2013 Scion FR-S Long Term Road Test


2013 Scion FR-S vs. 2011 Scion tC Track Tested

June 26, 2012

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Edmunds.com tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "IL Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Part of the appeal of the 2013 Scion FR-S -- and its twin, the Subaru BRZ -- is that it is such a departure from what we're used to from Scion (and Subaru). After all, before the FR-S, the most exciting, dynamic, stylish car and the closest thing Scion had to a driver's car was the Scion tC, which we last tested as a 2011 model.

The 2011 Scion tC had 180 horsepower routed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S makes 200 hp and pushes it to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual.

Scion FR-S Scion tC
0-30 (sec): 2.3 2.7
0-45 (sec): 4.2 4.6
0-60 (sec): 6.5 7.3
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.2 7.0
0-75 (sec): 9.6 10.9
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 14.8 @ 93.6 15.5 @ 89.9

30-0 (ft): 28 29
60-0 (ft): 114 123
Skid pad lateral accel (g): 0.89 0.82
Slalom 67.5 65.3

Vehicle: 2013 Scion FR-S
Odometer: 1,153
Date: 6-19-2012
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $24,930


Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Longitudinal, naturally aspirated flat-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,998/122
Redline (rpm): 7,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 200 @ 7,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 151 @ 6,600
Brake Type (front): 11.7-inch vented discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.5-inch discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, lower control arms, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 215/45 R17 (87W)
Tire Size (rear): 215/45 R17 (87W)
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Primacy HP Green X
Wheel Size: 17-by-7 inches front and rear
Tire Type: Summer performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 2,738


Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.3 (3.2 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.2 (5.6 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.5 (8.2 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.2 (7.8 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 9.6 (11.5 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.8 @ 93.6 (15.9 @ 90.9)

Braking:
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 114

Handling
Slalom (mph): 67.5 ( 65.2 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.89 ( 0.88 w/TC on )

Db @ Idle: 41.6
Db @ Full Throttle: 80.5
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 66.5


Acceleration: I tried Jacquot's "big revs, massive wheelspin" technique and while it does work to some extent, such excessive wheelspin had the shift light popping on while still spinning the tires, which caused the car to bog slightly after shifting to 2nd. So 5,000-rpm drop-clutch technique with slightly less wheelspin (but still a lot) proved quickest. Shifter is excellent, very precise, easy to jam home with authority.

Braking: Very firm pedal with nice, short travel. The FR-S stays supremely planted and secure during panic stops, and the pedal remained consistent throughout. First stop was shortest at 114 feet. Fourth stop (out of six) was longest at 118 feet.

Handling:

Skid pad: This is a real throttle-steering car, and it's easy to get too much oversteer which would hurt the skid pad number. But, with small, careful throttle changes (not easy, because throttle is a bit abrupt) you can control the car's angle very nicely.

Slalom: This is a very twitchy, tail-happy car in the quick transitions of the slalom, at least with VSC turned fully off. Planted it's not. Which just goes to show that what works fantastically on a mountain road does not necessarily equate to an easy time in the slalom. The VSC Sport setting and VSC fully on seemed very close in terms of intervention. The Sport setting should allow more freedom. And when it freaks out, it stabs the brakes very aggressively.

Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC
Odometer: 883
Date: 08-17-2010
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $19,995

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,494/152
Redline (rpm): 6,250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 180 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 173 @ 4,100
Brake Type (front): 11.7-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.0-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent double wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P225/45R18 91W
Tire Size (rear): P225/45R18 91W
Tire Brand: Yokohama
Tire Model: Avid 834
Tire Type: All season
Wheel size: 18-by-7.5 inches front and rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Cast aluminum
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,078

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 2.7 (2.8 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.6 (4.8 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 7.3 (7.5 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.0 (7.2 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 10.9 (11.1 w/TC on)
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 15.5 @ 89.9 (15.6 @ 89.5 w/TC on)

30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 123

Slalom (mph): 65.3 (62.3 stability control on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.82 (0.82 stability control on)

Db @ Idle: 41.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 74.8
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 70.6

Acceleration Comments: Traction control can be avoided with heavy clutch abuse on the launch, but it kills the 1-2 shift. With trac off, the best run "hazed" the tires and allowed (almost) a 1-2 chirp. Long travel on clutch pedal before bite, and medium-length shift throws. Not horrible, but not a Civic either.

Braking Comments: Reasonably flat, always straight, minimal fade. In other words, a textbook "average" performance.

Handling Comments:

Skid pad: With ESC off, there's a healthy dose of understeer. With ESC on, I can hear/feel the brake being applied, but it didn't help with the ultimate result. Steering is vaguely artificially made heavier at this speed.

Slalom: With ESC off, the 6MT tC wasn't as threatening to break the rears as loose as the 6A -- maybe I was prepared this time, but it felt more predictable nonetheless. I used the same tiptoe in and whack the throttle for the exit. With ESC on, it dabed a brake at each cone, limiting my ability to go much faster.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Scion FR-S in VA is:

$178 per month*
* Explanation
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