For the first time in 15 years, Toyota will add a rear-wheel drive sports car to its lineup, in the form of the Scion FR-S. We had the opportunity to take a look at the new FR-S, and we were pleasantly surprised by both its commuter comfort and track day competency.
The Scion FR-S, known as the Toyota FT86 outside the US, was co-developed with Subaru’s BRZ. Toyota and Subaru worked together to engineer the car’s 2.0-liter Boxer engine and rear-wheel drive system. The FR-S comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, which is light enough for quick shifting on spirited drives, but heavy enough to feel high quality and precise during long commutes.
Perhaps our favorite feature on the FR-S is the sound of its engine and exhaust system; both sound great all the way up to the car’s 7,500 RPM redline. The base wheels are 17" all the way around, but true to Scion form, there are additional wheel, brake and performance options on the way.
Inside, the FR-S looks like a Scion. It’s mid-level in terms of quality, but everything is laid out nicely, and the shifter on the available manual transmission is precise and fun. However, there’s no armrest, and the cup holders feel like an afterthought. Other than that, the interior is simple but functional for the business of driving.
At just under $25,000 for the entry-level car, we don’t know how anyone could go wrong. Check back later for our full review of this affordable sports car.