Scion FR-S Concept Press Conference
2011 New York International Auto Show
Javits Convention Center, Galleria
Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 1:40 p.m. EDT
Jack Hollis, Vice President, Scion
Good afternoon everyone… and thanks for coming out today.
I love coming to New York… And this show has a special place in Scion’s history.
In addition to introducing the brand here in 2002… we’ve revealed a number of significant vehicles in New York… and last year was no exception.
When I saw you a year ago… we revealed the all-new… second-generation tC.
BETTER in every possible way… it features aggressive styling and enhanced performance.
It’s a premium compact sports coupe that redefines its segment to meet the desires of an evolving buyer.
When the critically acclaimed tC reached Scion dealerships last September… it was well received by Scion owners… both new and existing.
Since its original launch seven years ago… it’s had the youngest median-age buyer in the industry… and the all-new tC continues that trend.
It enables Scion to have the youngest drivers on the road today.
The second-generation tC’s successful launch last fall continued to bring new buyers into the Toyota family… which has been a key goal for Scion since inception.
The tC immediately drove traffic to Scion dealerships… contributing heavily to sales increases for all three Scion models in the last quarter of the year.
Last year… we also showed you an exciting new vehicle that will help usher in a “New Urbanism”… the Scion iQ. When it goes on sale later this year… the iQ will appeal to a more progressive buyer whose transportation needs and desires are changing.
The iQ will be about big ideas… Concentrated. It will take a unique approach to urban mobility… beyond convenient transportation… with a blend of style and innovation.
The iQ will define a new… premium… micro-subcompact segment… attracting new urbanites who appreciate inventive transportation without sacrifice in design or features.
It will also have an emotional appeal that screams… “it’s time to have fun.”
The iQ will have all the safety and security drivers want. Vehicle Stability Control… Anti-lock Brakes… and Traction Control are among the standard-active safety features.
It’s amazing that a car this small not only has a segment best… but an INDUSTRY-best 11 standard airbags… including the world’s first rear-window curtain airbag.
Like all Scions… the iQ will represent a great value with a strong mix of standard features and benefits. I’m looking forward to seeing it navigate the streets of Manhattan… with a HUGE advantage in finding a parking spot… as well as other cities around the country.
To get them in the hands of urban owners as soon as possible… we will launch the iQ in waves… just like when we originally launched the brand. We’ll start with the West Coast… New York and the rest of the East Coast will follow. The iQ will then reach the Midwest.
While the iQ’s launch is later than we originally planned… most of you can understand why.
But you know what… our company is always about people first… and our top priority these days is to support our colleagues in Japan… their families… and the Japanese people.
It’s a tribute to their hard work and dedication… and their ability to come together under the most difficult circumstances… that impresses each and every one of us.
It’s truly an honor to be teammates with them.
The iQ and tC are more than just two new products. Together… they’re helping us usher in the “New Dimension” of Scion. While tC stretched Scion in a new direction… and iQ will too… in a BIG way… we’re NOT stopping there.
You know… Scion has always been Toyota’s lab for trying new ideas. At its core is a DNA of authenticity… community… and personalization that we’ll be expanding even further. While Scion’s been iconic with the xB… and adrenalized by the tC… and groundbreaking with the iQ.
Now… we’ll be going in a New Dimension that I know Scion is truly destined for.
It’s no secret…Toyota President Akio Toyoda loves to express his passion for driving. Whether he’s behind the wheel of the LF A at the 24-hours of Nurburgring… or just cruising around on the weekend in his IS F… it’s obvious that he knows what it means to have fun in a car.
In countless interviews and presentations… Akio has made it clear that he wants to bring that Fun-to-Drive spirit… BACK to TOYOTA.
And you know what… THIS is what he has in mind.
Ladies and gentlemen…passionate drivers… canyon carvers… auto-crossers and weekend track warriors…it is my pleasure to introduce YOU to the New Dimension of “Fun to Drive”…no scratch that…”Awesome to Drive”… also known as…the Scion FR-S Concept.
Every time I see this car…I just can’t help but smile.
You know… I’ve been having a lot of fun watching the forums and reading the comments about this car.
I’m truly impressed by the amount of passion that the enthusiasts already have for it and the volume of buzz that it’s generating. It proves that they are absolutely READY for a car just like THIS!
One of the common rumors about this car is its name. We’ve seen people call it FR-86… FT-S… and of course Scion FT-86. All were pretty close!
FR-S stands for Front-engine… Rear-wheel drive… Sport. Pretty simple. I personally believe it should stand for Friggin’ Really Sweet…but the legal department at Toyota was NOT feeling the same way.
You may be asking yourself… why did Scion stray away from the traditional naming convention?
Well… why not?! Scion’s never been about convention… We’re always looking to be different.
And this car is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than anything Scion has in its lineup…it deserves to stand out.
Now before I get too far into where the FR-S Concept COULD go… it’s important to know where it comes FROM.
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. Toyota’s lengthy history of performance cars and racing heritage trickles down into the overall design of the FR-S…just one of the benefits of being in such a great family.
You’re probably already pretty familiar with cars like the Toyota 2000GT… the MR-2… the Celica All Trac Turbo… and my personal favorite…the Supra Turbo.
The FR-S Concept… however… is most closely related to… and really inspired by… the AE86 Corolla…known by its true fans as the “hachi-roku…” which means 8-6 in Japanese.
The AE86 didn’t rely on brute horsepower… but instead a remarkable combination of a lightweight design… manageable power and great balance. It made its way into almost every genre of racing from grip to drift… and from the circuit to mountain roads.
Although this concept arrives here more than 25 years later… and doesn’t share a single common part… the spirit and the heritage of the AE86 has trickled down into every single detail of this FR-S Concept. 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. I know the FR-S Concept will achieve all of that.
How did we do it? Well… we started with an overall focus for the car…PURE BALANCE.
The balance begins with the strategic use of a flat boxer engine in a front-engine… rear-wheel drive configuration. The combination allows the FR-S’s engine and transmission package to be mounted lower… and further back toward the rear… giving the car a lower center of gravity and a favorable front-to-rear weight ratio.
The naturally aspirated two-liter engine features Toyota’s D4-S injection system… which utilizes both direct and port injection… resulting in increased horsepower and torque throughout the entire powerband. 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 Concept tackles all three.
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… sporty shifts… initiated by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 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.
Every single angle of this car bleeds performance… and it starts with this awesome red paint that I like to call… “Code Red.” The profile of the FR-S was inspired by the 2000GT… making it extremely low to the ground with a long and sleek hood.
The front bumper is aggressive… with fierce… edgy headlights. The roof has a gull-wing shape… channeling air-flow smoothly over the car. While the rear features a trapezoidal shape with unique tail lamps and center-positioned back-up light.
The FR-S Concept connects to the road via 20-inch wheels that are staggered… 8-inches wide up front and a ridiculous 10-inches wide in the rear. The wheels have a unique motorcycle-style braking system with huge 18-inch rotors that are attached to the wheels. Four-piston calipers bite down hard when the car needs to be brought to a halt.
While the FR-S you see today is a concept vehicle… we envision that the sports car physique wouldn’t stop with the aggressive exterior. The interior would share the same DNA… designed with both form and function in mind. I envision it would be the perfect daily driver AND weekend warrior. How about a 2+2 seating configuration… with a fold-flat cargo area 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 not all enthusiasts have a truck and trailer.
As you can tell… the FR-S Concept is a serious sports coupe… offering performance that hard-core driving fanatics can only find in a rear-wheel drive.
While the tC appeals strongly to a young… aspirational owner who is just starting to achieve early success… I see the FR-S Concept taking us into yet another Dimension.
It will be a sports car for someone who knows exactly what he wants… where he wants to go… and desires a car to take him there. It will have that Pure Balance to reach the braking zone… hit the apex… and accelerate on to the next conquest.
While only a concept… the FR-S shows what is possible with Scion owners’ creativity and easy ability to personalize. It’s a vehicle that will inspire a new model coming to market next year.
I look forward to showing you more… very soon.
Thanks again for joining us today.
Come on up and take a look at the FR-S Concept.