November 14, 2013
Not to worry, no Scion FR-Ss were harmed in the making of this post. I needed to measure the bellhousing features of this transaxle for a LeMons car I'm working on, which entailed schlepping it to a machine shop. I happened to have our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S at the time, so...does the gearbox fit?
Clearly, yes. I put down some thick cardboard and eased that sucker into the seat. It seemed happy. Then I threw some more between the bellhousing and the seatback, broke out a ratcheting tie-down strap and headed into the backseat.
September 24, 2013
I needed to be at a group bicycle ride on the UCI campus at 6:15 this morning. Luckily I had our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S.
Lucky for two reasons:
August 14, 2013
Half the fun of owning a car like our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S is taking it to car shows. This past weekend was the second annual 86fest in Fontana, California. Our FR-S was displayed with several other supercharged cars, all boosted by Innovate Motorsports and it was a great opportunity to meet some fellow gearheads and talk shop.
May 30, 2013
Undoubtedly, this is not the safest way to transport canisters full of propane, but at least when this photo was shot, they were empty. With Memorial Day approaching, I was determined to beat the rush to get these crucial outdoor grilling necessities refilled ahead of the crowd or before supplies ran out.
April 30, 2013
This update concerns a really small thing about the 2013 Scion FR-S, but it makes a difference to me.
April 29, 2013
It was an inglorious job, but I needed the Scion FR-S to help me retire an old microwave to a nearby household hazardous waste recycler. Monday being Earth Day and all, it seemed like an appropriate mission in a sports car in which we're averaging 24.3 mpg in combined driving. That's just 0.7 mpg shy of what the government's green people say we should be getting. And further proof that the FR-S isn't useful only for inducing permagrin in decreasing radius turns.
August 16, 2012
From afar the fastback shape of the 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ suggests these machines are hatchbacks, and indeed when most of us recall the old AE-86 we're picturing the liftback in our minds. But this is not the case; the FR-S and BRZ have a trunk like the notchier-looking AE-86 coupe.
And while it's not a very big trunk, I didn't think the Scion's 7.0 cubic feet would hamper my visit to the local appliance store because I was going after a GE Profile Spacesaver countertop microwave, a tiny 1.0 cubic foot, 800 watt model that stands less that 11 1/4 inches tall and spans less than 2 feet wide.
But foam packing corners make the box it comes in a little larger, and that's enough to keep it from fitting through the small trunk opening. The roof of the trunk is too low as well, so even a deliberate application of brute force isn't going to get it in there.
On the one hand the lack of even a smidge of utility is somewhat diappointing, but on the other hand I really value the single-minded design focus on chassis stiffness and light weight that led to the choice of trunk over hatchback. It says a lot about other less-visible engineering decisions made all over the car.
As for the microwave, I did eventually get it home.
August 01, 2012
I had to take my old Takamine dreadnaught acoustic to Santa Monica's awesome McCabe's Guitar Shop for some luthier love, and I had to do it with the FR-S. I knew Mark got some clubs in the trunk, and I figured the guitar should fit. It did, but not without first dropping the rear seat and sliding the case in lengthwise.
Dreads are bigger, pear-shaped guitars. Add a thick hard-shell case and you can't simply drop or coax the thing into the trunk.
July 27, 2012
After a 12-year absence, I've decided to take up golf again. I'm not sure why, it just pulled me back in. Yesterday, I snuck out in the middle of the afternoon to go play 18 holes. I figured the FR-S could hold my ridiculously large bag, and it did. But just barely.
I bought a new set of Callaway irons and a 3 wood a few weeks ago. I did not buy a driver because they're evil and should be destroyed. As it turns out, it's a good thing I didn't get one, because it would not have it in the trunk of the Scion.
As it was, I couldn't get the bag in there without folding down the rear seats, angling the bag in, then positioning it behind the rear wheel humps. Sure, I could have just left the bag lying longitudinally in the car, but I knew what I was in for.
You see, I joined up with a former Edmunds editor friend at the Malibu Golf Course. It's a wonderful setting that just happens to be nestled between some epic roads. Knowing that I was going to be pulling some Gs, I made sure everything was snug in their place.
No surprise, I'm a better driver than golfer. I can place a front wheel inches from an apex, but I can't get a golf ball to land anywhere near my intended target. My final score tested my skills in mathematics, but hey, I still had a blast. Added bonus: while playing in Malibu, you can hear various Ducatis, rice rockets and what I assumed was a Boss 302 tearing up the canyons. Also noteworthy was an Acura event that was being held there in the afternoon for Chinese journalists and a Fisker event that was setting up in the evening.
The drive back was also quite fun, and helped me forget the bad shots and frustration. I wonder if I could barter driving lessons for golf lessons.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 3,780 miles
June 26, 2012
While the Scion FR-S exceeded my expectation in regard to driving dynamics, I was a little surprised how small the trunk was.
Seven cubic feet. That's it. But before the commenters accuse me of not grasping the fact that this is a "drivers" car, I will say that it has plenty of space for track-day gear. My old track car only had four cubic feet and fit a mini floor jack, my toolbox, helmet, tire inflator and other junk. My snacks and drinks had to go in the passenger seat or else they'd get roasted in the trunk.
But let's say you need to haul bigger items. If this is your only car, you'll probably have to call a friend or rent something bigger (I had to do that on numerous occasions). Still, it's a small price to pay for so much on-road entertainment.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor