It’s been a long time since a true sports car has hit the market. I don’t mean a “sporty” car – plenty of manufacturers have those – and I don’t mean muscle cars, the likes of which have recently experienced a renaissance. I mean a through-and-through sports car: one that looks the part and has enough power under the hood to fit the bill. But the new Scion FR-S answers those demands on every level.
From the moment you see the FR-S, you know it means business: it’s sleek but compact, sitting lower than conventional cars at a mere 400 mm off the ground. Sliding into the driver’s seat furthers the sports car experience. There are no nods to luxurious, casual comfort, but instead attention has been paid to making the space a focused, no-nonsense sports experience.
The tidy steering wheel is backed by slick gauges that can be seen with ust a slight drop of your eyes so as to avoid any distraction from what’s in front of the windshield. The combined analog/digital speedometer is a nice feature: the dial is a nod to classic sports gauges while the digital readout adds a touch of modernity and grounds you from getting too lost in the moment, verifying that yes, you really are going that fast. And what would engross you in that sports car experience more aptly than the new 4-cylinder, 200 HP Boxer engine that the FR-S features? Made via a team effort with Subaru, the Boxer is a front engine configuration that provides 151 ft-lb of torque to the first rear-wheel drive that Toyota has produced since 1986. The engine has a low centre of gravity that adds to the sporty handling, and is controlled by the automatic with paddle shift, or 6 speed manual gear shift.
And all of this – more sports car than most people have ever experienced – is just $26,990.
“You can’t find a car for that price that gives you what this one does,” confirms Chris Elwood, the Sales Manager of Aurora Toyota. He adds that it’s a car that truly belongs on a track. And that isn’t hollow praise: he had a prospective client show up recently for a test drive in the FR-S with a full-on, professional race helmet. The man was hoping to buy the FR-S to race it at track events, and wanted to make sure that it had enough head clearance that he could drive it with his helmet on.
Aurora Toyota has had a lot of success with the Scio
n brand, and with the FR-S in particular. The dealership was among the select dealerships across the province to carry Scion vehicles when they first came to Canada in October of 2010.
And who’s been buying the FR-S? An unexpectedly wide demographic of 19-55 year-olds: much broader appeal than anticipated perhaps because of its sport qualities offered at a price that’s not out of the question for even first-time buyers.
So yes, it’s been a long time since a true sports car has hit the market. But the drought was worth the wait, because the Scion FR-S answers that call with unprecedented style, power, and affordability.
Written by Reay Jespersen