2013 Scion FR-S
by John Davis
The 2013 FR-S is Scion’s first rear-wheel-drive car and makes one heck of a first impression. With an aggressive front end and angular headlights glaring back at you, this coupe comes ready to rock. The dual exhaust around back reinforces that message, and another: this is no ordinary Scion.
Light on its feet, this sport coupe wrangles up 200 horsepower and makes track driving a blast. The 6 speed manual features short throws, allowing the driver to effortlessly churn up all the power the FR-S has to offer. Of course, a 6 speed automatic is available for those who want sit back and let the coupe work its magic.
On the track, Scion’s rear-drive rookie ably handled everything we threw at it, and then some. The benefits of rear wheel drive will be almost instantly noticeable to the uninitiated. But perhaps most important, the FR-S is just plain fun to drive, no matter the venue.
Inside is a well-constructed interior, with a clear focus on the driving experience. It feels very much like a sports car. Controls are simple, and not overwhelming. Decent passenger and storage space are available for the everyday driver.
But remember, this is no “everyday” car. The FR-S is a sport coupe. And while it enjoys being driven hard, there’s a terrific sense of balance throughout. It needs to be let loose to truly appreciate what Scion has accomplished.
With a base price of about $25,000, the Scion FR-S should be alluring to a wide array of drivers. Yes, the engine is small, and the numbers aren’t exactly class leading, but it far surpassed our expectations here at MotorWeek, and proves that Scion can compete in the RWD circuit.
The FR-S represents a new day at Scion, being targeted at enthusiasts of all ages, rather than just the youngest of adults. That’s an exciting turn for this scrappy, upstart brand, as it is in just the right place, with the right car, to keep the love of driving alive and thriving.
For more of our exclusive road test results on the 2013 Scion FR-S, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3145 which begins airing July 13, 2012. For a complete list of the public television stations that carry MotorWeek go to motorweek.org. MotorWeek can also be seen Tuesday evenings on Velocity