"Toyotabaru" sports car lands in NYC as a Scion
By Jonathan Wong, AutoWeek
The collaboration between Toyota and Subaru to develop a rear-wheel-drive sports car hasn't been a secret. It's been common knowledge that the car would feature a boxer four-cylinder engine, but there were questions about what badge the Toyota version of the car would wear when it hit the U.S. market. Would it be a Toyota or fall to the company's youth-oriented Scion brand?
Last fall, word leaked out from a Toyota dealer meeting that the car (known then as the Toyota FT-86) would be sold as a Scion in the United States. With the world debut of the Scion FR-S Sports coupe concept at the New York auto show on Wednesday, that fact has now been confirmed.
The FR-S (which stands for front-engine, rear-wheel drive, sport) is a precursor to a new model that will join the Scion lineup next year. The new car is the spiritual successor to the AE86 Corolla, which remains a highly sought after model for its front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, light curb weight and well balanced chassis.
A Subaru boxer engine will power the vehicle, but contrary to early rumors of a force-induced powerplant, it's a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter example. The engine features Toyota's D4-S injection system, which employs both direct and port injection to increase horsepower and torque, while maintaining fuel economy. Of course, that's not to say a turbocharged model couldn't come later on.
Transmission choices will include a six-speed manual or automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. A limited-slip differential will also be a part of the package to help effectively distribute power.
Being a concept, styling is obviously more aggressive than what will likely end up on the showroom floor. The exterior profile draws inspiration from the Toyota 2000GT with an exaggerated face sporting sharp lines, a large front air dam and angular headlights with LED accents. The concept sits on massive Five Axis wheels (20 x 8.5-inch front and 20 x 10.5-inch rear) with widened rear fenders at accommodate the rims.
Sitting within the front wheels are four-piston brake calipers, which squeeze large 18-inch carbon ceramic rotors.
Expect the new rear-wheel-drive Scion sports coupe to join the range next year and carry a base price of about $25,000.