Tag: fr-s

By on May 12, 2015

TRD Camry XSE Pace Car

Over its long and illustrious sales career, the Toyota Camry has been described in many ways by so-called automotive enthusiasts. Most of them, to be honest, haven’t been particularly flattering. Words like “appliance” tend to find themselves in close proximity to the Camry whenever it’s been discussed elsewhere.

But this is The Truth About Cars, dammit!, and we have never been ones to drink the proverbial Kool-Aid on any car. Our own Jack Baruth has proven time and time again that the Camry, particularly in SE trim, is a capable and dynamic car at the track. I have personally piloted a Camry SE around Nelson Ledges. While it wasn’t quite keeping the pace of my Boss 302, it was no slouch, either.

That’s all fine and good. But what about putting it in a real race, with a real professional driver? How would it do under those circumstances?

Well, the fine folks at Toyota Production Engineering got as close to that as they possibly could by running a four-cylinder Camry SE in the One Lap of America last week. That’s right. They really ran a bone-stock, off-the-lot Camry in a time trial. The story of how they got there is just as interesting as the decision to drive the Camry itself.

(Read More…)

By on July 7, 2014

2014-scion-frs-001

If you purchase a Scion FR-S with an automatic transmission, I hope you’re deeply ashamed. There might be a legitimate reason. I’d accept a condition that prevents you from working a clutch and shifter. You know, something like losing a tussle with gangrene as a child or an advanced Type-II Diabetes induced foot-ectomy.

Harsh, inconsiderate statements, but why the hell would you want this car with an automatic?

(Read More…)

By on February 21, 2014

orochi

Oh my, this Toyobaru GT86 situation is a shame, isn’t it? QC issues, dealer gouging, controversial tire choices, sundial acceleration, the catastrophically depressing drone of the engine as it asthmatically stumbles to its powerless redline before the injector seals fail and it vomits out its component parts in a single “FehhhrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhPOP.”

If only the people at Subaru and Toyota had asked you instead of letting their own accountants engineers make the decisions. As Andre 3000 once sang, you know what to do-oooooh-ooooh.
(Read More…)

By on October 5, 2013

DSC_9912_1200

(Everyone please welcome Speed:Sport:Life alumnus and Cayman owner John Kucek to these pages. Upon hearing that John was going to the famous Burgerkingring, I asked him to get me a review of a car not available here. Strictly speaking, he did what I asked him to do. Frankly speaking, if he comes back next time with a review of a Toyota iQ or any other badge-engineered cars we’re firing him! — JB)

“Get me a couple of forbidden-fruit car reviews”. Jack’s words were still ringing in my ears as I gingerly walked up to a rental counter in Dusseldorf a few weeks later. I knew what this particular outfit had to offer, having been here almost three years earlier to the day on another Nordschleife-bound excursion, and it was good stuff. Imagine numerous E92 M3 Coupes, with the Competition Package even, lining the airport garage tower stalls. There was an Aston V12 Vantage standing on display in the terminal, the circular kiosk next to it touting its availability “from 169 Euros a day”. At least, I think that was the gist. It could have been 169 Euros per hour, but since most of my comprehension of the German language has been cobbled together from watching Inglourious Basterds on repeat, I might have been wrong on that count. Either way, the fact that a run-of-the-mill rental counter in Germany even offers such metal bodes well for my reservation, a “Premium” class upgrade that promised a new BMW 1er, VW GTI, Mercedes-Benz A-Klasse or similar.
(Read More…)

By on September 17, 2013

2014 Scion tC Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Many assumed that with the new FR-S hitting the dealers, it would only be a matter of time before the front-wheel-drive tC was sent out to pasture. However with an average buyer age of 28, the tC is isn’t just the youngest Toyota, it’s the youngest car in America. With demographics like that, product planners would be fools to kill off the tC and so the “two coupé strategy” was born. The last time we looked at the tC, the FR-S had yet to be born, this time the tC has been refreshed in the FR-S’ image. Which two door is right for you? Click past the jump, the answer might surprise you.

(Read More…)

By on August 19, 2013
geneva-toyota-86-convertible-front34

Toyota FT86 Concept

A dealer attending Toyota’s U.S. dealer meeting in Atlanta earlier this month has told the Automotive News that the automaker is now letting its dealers drop underperforming Scion franchises without any penalties. Those dealers that keep their Scion stores open will likely get two new products that were teased at the convention. Toyota Senior Vice President Bob Carter declined comment though he hinted at changes, “We’re not ready to go public with that yet.” Toyota Division General Manager Bill Fay recently told WardsAuto that Scion “has a few too many stores.” (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2013

Picture courtesy LSXTV

Last year, the women wept and the teeth were gnashed when we refused to award the Scion FR-S the title of Bestest New Car Spending Marketing Money And Flying People To Fun Places Of 2012. Although we enjoyed the little Subaru to no end — an impression your humble author has since had multiple chances to reinforce at various race tracks and fast roads around the Midwest — it just didn’t bring the heat from one corner to the next.

The good news is that this problem has now been fixed — at a cost of only eighty pounds and perhaps $15,000.

(Read More…)

By on October 4, 2012

The problem with the FR-S’ unrefined bumps, lumps and Trapezoid Homage to the 1977 Mercury Cougar now has a decent solution.  And what of this workaround?  It’s brutal. It’s borderline inexcusable.  But my goodness, it works…too bad I’m making you click to see it.  (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2012

Damn near everyone in the Industrial Design department at CCS said my engineering/gearhead/history buff background was killing my potential Car Design career. In hindsight they had a point, but most were complete jerks about it.  With three art history courses at three different colleges in mind, automotive brands/models/trim levels do indeed nod to something more than PR-hyped styling takeaways: perhaps a vintage automobile, a vague reference to a sub-culture not normally associated with a large corporation, or an entire genre of fine art. But the Scion FR-S isn’t retro… (Read More…)

By on September 18, 2012

Some bloggers see the BRZ/FR-S (hereinafter hachi-roku) pocket racers as the second coming of Christ, others declared them as declassed by the Hyundai Genesis, the Mazda Miata PRHT (pfft), and of course by the Ford Mustang GT. The hachi-roku may not be the fastest around the race track with Jack Baruth on the wheel and an AWOL timing device. There is one race which they consistently win: The race off dealers’ lots. (Read More…)

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  • Jack Baruth, United States
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