2013 Scion FR-S Reveal - Jack Hollis

November 30, 2011
Scion FR-S Reveal
Nov. 30, 2011
Milk Studios, Hollywood, Calif.
Jack Hollis, Vice President of Scion


How’s everyone doing!? Thanks for being here. All of us at Scion… have been looking forward to this night for a long time, and we’re really excited that you can be a part of it.

I’ve read a lot of the recent stories and blog postings about the FR-S, and it looks like you’re as amped as we are about this car!

We’ve been having a lot of fun at Scion these last few months, and to be honest part of it is because that’s what Scion’s all about… enjoying time with your friends and sharing experiences.

We’ve also had a great time sharing our cars with the Scion supporters, especially some of our latest models, like the new second-generation tC, which has been doing great since it came out late last year, bringing a lot of new people to Scion.

And tomorrow, I’m really excited that the iQ will go on sale here on the west coast, expanding the Scion brand from three models to four. 

The iQ ushers in a “New Urbanism” for a progressive buyer whose transportation desires are different. It’s a new… premium… micro-subcompact … for new urbanites who want inventive transportation without sacrifice. And while it’s small… it has a huge fun-to-drive spirit.

The iQ and tC are helping us usher in the “New Dimension” of Scion, allowing us to keep a strong relationship with those who love the brand, while also talking to new people who haven’t owned a Scion before.

The next Scion will help us reach a whole new Dimension… a machine that will be THE halo car for Scion, but also for an entire group of driving enthusiasts. It’s a machine that pound-for-pound… and dollar-for-dollar… will ignite the passion of a whole group of car fanatics!

I doubt there’s a bigger driving enthusiast on the planet than our President Akio Toyoda. You’ve seen him race the LFA at Nurburgring, and recently he debuted the Toyota 86 at the Gazoo Racing Festival at Fuji Speedway just prior to the Tokyo Motor Show.

About four years ago, Mr. Toyoda gathered a small group of people together at Toyota and challenged them to create a new vehicle in the spirit of Toyota’s classic sports cars. He met regularly with the chief engineer during development, giving his feedback on the key performance aspects of this all-new addition to Toyota’s heritage.

Last spring at the New York auto show, we showed you a concept that would inspire a car that we would bring to production in 2012. And normally, we reveal cars at auto shows, but tonight we wanted to let you… true sports-car fans… see it first.

Tonight will go down in history as not only the night when Scion introduced its fifth car, but more importantly...as the night Scion brought the “SPORT” back to the “Car.” A car that is truly made for the people in this room.

For the first time anywhere… the 2013 Scion FR-S.

I’m being completely honest when I say that I CAN’T get enough of this car!! And it fits perfectly up here with all these other sports cars like the Supra, the MR2 and the LFA.

You might be thinking… If we’re here to talk about the Scion FR-S…then what the heck are all of these Toyota and Lexus cars doing here?

Well, that’s simple…before we can talk about what the FR-S is all about…it’s essential to know where the FR-S comes FROM. A true performance car like this isn’t simply developed overnight.

These six cars play a significant role in Toyota’s lengthy history of performance and racing heritage. I know most of you already know these cars. Do I have any MR2 fans out there? Who wants to take home this Supra Turbo right now?! Every single one of these cars contains Toyota’s high octane DNA…a DNA that can only be obtained through years of engineering…innovation…experience…and of course…racing.

You may also be wondering why this car is a Scion? That’s also an easy one. The FR-S… with its style, performance, authenticity, originality … fits perfectly with what Scion is all about! Passion for your car!

The definition of the word Scion… as you already know… means to be a descendant of… or an heir to. Well… the FR-S is an excellent example of that definition. The heritage and DNA of these performance cars you see here tonight trickles down into every ounce of the FR-S…just one of the benefits of being from such a great family.

In addition to its overall heritage, the FR-S gets its core inspiration from three of the Toyota models up here… the 2000GT, the Sports 800 and the Corolla GT-S.

The 2000GT was perhaps the first Toyota model to gain recognition within the sports car world, setting 13 international speed records. When it first debuted…one car magazine described the 2000GT as "A fantastic engineering masterpiece on wheels… a magnificent manifestation of complete automotive ingenuity."

The exterior design of the FR-S is heavily influenced by the 2000GT’s profile, making it extremely low to the ground with a long, sleek hood. Even by today’s standards, the 2000GT’s styling is sophisticated and modern.

With its compact body and great fuel efficiency, the Toyota Sports 800 was an active sports car on the racing scene. The S800’s most important contribution to the FR-S, is that it was the first car ever to feature a front-mounted boxer engine with a rear-wheel drive configuration. The low center of gravity of the boxer engine and front-engine/rear-drive layout was considered ideal for a fun-to-drive car. And it’s the reason the FR-S adopted this sporty layout.

Although the 2000GT and the Sports 800 play a significant role in the roots of the FR-S, the car that inspires the FR-S the most is the Corolla GT-S, known by its true fans as the AE86 or “hachi-roku,” which means 8-6 in Japanese. The 5th generation Corolla GT-S model gets its “AE86” name from Toyota’s unique chassis code for the car. It was a moderately priced sports car with a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration.

The AE86 didn’t rely on brute horsepower, but instead a remarkable combination of a lightweight design, responsive power and a perfect balance. It made its way into almost every genre of racing from grip to drift… and from the circuit to mountain roads.

Although the FR-S arrives more than 25 years later, and doesn’t share a single piece of hardware, the spirit and the heritage of the AE86 bleed into every ounce of this car. It inspired the FR-S so much in fact, that each car will wear unique badging on its front fenders, depicting its “86” heritage along with the evolution of its new boxer engine. And can you believe the bore and stroke are both 86 millimeters?!

The goal was to create an authentic rear-wheel drive sports car… with compelling style… exceptionally balanced performance and handling… flexible utility… and surprising MPG.

How did we accomplish that goal? Well…we started with an overall focus for the car…PURE BALANCE.

The balance begins with the strategic use of the world’s only flat boxer engine in a front-engine… rear-wheel drive configuration… like the S800. The FR-S’s 2.0 liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine is the result of a joint development between Toyota and Subaru… combining Subaru’s newly developed horizontally opposed engine, and Toyota’s D-4S direct and port injection system. The D-4S system…in conjunction with a high 12.5 to 1 compression ratio… results in an impressive 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. We’re talking about a 100 horsepower per liter! We all know that it’s not hard to make horsepower and torque…but it IS hard to do all that AND get great MPG. The FR-S does all three.

The flat architecture of the engine allows it to be mounted low and pushed back far enough to classify it as a front mid-ship, similar to that of the $375,000 LFA, with an excellent front-to-rear weight ratio of 53 to 47. The center of gravity is lower than many sports cars today, even lower than the Porsche Cayman.

The flat-four mates with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offers quick and precise shifts with a short-throw… while the automatic transmission features aggressive up shifts…and sporty rev-matched down shifts…both initiated by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The power is put to the pavement via a limited-slip differential.

The idea of PURE BALANCE is further realized by the FR-S’s lightweight design and short wheel base. The combination allows the car to be quick and nimble into and out of any corner. How light are we talking? How many of you are S2000 fans? Come on! Even I’m a fan! Well…although it’s not yet final, we think we are going to be lighter than that.

To keep the overall vehicle weight down to an ABSOLUTE minimum…we decided to go with a solid roof instead of a sunroof…we chose a rigid trunk instead of a hatchback…made appropriately sized lightweight 17-inch wheels standard...we even made the hood out of aluminum! As you can see, our engineers are all about keeping the “weight down” and the “structural rigidity up.”

And every single angle of this car screams performance…The front bumper is low and aggressive… with fierce…edgy headlights…while the rear features a trapezoidal shape with unique tail lamps and center-positioned back-up lights. The roof has a gull-wing shape… channeling air-flow smoothly over the car. The FR-S will come in seven colors that complement its amazing style lines, like this striking red that we call, Firestorm.

The interior shares the same DNA… designed with both form and function in mind. The seats are mounted extremely low and are comfortable yet assertive. The large center-mounted tachometer is all business, keeping the driver informed of the engine’s vitals.

For many, the FR-S is the definition of the perfect daily driver AND weekend warrior. Its 2+2 seating configuration with a fold-flat cargo area is large enough to transport a full set of race-spec tires… a floor jack and the necessary pit tools for a fun day at the track, because you and I know that most of us don’t have a truck and trailer.

As you can tell… the FR-S is a serious sports car… offering performance that hard-core driving fanatics can only find in a rear-wheel drive.

We’re proud to bring you the new definition of an affordable sports car. And what fun is a sports car if you can’t afford to buy one.

What do I mean by affordable? Well we can’t say how much at this point, I know that you will be pleasantly surprised that we are able to offer this much fun with such an attainable price tag.

And because it’s a Scion, you know that there will be a lot of ways to personalize the FR-S. It’s amazing how all of YOU can take a great car and make it your own, with more creativity than anyone. And I have no doubt that I’ll see more versions of the FR-S than I can ever imagine.

We know there is a lot of buzz circulating around this car…and we love it. We read the forums…and saw the spy shots and the leaked information. We are aware that the FR-S fans know ALMOST as much about this car as WE do!

Someone asked me if I get upset about all of the leaked FR-S information and spy shots are out there. I said Absolutely NOT! It just proves that the true driving enthusiasts are READY for a car that is awesome to drive, a car that is light and nimble, a car that is sleek and sporty, a car that is exciting AND affordable, a car just like the FR-S! To give you an idea…Scion launched its hand-raiser site about a month ago, and without telling anyone about it, we got over 10,000 signups in just 10 days.

We’re excited about where the FR-S is going to take Scion, but even more excited to see where the FR-S is going to take YOU… and just maybe the entire industry. We truly believe that the FR-S is going to bring the “Sport”…back to the car.

I know that many of you can’t wait to drive the FR-S, so I want to give one of you a chance to be the first to drive it here tonight! Let’s see, who out there wants to drive it first?

I love these cool HPI Racing R/C Cars. We already have xB and tC R/C cars…and we’re already working on the FR-S version.

Originally we thought the FR-S would go on sale next summer, but we wanted to get people behind the wheel as soon as we could, so you’ll see it at Scion dealerships next Spring. If you want to take a few laps in the FR-S tonight, be sure to visit our friends here from Sony and drive the FR-S on the latest Gran Turismo 5. For all of you GT5 fans, the FR-S will be downloadable very soon.

One last thing… we couldn’t let you leave tonight without seeing a modified
FR-S! In the next room, you have to check it out …just one example of how they might look once they hit the streets.

We’re going to have some new things to share with you about the FR-S at the Detroit auto show, so please look for that in early January.

I want to invite you all up here to take some photos of the FR-S. I’ll be around to answer any questions that you may have.

Thanks again for hanging out with us tonight.

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