By on February 13, 2012

North America won’t get a “tuner special” Scion FR-S like the Japanese Toyota 86 will. Such a policy apparently contradicts Scion’s policy of offering one trim level, and the American FR-S will apparently come pretty well equipped. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see it later.

Tetsuya Tada, the car’s chief engineer, told Automotive News that such a vehicle could arrive at a later date. That version, known as the “RC”, gets unpainted black bumpers front and read, 16″ steel wheels, no air conditioning and no stereo system. The RC sells for about $26,000 in Japan, while an equivalent to our FR-S would run $36,000. Car prices being what they are in Japan, we can expect an FR-S to retail closer to the RC’s price point.

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32 Comments on “Scion FR-S Won’t Get Stripped Down “Tuner Special”...”


  • avatar
    Byron Hurd

    Dem seats

  • avatar
    jco

    Scion gave us the tC Spec for one year, so there’s precedent:

    “The Scion tC ‘Spec Package’ became available in the 2007 model year. This package was aimed at tuners that would be modifying or racing the car. The largest changes were a fixed glass roof instead of the power moonroof and sixteen-inch steel wheels with hubcaps instead of seventeen-inch aluminum wheels. Other changes include a unique seat material, deleted cruise control and steering wheel controls, removal of the engine immobilizer system, blacked out grill and headlight treatment, and only four color options: Super White, Flint Mica, Black Sand Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic.”

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    $26K is going to be pushing the value proposition on the FR-S (no not the stripped one – I get it we’re not getting it here – guessing on what the better equipped version will be).

    If they come in at say $28K then this is close to dead on arrival, your certainly out of the price range of many 29 year olds, above the Genesis coupe, Camaro, Mustang, a left over RX-8, and you could probably get into a very lightly used 370-Z before they put the butt ugly wheels on the upcoming version.

    With 170 HP at the axle and coming in at say around 2,850 after a tank of gas and your average lard ass America, 0 to 60 time is in the low 7’s. BUT admittedly that doesn’t account for gear, rear end or other voodoo that could pump the time up.

    I don’t know, the closer the Scion 永遠に待ち gets here the less I think this is going to sell beyond the initial pent up demand from early adopters who are waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Yeah looking at the “speculative” prices for a FRS I’m starting to think a CPO RX8 might be a better deal.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        Don’t forget to add in the price of the second engine that RX8 will need. Even if reliability wasn’t doubtful, the fuel economy and oil consumption of the RX8 are unacceptable when all you get in return is 235-ish HP and much less torque, IMHO of course.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Rotaries are a pretty easy swap. Bet I can buy the RX8 and an engine, put the engine on a stand until needed and do the swap over a weekend when I need to and still be way ahead and have a car that probably drives better. But yeah, if you don’t do your own work the RX8 is not the best choice. Id rather have a few year old Impala for when I need a back seat and a few year old Miata if that was the case.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Actually I’ve heard it’s not that hard to get a GM LS engine in there… :)

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I wouldnt waste money on a CPO. The RX8 already comes with a 100k powertrain warranty. After 100k, whenever the engine grenades, time to swap in an LSx. And you can buy used ones very cheap, especially for the pre-2008 (which still come with the warranty). IMO the RX8 is one of the best used car values on the market… for the price of a basic Corolla you can get one of the best and most practical sports cars ever made. If you can deal with the mediocre gas mileage of course.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I don’t understand the obsession with dropping LSx engines into everything with four wheels. The whole point of the RX-8 is a light weight, high RPM engine mounted low and behind the front axle. If you put an LSx engine in it, you have completely changed the character of the car. Why not just buy something like a corvette or mustang in the first place?

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Well, mostly its because you are wrong. The LS engine is almost the same weight as a fully dressed turbo RX engine. There is a difference from the NA Renesis, you are right, but it isnt significant.

        Also, its well over 100hp more from the stock LS, easily over 400hp without any major upgrades. Try to get 400hp out of a Renesis. Won’t happen, even with turbos.

        For those who want an RX8 with more power and reliability, its a very good way to go.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        @ mnm4ever

        You have me curious. Links please.

        A quick search on my part came up with 247 lbs for the 13B-MSP Renesis (without fluids). For the LS1, it looks like 390 lbs out of the box. I found the renesis weight on wikipedia and the LS1 number on various forums, neither of which I consider authoritative sources. If you have more reliable information, I’m interested in seeing it.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Comparing stock to stock, you are correct, around 150lbs difference. If you were try to turbo one though (or compare the weights of the RX7 TT engine which is a more common swap), then the weight becomes much closer, within 40lbs IIRC. There are some things that need to be done to offset the weight gain, and bring it back to its “perfect” 50/50 weight distribution… smaller battery, relocating components, even simply adding weight to the trunk. The weight is the tradeoff for the power gains and reliability. Even with a turbo, its difficult/impossible to reach the same power output of a V8. Combining the extremely light and well balanced sports car chassis of the RX with the power and torque of a V8 is an awesome combination that is nearly impossible to find in standard format anywhere. Its 500lbs lighter than a Viper with the same power to weight ratio.

        Plus, its just cool.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    there’s actually two different stripper spec versions

    one is a basic model which is aimed for enthusiasts who want to put on bodykits wheels and big stereos

    there’s another that lacks interior fittings and is designed for race teams

    of course they both won’t come to non Japanese audiences

    • 0 avatar
      Byron Hurd

      Body-in-White options will be available to U.S.-based race teams, you can bet on it. If it doesn’t come with a VIN, it won’t cost Toyota anything extra to sell it here (no certification, etc).

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    If they sell them at a 22k price point, I’ll put one in my driveway.

    …oh wait, they won’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I’m betting it will be $23k. We’ve been all but told that the BRZ, which is higher spec than the FR-S, is going to be $25k. There is no reason to believe that the FR-S will cost the same or more than the BRZ.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Isn’t this car supposed to be available spring/early summer? Why can’t Toyota tell us what it is going to cost at this point? Is their marketing team still researching what they think they can get away with or something?

  • avatar
    Jetstar 88

    It’s the Dodge Dart Hemi all over again!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    A better name for this FRS would be “FRS EZ”, the EZ being the stripped out bare bones budgettuner special Tercel.

  • avatar
    RGS920

    I don’t see how people keep thinking that this car will do 0-60 in over 7 seconds when every FWD sport compact with around 200 HP hits 60 solidily in 6.X second range. It doesn’t really matter though because any V6 family sedan or V6 pony car will crush this car in straight line performance.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    The lesson for Toyota (and every other carmaker out there) is that if you leave enough time between the launch of your “next best thing” and it going on sale, the Internet will decide that it sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Good point. I expect to buy one of these soon after they finally become available, but even I’m getting a little tired of the never-ending tease this launch has become.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      +1 Ship the damn things already.

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      +1

      If they really Can’t get them market ready in a timely manner due to things like the Tsunami and the Thai floods and such, best to just give us a full spec-sheet to drool over and then remind us it exists just before it’s actual launch. All this titillating and teasing with the pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-launch shows is just as like to kindle frustration at Toyota as passion in the product.

  • avatar
    texan01

    Hmm… I guess we are going back to the unpainted plastic bumpers and trim look of the stripper models again, my girlfriends 98 Saturn SL1 will be in style again!

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I kind of hope that people are right about it flopping shortly after release. I’ll buy one when they are no longer flavor of the instant and dealers are trying to move them off the lot before the technology laden 325 hp 2nd generation version shows up.

  • avatar

    When we wrote two weeks ago that the stripper version will only be available in Japan,and that the Scion FR-S will come in monograde as usual, “comparable to our GT trim,” as Tada had said, we also warned not to convert yen into dollars to arrive at a U.S. pricing. If it would work that way, Toyota would not have problems with the yen. It doesn’t work that way.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    This after reading Jack’s excellant article on FWD vs RWD and I’m keeping my GTI!

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    Will subie have a tuner special?


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