If you ever wanted to see a case of mixed messages in the automotive world, let us introduce you to the mess with Toyota and Subaru over the GT86 Convertible. Automotive News spoke with Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga and asked about GT86/BRZ Convertible. Yoshinaga dismissed the notion of convertible, citing the vehicles would need a redesign of the structure for that to happen. "We make the car, so if we don't make it, it can't happen. Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change." This kind of plays into a rumorpile story from last month where the GT86 Convertible project was canned for the time-being, possibly due to the model needing a lot reinforcing, thus adding weight and ruining the perfect weight balance. Yet, Toyota is still showing off GT86 Convertible concept and creating a number of variations to show off at auto shows. Also consider the comment made by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy made back in March when the GT86 Open concept was introduced, "I know you are all wondering about facts and figures, and body rigidity. Well, we have the same worries and Tada [chief engineer of the GT 86] and his team are deep into analysis. But GT86 was designed from the start as a cabriolet… That probably tells you all you needed to know." Someone apparently didn't tell Subaru or the two automakers disagree on the convertible idea. "I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car. But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties," said Yoshinaga. We'll keep you updated. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 22, 2013 The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S really doesn't have any direct competitors aside from the Mazda Miata. But that could be changing. What Car? is reporting that Nissan is readying a concept car that is the company's possible answer to the GT86. The design of this concept is inspired by a car from the company's past. Nissan isn't saying what that vehicle is, but did say it isn't a Z car. Nissan will gauge the reception of concept and decide whether or not to put it into production. If given the green light, the production model will use the Juke's turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder. Source: What Car? William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 6, 2013 The roller-coaster ride of the Toyota GT86 Convertible rumors appears to have crested. According to What Car?, Toyota has canned GT86 Convertible project for the timebeing. No apparent reason was given for the cancellation, but there is speculation that the added rigidity needed could have added too much weight for the coupe, ruining it's perfect weight balance. The report does say the project could be 'fast-tracked' if Toyota's management wants to restart the project once again. Source: What Car? William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  18. For the past couple of years, we have reporting on countless rumorpile stories concerning the Scion FR-S. Most of these stories have dealt with a convertible and turbo power, and whether or not they are off or back on the table. Well it might be that two things may never come. Wards Auto spoke with Doug Murtha, senior vice president at Scion. Murtha explained that Toyota couldn't make a business case for either proposal. “So on the convertible we went down swinging,” said Murtha. “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.” This isn't the news the FR-S wanted to hear. At the moment, the model has been experiencing sales drop for most of the year. This is due to the phenomenon of sports car sales falling off halfway through the lifecycle of the vehicle, something Murtha admits. “You get 24 months out of those products and they tend to have a steep fall-off (and) we’re seeing a little bit of that. I don’t think that’s necessarily a surprise. I think the challenge is back to us to do some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.” For now, Scion is hoping the recently launched FR-S Release Series 1.0 will be able to bring back some interest in the sports coupe. Source: Wards Auto View full article
  19. One of the rumors that has been floating around for the past year or so was the Scion FR-S (Toyota GT86) possibly getting a hybrid powertrain as a way of boosting power. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We [have] already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and [the other is a] special hybrid system," said Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the FR-S last August. Well it seems that the hybrid powertrain is out. According to Autocar, Toyota is having a tough time trying to make a business case for a hybrid FR-S. "We can create a product with this technology, but it needs to make proper business sense. We have to prioritise,” said Toyota marketing director Fabio Capano. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  20. Hey everyone it's been awhile but this caught my attention this morning: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1090809_nissan-idx-nismo-concept-stars-on-jay-lenos-garage-video?fbfanpage It looks like an amazing ride and is being proposed as Nissan's answer to the Scion FR-S. I doubt they'll make a production model but has anyone heard anything?
  21. Chevrolet Speed - Sports Car for the People A Simple Formula 300 hp 3,000 lbs 30,000 Dollars The idea is not to build the best sports car in the world. It is to build the best sports car that the 20~40 demographic can actually afford. It is not the most powerful. It is not the lightest. And it is not the cheapest. But, it is powerful enough to equal a Boxster S at the stop light, it is light enough to approach the FT86 in driving dynamics and, most importantly, it is cheap enough to that a regular college grad can afford one. It is from this car that GM will graduate future Corvette and Cadillac-V owners. Design & Platform The Speed is heavily influenced by the Code 130R, but substantially different in most ways. It is not built on a standard Alpha Platform, but a heavily modified version called the Alpha SLC - Short Light Coupe. The wheelbase is shorten by 9.8 inches to 99.5 inches. Height is reduced by 3.8 inches to 52.1 inches. The belt line is dropped by 2.5 inches and the car is a full 23.1 inches shorter in length than the Cadillac ATS. Unlike the Alpha which is engineered to accommodate a wide variety of vehicle configurations and engine types, the Alpha SLC is tailor made for use strictly in 2+2 hardtop coupes powered by a Smallblock V4 engine. In fact, the engine compartment is so short, and the firewall is so far forward, that not even GM's upcoming 3-cylinder Ecotec will fit. Apart from the physical dimensions, the green house has a lot more rake and the nose is a lot shorter. It is almost difficult to imagine this as a RWD vehicle due the exceptionally short hood, but it is -- thanks to the V4 engine. Most importantly, the dramatic reduction in it's load carrying extents (mainly the wheelbase) and enveloped volume allows the vehicle to be approximately 400 pounds lighter than an ATS (300 lbs if you discount the disparity in equipment level and sound insulation). The Specifications Powertrain The design objective calls for maximum power output from the lightest, most compact engine. To this end, a 90 degree V4 engine that is basically a LT1 Smallblock V8 chopped in half is employed. Displacing 3.1L (188 cubic inches), the direct injected pushrod engine is about the same weight as a 2.5 liter DOHC Inline-4, but is only 2¼ cylinders long and significantly lower in height. The engine has two crank pins spaced 360 degrees apart and is supported by three main bearings. It exhibits the good overall balance of a 90 degrees full counter weighted engine, but is not an even fire design. With the crank pins spaced 360 degrees apart, the engine fires twice in 90 degrees of rotation then pauses for 270 degrees before firing twice again. This gives it a characteristically staccato exhaust note (1-1-0-0-1-1-0-0) at idle which turns into a guttural bellow when revved. The engine sounds almost like a Honda VFR750 motorcycle which has the same firing order. Synchronous cam phasing is used as on the Corvette V8 (LT1), but Active Fuel Management (Cylinder Deactivation) is not fitted owing to the impracticality of running the engine on just two cylinders. Direct Injection is employed using a combustion system identical to that on the LT1 V8. The engine offered in naturally aspirated form with 230 bhp @ 6000 rpm with 230 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm, or fortified with an Eaton TVS R1050 (1.05L) supercharger good for 300 bhp @ 6000 rpm with 300 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. Eschewing the high costs of an 8-speed automatic or dual clutched manumatics, the transmission choices are relatively traditional. Both the base vehicle and the SS are available with either the GM Hydramatic 6L45 automatic or a Tremec 3160 manual -- both offering 6-speeds and automated rev matching. An electronically controlled active rear differential is optional on the base car, standard on the SS. Stability control is standard on both but launch control is featured only on the SS. Suspension, Brakes & Tires Suspension geometry is identical to the Cadillac ATS -- strut fronts, multi-link rears. Magnetorheological shocks are not offered to keep costs down and the Speed relies on traditional coil springs, tube shocks and anti-roll bars to keep vehicular motions under control. Brakes are lifted straight from the ATS with 11.8 x 1.0 inch front rotors on the base car and 12.6 x 1.2 inches on the SS. Both trims get 12.4 x 0.8 inch vented rears. The SS also gets Brembo floating calipers. Rubber on both trim levels are 225/45 R17 with alloy wheels. The base car is fitted with Goodyear Eagle GT All seasons while the SS gets Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 Maximum Performance summer tires. The Competition
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 11, 2013 The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S could get be getting a big and small brother in the near future. Speaking with Car Advice, FR-S chief engineer Tatsuya Tada said, “Akio Toyoda always says to me, Toyota sports car [family] should be three sports car brothers. 86 is in the middle.” What are these two sports cars? We know the big brother will be the resurrection of Supra. The small brother will be sub-GT86 model. When asked about names for this new small model, Tada said its far too early for that. Possibly the most interesting bit of information from Car Advice's story is Tada saying that the new sports cars might be done in a joint calibration. The GT86/FR-S was done by Toyota and Subaru, and the new Supra is reportedly being worked on by Toyota and BMW. Source: Car Advice William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 4, 2013 Here at the rumorpile, we've been reporting on a couple derivatives for the Scion FR-S for the past year or so. The first is a convertible FR-S which we got a preview of at this year's Geneva Motor Show and the other is a turbocharged version. But a new report says both models have been canceled. Automotive News reports that the two FR-S models have been canned due to return of the investment not being viable for those models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 10, 2012 The Scion FR-S marks a return for Toyota of building a sporty RWD coupe, and it might not be the only one. Top Gear Philippines had the chance to sit down with Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the FR-S and other members (Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ). Tada revealed that the FR-S was the first of three new sports cars being worked on by Toyota. "The first is more mass-market and cheaper than the 86. And the third is more upmarket than the 86," Tada said. When asked if the third vehicle is the successor the Supra, Tada said it could possibly be but that nothing is sure at the moment. Source: Top Gear Philippines William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  25. Suddenly it’s 1986. There is a lightweight and nimble sports car from a Japanese manufacturer on the market that completely eschews what the American three are doing in the sports car segment. Only, it’s not 1986; vehicle weights have pushed upwards and outwards for past 30 years to the point where Chevrolet is now marketing its top of the line Camaro with a curb weight that makes a 1986 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight look positively anorexic. Sure, Chevy compensates for the chub by equipping the Camaro ZL1 with a tire shredding 580 horsepower V8 and an advanced magnetic suspension that does all the right things keep the Camaro on the tarmac, but eventually it starts to feel like you are piloting the world’s best handling 747. It is raucous and fun, but requires concentration and skill to keep things from going wrong. A full paragraph into a Scion FR-S quick drive and I’ve only talked about Chevys and Oldsmobiles. Back in the 1986, Toyota introduced a new Supra. It was not a muscle car in the tradition of the V8 powered pony cars from Detroit, but it had speed and agility from being blessed with a curb weight of about 3,000lbs and a 200 horsepower I-6. It was also intended to be a technological showcase for Toyota. As such, the price tag was relatively high. The FR-S is a return to this idea of light weight over raw muscle making the FR-S very refreshing to drive. The FR-S’ single biggest advantage is its low weight platform. At about 2800 pounds with an automatic transmission, the FR-S is a feather-weight in this class. The light weight also allows Toyota to equip the car with a 200 horsepower / 151 lb-ft flat-four engine jointly developed with Subaru to give the FR-S sporty performance without the raw muscle. The flat-four also lowers the center of gravity on the car to further improve cornering.During my drive of the FR-S, I found a light-weight, nimble, and carefree sports car with just enough kick to keep things fun. Low end torque is superb with more than a few instances of chirping the tires unintentionally at take off. Those of you hunting for raw V8 muscle will probably be disappointed, but the FR-S makes up for it with its willingness to be thrown around a corner and an engine note that will please almost any gearhead. Power is routed through a 6-speed manual or automatic to the rear wheels like its Supra predecessor. Steering is quick and precise with only a minor quibble with on-center feel; in either direction just off center, the FR-S doesn’t seem to want to pull back to center nicely. This leaves you making frequent minor adjustments on longer straight roads. Though quite sporty and nimble, the FR-S doesn’t punish you with a harsh ride. Toyota pressed the reset button on the interior as well. The interior FR-S is at once modern and retro. My first thought when sitting in the car was the thought that this is what would happen if Toyota tried to re-create the spirit of the ’86 Supra without duplicating the look. This is not a bad thing; it is actually refreshing in an age of highly complicated interiors.Getting in is surprisingly easy for such a low car and I found a comfortable seating position right away. Toyota even equips the FR-S with an old school double-DIN head unit so the owner can swap in something more to his or her own liking if they wish. The head unit does include Bluetooth for hands-free calling, but that’s about the extent of the technology there. The version I drove was an automatic, but the look and gate of the shifter could fool your friends and neighbors into thinking you bought row-your-own. The rear seat is essentially unusable for adults unless the driver is very cramped or very short. Forward visibility is excellent, but I found visibility while backing up to be a bit more limited. Checking in with a base price of $24,955 and without high end technology or interior room, the Scion is not a Supra replacement no matter how hard the buff mags wish it. But that price makes the Scion an interesting alternative to the Camaro ($24,245 with steel wheels) and Mustang ($22,995). The Scion FR-S was one of my favorite drives during my time in Monticello, NY. It is just the car to hop in and go for a carefree ride on rolling country back roads with the windows down on a nice fall day. I hope to spend more time in one soon. The full gallery of pictures from the IMPA Test days is located here and will continue to be built as quick drive reviews are added: Year: 2013 Make: Scion Model: FR-S Engine: 2.0 Liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder with Direct and Port Injection Drive line: Rear wheel drive, 6-speed automatic transmission Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 7000 RPM Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 6400 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway: 25/34 Location of Manufacture: Japan Base Price: $24,955 Est. As Tested Price: $25,300 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears View full article

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