's Scion youth brand rolls out the FR-S Concept front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car at the New York auto show today.
The FR-S, a joint development betweenand Heavy Industries (Subaru) already has been shown overseas as the FT-86 and echoes a production Scion model due next year.
Toyota in the U.S. had been debating whether to brand the RWD coupe a Toyota or Scion.
“Scion is always experimenting with new things,” Jack Hollis, Scion vice president, says in a statement. “(Toyota Motor President) Akio Toyoda has mentioned that he is going to bring the fun-to-drive spirit back to Toyota. I know that the Scion FR-S Concept is one of the ways that he plans to accomplish that.”
Reflecting Subaru’s influence, the FR-S is equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.0L boxer engine.
Scion says the engine's compact size and shape “allows the concept vehicle’s powertrain to be mounted lower and further back towards the rear, giving the car a lower center of gravity and a dynamically favorable front-to-rear weight ratio.”
Toyota's D4-S port- and direct-injection system is used for the first time with a boxer engine, increasing horsepower and torque across the power band without sacrificing fuel economy.
The 2.0L boxer can be mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic, with short throws promised from the manual gearbox and paddle-shifting via the automatic.
The FR-S has a short wheelbase and is lightweight to maximize balance, with quick and nimble cornering and "confident stability" a result of this scheme, Scion says.
The concept car boasts a low hood, thanks to the flat-4 engine, Scion says, noting the FR-S design overall was inspired by the Toyota 2000GT, a 1960s exotic sports car.
Scion describes the FR-S face as menacing, with a wide mouth and angular headlights. Front fenders curve up to accommodate 5-axis 20-in. wheels, while wide rear fenders house slightly wider 20-in. discs. Dual exhaust, light-emitting-diode taillamps and a "bold Scion logo" decorate the rear.
The FR-S is 168.2 ins. (427 cm) long, 6 ins. (15 cm) shorter than the Scion tC 2-door. The car’s wheelbase is roughly 5 ins. (13 cm) less than the tC.
Comparing the FR-S’ dimensions with the similar Subaru concept, the FR-S is slightly shorter and wider.
Subaru led the engineering for the FT-86/FR-S models and, according to commentsCEO Ikuo Mori made to Ward's last month, will sell the production model in all of its markets.
In January, Subaru U.S. officials indicated they were still unsure of retailing a RWD car in their otherwise all-wheel-drive lineup.