Up Close and Personal: Scion FR-86 and Subaru BRZ

Without question, one of the biggest automotive releases set for this year is what’s been dubbed the ToyoBaru. The joint venture between Toyota and Subaru. This car will provide a “fix” for the ultimate driving pleasure under $30k that so many enthusiasts seek.  More pictures after the jump.

  • 6speed…check
  • RWD….check
  • Light….check
  • Balance….check

Proof it exists....I even sat in it (yes the trunk is open)

I’m going to put all the verbal mumbo-jumbo at the beginning because I know that once you see the pics you’ll stop reading.

I had  a good conversation with the woman at the Scion booth. She said that each and every Scion will be offered bare bones and it will be up to the buyer to add the options. There will be no “trim levels” as such. I’m not too terribly familiar with the Scion buying process but it seems this is standard procedure with the brand. No word on any forced induction or “sport” model. Of course, this was from Scion. Rob and I have a feeling that one of these brands will break the treaty and offer a faster/better performing version and the one who does it first will win. Our guess is that it will be Subaru. The Subi people weren’t there for comment so we’re going back this weekend for a chat.

Pictures of the engine bay reveal that the engine is indeed mounted VERY far back. However, I think that there is plenty of room for a turbo up front. As you’ll see from the second picture, there was a very interesting exhaust manifold that went UNDER the engine bay and appeared to cross over the entire thing. My guess is that this pre-provisioned space could be used by aftermarket vendors to run a custom exhaust manifold and route the piping such that a turbo could be mounted towards the front.

Let’s move inside shall we? The interior is pretty decent. I think the Pioneer radio is about the shittiest thing I’ve seen in my 25 years of existence but I’m an audio snob so don’t mind me. The gauge cluster was clear, easy to read and free from visual noise as I’m calling it. I think you know what I mean; extra stuff that distracts you from what you REALLY need to focus on.  Steering wheel placement in relation to the seat is quite nice. Speaking of the seats, the front buckets fit my body quite well. I’m 5’10 and 150lbs so I’m slim and I thought they felt great. The auto shifter LOOKS like a manual shifter. In fact, I saw it and stepped where the man pedal should have been and realized it wasn’t there. Then I noticed it was an auto and saw the paddle shifters. Oh, and what of the back seats you ask? Well, not for long trips. That’s all I’ll say. Trunk looks quite large too. Overall it’s a great looking car. I’d like to get some time in it soon if at all possible. I’m giving it the Cranks Seal of Approval!



18 Responses to Up Close and Personal: Scion FR-86 and Subaru BRZ

  1. Greg LaPointe says:

    I really like this car…It has a lot of potential and it’s also supposed to be a lot of fun to drive. But for such a bare bones car to be priced at $24,200 for 6spd and $25,300 for the 6spd auto for an NA is just plain wrong. For an extra $2000 you could get a new Genesis Coupe 2.0T RSpec with 274hp@6000rpm and 275lb-ft@2000 and seems like the all round better bargain than the Scion especially before adding any options. It really is such a shame, I was really hoping the Scion would be nicely priced at $22k or even $23k but it just makes it that much more difficult to justify getting one. :(

  2. Robert Fortier says:

    My discussion with the Scion Rep didn’t instill much confidence that the brand is taking the car that seriously. Compared to what the Fiat rep told us about the Abarth, I think that despite performance ability of the vehicle Scion is resting on the fact that it looks cool for the main selling point. I want to grill the rep for Subaru, hopefully get a better response.

  3. Yeah, I think the guy from Abarth said the words “track ready” like 50 times and the Scion rep said basically nothing at all. They said, “I’ll shut up and let you guys poke around the car.” The lack of info was astounding.

    But truth be told, it’s always been that way with Scion. Performance wasn’t the main focus; it was always about the looks. Subaru was quite the opposite. Bugeye headlights, hatches, quirky looks…but they performed like nothing else. I’m expecting to get way more out of the Subaru rep too. We’ll let you know what we find out.

  4. Greg LaPointe says:

    Yeah definitely talk to the Subaru reps. Scion/Toyota basically designed the looks and gave Subaru direct injection technology and then said “Build us a car”. The whole driving feel, weight distribution, seating position, everything that makes this car was Subaru. If you guys get a hold of a rep let me know what they say. Still think it’s seriously underpowered and overpriced.

    • Robert Fortier says:

      My favorite comment was “this is the first sports car that has a boxer motors with Toyota’s direct injection”. My thought was “well, the only other sports cars that have boxer motors are all Porsches, so, yeah?”

  5. I can’t disagree with either of the last two statements. We’ll see what they go for in the real world market and how the AFTER market embraces them.

  6. Greg LaPointe says:

    I can say that the aftermarket will be flooded with parts for this car. Greddy and HKS have already created quite a few products as well as demo cars well before the car was released so once it officially goes on sale the floodgates will open. Another downside to this car is they went with a 5×100 bolt pattern even though most manufacturers are going with 5×114.

  7. Robert Fortier says:

    5×100 is an odd pattern. I’m sure they have their reasons, but most domestics and asian imports are 5×114, and the Europeans go with 5×120.

  8. Is the x100 number the diameter in mm of the hub bolt circle? If so, the only thing I can think of is less rotational mass. But it seems like it would be negated by about 5million other things so hell I don’t know.

  9. Rick G says:

    Yeah 5X100 is the Subaru wheel bolt pattern.

    I’m not surprised about the Scion rep. They are clueless.
    Seriously though BRZ > FR-S. The interior of the BRZ looks much cleaner. Nicer headunit and an aluminum looking dash. For some reason the FR-S doesn’t look right with that stupid Pioneer headunit and faux Carbon dash. Also i’m not sure if Scion is offering the push button start option.

    I really wish they would’ve brought it over here stateside as a Toyota FT-86 because with the Scion brand it’s just going to attract all the ricers.
    I bet within a month this car is out some retard has 20″ wheels on it and Lambo doors :epicfail:

    Price wise this car is right on the money where new cars should be priced. This is the average price for a new car and for what you get for the money it’s a helluva deal (responsive boxer motor, LSD standard, 6-Speed, RWD, rolled fenders to support wider wheels/tires, massive aftermarket support)

    This is a pure sports car for the enthusiast. Power isn’t everything. If you’re not happy with 200HP then by all means go with your Hyundai and enjoy the bandwagon.

  10. Rick G says:

    Wait a minute. This is strange. I thought all FR-S and BRZ’s come with a 7″ navigation screen standard.

    I know for the BRZ this is true if you look it up but it’s just strange to see it left out on the Scion model.

    Going to check out ft86club.com for verification….

  11. Let us know what you find out Rick!

  12. Robert Fortier says:

    The Scion rep wasn’t clueless, at least not the one I talked to. But the way he was responding to my questions indicated that Scion is still not taking the track/performance enthusiast market seriously. If Scoob gives Scion the bird and tosses a turbo on this thing from the factory, any chance Scion had to make inroads in this market are done.

  13. Robert Fortier says:

    The interesting thing we did discuss is that they are openly competing for the same market share. I would think that Subaru would at least aim slightly up market from the Scion, which has historically been pushing towards a younger age group than Subaru.

  14. Robert Fortier says:

    At the show, the Scoobaru rep confirmed that the 7 inch is standard for them, Scion wont be getting it.

  15. Price was released today. $25,495 starting. Comes with the GPS as I said and also the HID’s.

  16. Mohsen Abbassi says:

    Under powered, but I would opt for the BR-Z. I love the shifts in MT form. Much better then the final E chassis designation of BMW. Today, I would have to argue they’re pretty close. Overall, I love the car.

  17. I just see this car, to me, being another Mazdaspeed3. I mean, I’m sure it is a fun car to drive, but why limit it to being a gutless turd? You can’t honestly expect me to believe that giving it boost from the factory, or at least S2K power would have seriously compromised the price point. It just doesn’t check any boxes for me.

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