2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Scion FR-S: Yellow?

January 24, 2014

2013 Scion FR-S

Yes, this car has been sold. But I have one more observation for you.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Fixed

January 23, 2014

2013 Scion FR-S

Let's call it a knob cap.

Whatever it is, I fixed it. Before we sold it to Carmax. And yeah, some, if not all, of the tools pictured above were used in its repair. I'll let you ponder which of them I actually made use of, but suffice it to say they worked like a charm.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Sold to Carmax

January 16, 2014

2013 Scion FR-S

We kept our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S seven months and 5,000 miles longer than we normally do. It was a fun car to have around and as the 25,000 miles on its odometer showed, it wasn't often left to collect dust in our garage. But it's a new year, and we need some money back in our car-buying budget. This meant it was time to pay a visit to CarMax for appraisal.

"Do you have a figure in mind?" said Hamal, the appraiser. He recognized me and remembered the last car I brought in, our long-term Ford Focus ST.

"I have a number, but I'm keeping my cards close to the vest," I said. I was thinking about the saying, "He who speaks first loses."

Hamal told me that someone had recently traded in a red FR-S with about 10,000 miles. It sold in three days. I was originally expecting an offer of $17,000, taking into consideration the high miles on our FR-S. I thought they would impact its value. But when I heard that the other FR-S sold so quickly, I upped my guess to $18,000. For reference, we paid $24,930 (before tax and title) when we bought the car last year. Edmunds trade-in TMV is $18,831.

Before you hit the jump, take a guess on the offer.

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2013 Scion FR-S: What I Won't Miss

December 11, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

As a follow-up to my list of things I'll miss when we sell our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S, here are some items I will not miss.

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2013 Scion FR-S: What I'll Miss

December 10, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Our 2013 Scion FR-S's days are numbered in the long-term lot. It has served us well and I will miss it. I contend that it's the most fun you can have in the $25k range, and fun would be a priority for me if I were car shopping for myself. Click on through to see what about the FR-S I'll remember fondly.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Does the Gearbox Fit?

November 14, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

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.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Hidden Fuel Filler Arrow

November 12, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Notice anything missing from this photo of the 2013 Scion FR-S?

If you guessed "the arrow that points to the side of the car the fuel filler is on," you're right.

It's being perfectly hidden by the fuel gauge needle.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Intercooled Innovate Motorsports Supercharger Kit

November 7, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

"Want to drive it?"

Hook, swallowed. I was already halfway buckled into Innovate Motorsports' shop car before the company's Sean Crawford could finish getting the sentence out. Their FR-S shop car is equipped with the same twin-screw supercharger kit that's on our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S, but with a twist: The shop car's kit is intercooled.

In fact, the very car you see above was recently used to complete the CARB certification testing for both intercooled and non-intercooled kits at Automotive Research Center (the same place we ran our Raptor vs. leaf blower test). It passed with flying colors. Sean tells me that once CARB sends them the finalized paperwork in the coming months (thanks, bureaucracy!), they'll have an exemption order (EO) number for the kits. Pretty cool. Heh.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Stability Control No Longer a Must

October 8, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

At the end of August I drove our 2013 Scion FR-S home on dead Yokohamas and was quickly convinced that its stability control was a genuine ally.

Now, with the new BFGs, that's no longer the case.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Supercharger Is Subtle but Effective

October 1, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

I've driven our 2013 Scion FR-S a handful of times since Jay Kavanagh installed the supercharger. You've read Mike Monticello's report on the car's heightened entertainment value on Angeles Forest Highway (one of our great roads in Southern California), and you've seen Jay put numbers behind the improvement in real-world acceleration.

And I'm here to tell you that, based on my own commuting experience, the difference is huge on the freeway. But the first time I drove our supercharged FR-S I actually managed to forget it had a blower. Allow me to explain. (The Sprinter passenger van is not part of the story. I just happened to drive both vehicles last weekend. What a difference in footprint, huh?)

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2013 Scion FR-S: Does It Need a Spoiler?

September 25, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

The first order of business when it comes to making our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S look better is a drop. I don't want it sitting on the ground, but a functionally useful loss of wheel gap and increase in stiffness would only make the FR-S better in my mind.

However, when I look at the rear of the Scion FR-S it seems naked.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Multi-Purpose Sports Car

September 24, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

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:

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2013 Scion FR-S: BFGoodrich G-Force Rival Tires Installed

September 12, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

The old Yokohamas on our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S were heat-cycled to oblivion. They're being replaced by BFGoodrich g-Force Rivals, a relative newcomer in the category of high-performance summer tires. I've had previous experience with Rivals on another car and reckon they're a good fit for our Project FR-S, which is focused on being an effective dual-purpose street/track car.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Photo Shoot

September 2, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

When my friend and Edmunds.com coworker Don Swertfeger asked if I could check out a second-hand cafe-style motorcycle with him, I happily obliged. I lent my moral support and helped him do a bit of price haggling, too.

After inspecting the bike, I looked around at the drab, muted, urban landscape of Downtown L.A. and saw a perfect contrast for our hot lava red 2013 Scion FR-S. Here are some of the shots.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Stability Control Now a Must

August 27, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

As our acceleration testing indicated, the Advan Neova rubber on our 2013 Scion FR-S is sufficiently heat cycled to have lost much of its grip. Let me clarify: Those tires are fried. The tread isn't gone, but a little fingernail investigation reveals that they're rock hard, which doesn't make for good grip. In addition to slowing straight-line acceleration, lateral grip is compromised.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Saturday Morning

August 26, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

I don't usually get out of bed before 10:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings, at least not on purpose. I like recovering from the week, letting the sun leak in through the blinds and generally getting a soft start to the weekend. But last Saturday I was up early and devouring all the caffeine in sight. I had our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S and plans for a drive through the local canyons.

Typically, I'll take my personal car out with a group of Acura Integra owners (you'll recall that I'm an Integra owner, too). We'll meet up at a gas station, talk, grab a snack, check our oil levels and head out for 100 miles of back-road shenanigans. Of course, the FR-S was also built for exactly this activity.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Painful Shifter

August 21, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

I have no idea how Magrath managed to break the top off our Scion FR-S's shifter with only one finger, but now there's a big gap between the top cap and the rest of the shifter. No amount of pounding will make the top cap sit flush with the rest of the knob, either. It might not seem like much, but that little gap between the leather and the plastic hurts.

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2013 Scion FR-S: 86fest

August 14, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

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.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Real-World Acceleration

August 8, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Recently, we tested the acceleration of our Innovate Motorsports supercharger-equipped long-term 2013 Scion FR-S. A handful of commenters seemed perplexed by the fact the 0-60 time didn't see an even-larger improvement compared to the baseline non-supercharged run.

As explained in the original Track Tested piece, traction was an issue. And when it comes to 0-60 times, traction is king.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Innovate Motorsports Supercharger Kit Acceleration

August 7, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

After we dyno-tested the Innovate Motorsports supercharger kit now installed on Project FR-S, we made another visit to the test track to run acceleration numbers.

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2013 Scion FR-S: 20,000-Mile Milestone

July 30, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Even though we've reached the 20,000-mile mark with our 2013 Scion FR-S, it's almost like a new beginning. Why? Because, as JayKav recently wrote about, the little rear-drive canyon carver now has a supercharger, thanks to Innovate Motorsports.

As far as how the car itself is holding up, it's doing well.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Needs Brake Cooling

July 25, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

After I returned home from my weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S, I swapped its tracky brake pads back for the stock ones. If you use track pads on the street, they'll eat your rotors alive. This is because aggressive pads never warm up to operating temperature on the street, and when cold they are very abrasive.

In the process of swapping in the stock pads, I noticed signs of what I experienced while on track, that the brakes got rather hot. Above is the melted driver side front caliper dust boot. See others below. Keep in mind that this happened with stock power and street tires, though it is true that Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a track that's hard on brakes. More power and/or stickier tires like R-compounds (never mind dedicated track tires) would exacerbate the brake heat situation considerably.

There's not a lick of air that makes it way to the FR-S's brakes. There are no vents in the wheelwell liner, and the little spat that deflects air away from the front tires also deflect air from the brakes.

It's also got pillar-vane style rotors which have generally poor airflow pumping characteristics (manufacturers use them because they are not directional so the same part can be used on both sides, and they have good NVH characteristics).

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2013 Scion FR-S: Innovate Motorsports Supercharger Kit Dyno-Tested

July 24, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Everyone wants "apples to apples" or at least they should. It's the only way to go.

The day before the Innovate Motorsports supercharger kit was installed on Project FR-S, our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S, I visited Church Automotive Testing in Wilmington, California. The boss man there, Shawn Church, performed several pulls and established a baseline on our car, stock save for its Apexi catback exhaust.

Immediately after the supercharger kit was installed the next day, I again rolled straight to Church Automotive Testing. Several pulls were performed and the car's stabilized, supercharged output obtained.

Same car, same dyno, same dyno operator, same methodology, same weather, even the same 91 octane fuel in the tank. Identical apples all around.

Here's what we found.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Innovate Motorsports Supercharger Kit Installed

July 18, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Back in May 2012, when I first drove a pre-production example of the 2013 Scion FR-S, Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada described to me in some detail the protracted genesis of its flat-four FA20 power plant. That they wanted 100 hp/liter. That Subaru's FB-series wasn't going to cut it in its then-current form. That Toyota handed the next generation of their D-4S direct injection technology to Subaru, their competitor, in order to make it happen. That it had a big ol' torque hole right smack in the middle of the rev range.

Actually, Tada-san never mentioned that last bit. I discovered it for myself the first time I touched the FR-S's throttle to the carpet. Such a terrific chassis and little punch to really exploit it.

We've been angling to remedy that for some time in Project FR-S, our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S. The other day the stars aligned, and Innovate Motorsports got busy installing their twin screw supercharger kit onto it. This is a bolt-on, belt-driven positive displacement supercharger kit that promises a bump in peak power, sure, but more importantly a slug of Tabasco in the midrange. You know, where the FR-S actually needs it.

The company originally told us installation would take four hours. It took less than three hours. Bolting this much power onto a highly-tuned normally aspirated engine has never been this easy.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Track Weekend

July 17, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

The right way to set up a car is with a tire pyrometer, an open track and lots and lots of time. We would do precisely none of those things for this trip. This can only mean total failure! Right?

Nah. Turns out the Scion FR-S's handling is better than ever, both on the road and track. The alignment in its current state (front: -1.9 degrees camber, zero toe; rear: -1.7 degrees camber, 1/16" total toe in), even if not dialed to said max optimum-ness, has yielded more communication, grip (as measured by my buttometer) and progression than it had last time it was here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Track Weekend

July 17, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

The right way to set up a car is with a tire pyrometer, an open track and lots and lots of time. We would do precisely none of those things for this trip. This can only mean total failure! Right?

Nah. Turns out the Scion FR-S's handling is better than ever, both on the road and track. The alignment in its current state (front: -1.9 degrees camber, zero toe; rear: -1.7 degrees camber, 1/16" total toe in), even if not dialed to said max optimum-ness, has yielded more communication, grip (as measured by my buttometer) and progression than it had last time it was here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Hanchey Vehicle Technologies Camber Plates

July 4, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Zero degrees of camber. That's the factory spec on our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S. And being that its front end is underpinned by MacPherson struts, we see fruit, and it is hanging low. This is because in roll, struts inherently tend to gain positive camber more quickly than do, say, double wishbones. To offset this effect and to "stand the tire up" more in hard cornering, you want to increase the suspension's static negative camber.

No problem, I'll just crawl underneath and dial in some more negative camber by adjusting the FR-S's factory eccentric bol- [record screeeetches]- not so fast, there, zippy. Toyota/Subaru, for reasons that will baffle mankind for eternity, decided not to include provisions for adjusting camber on their rear-drive sports car that will likely become one of the most common sights at track days and autocrosses for years to come.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Aftermarket Exhaust Looks Loud but Isn't

June 18, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

For awhile, I was of a mind that the aftermarket muffler on our 2013 Scion FR-S made no difference in noise over the stock setup. Mostly what you hear in this car is engine.

Then I drove our 2013 Subaru BRZ and the FR-S on back-to-back nights and realized, yes, the big-honkus outlets do make a difference, small as it may be.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Noisy Tires

June 17, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

The Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tires on our 2013 Scion FR-S are getting noisier. They're exhibiting a more constant hum, particularly at elevated speeds on the highway. And the "thunk" over Botts' dots and expansion joints is up a notch or two, as well.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Transporting Hazardous Cargo

May 30, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

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.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Caption This

May 29, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

We've all heard the urban myth of the Chevrolet Nova selling poorly in Spanish-speaking countries because "No va" would roughly translate to "No go." I wonder how much market research was done before bringing the Bimbo brand to the States.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Not a Brick

May 9, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

While the kid was on spring break, we took a trip to the California Science Center, located next to the fantastically decrepit Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Spirit of Troy was with us that day as the weather was perfect, Rush and Public Enemy were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony just up the road, and I even exchanged brief Lakers and Dodgers misery with local sports radio icon Vic The Brick Jacobs while walking around Little Tokyo. Feelin' Blue, indeed.

Sorry, that's likely a string of non-sequiturs for most readers. More to the point, we went to the Science Center to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour installation. Fantastic display. If you're in L.A., go see it. It's one thing to see it on TV, or even watch a lift-off or landing in person. Quite another to stand under it, stare at thousands of those thermal tiles and consider the miles THAT thing has seen.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Scifosi

May 7, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Sometime in the next decade, Ferrari will build something about this size, in similar shape, profile and color. Maybe it will be mid-engine, like the short-run Alfa Competizione 8C. It will cost $150,000-$200,000, will pick up where the BMW Z8 left off and will make the California a distant memory.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Cross-Section Impressions

May 6, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Unless you're road tripping in one of our long-term cars, it's rare to get more than two or three days in the same car. But I managed to stay in the Scion FR-S for a week recently, which generates a good cross-section of comment from friends and strangers. Like friend Mandi, a mother in her late 30's. "That's a fancy car. What is it? A Scion? Is that really a Toyota? Wow."

Or my buddy James, a father in his mid-40s: "This is a Toyota? (It's a Scion.) This is really sweet." (Later) "Oh man, this car's hard for a fat guy to get out of."

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2013 Scion FR-S: Easy-Cleaning Wheels

April 19, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

This morning after the 2013 Scion FR-S and I emerged from the car wash, I realized there's another benefit to these aftermarket Volk Racing wheels besides improved performance and styling.

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2013 Scion FR-S: 15,000 Miles

April 10, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S hit 15,000 miles just as I arrived at work on Monday. It's aging well considering its aggressive price point, as there are no annoying rattles yet and the simulated suede upholstery still looks new. The stock audio system still sounds no better than my clock radio, but that isn't why you buy this car.

So why would you buy this car? Well, I imagine because you'd like to take it to track days like Jay Kavanagh. There's also a strong case to be made for getting an FR-S just to enjoy in your everyday life on public roads. I didn't make it to the mountain roads over the weekend, but I still had fun commuting in our Scion.

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2013 Scion FR-S: A Grown-Up Play Date

March 5, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

My longtime friend and fellow car enthusiast Albert pulls up next to me in his Honda S2000 and examines our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S.

"Red is my least favorite color but I would still trade my car for that any day of the week," he says. "Damn, that thing is clean."

Our friend Ian arrives in his Hyundai Genesis 2.0T R-Spec coupe and we take off for a Sunday morning drive. I was on a spirited jaunt with friends, but I couldn't help to think, "Which one of these would I want to own?"

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2013 Scion FR-S: Broken Shift Knob Cap

March 1, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

The shift knob for the six-speed manual transmission in our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S is one of my least favorite parts of the interior. I just don't like the feel of leather and plastic while shifting.

Luckily, the cap broke off in my hand today. It was easy to pop back in to place, but it still feels loose and flimsy. Maybe it'll be a good excuse to start shopping for weighted, metal replacements. What would you replace it with?

Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 14,010 miles

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2013 Scion FR-S: Not Faking the Funk

February 28, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

I love the wheels on our 2013 Scion FR-S. The Volk Racing TE37SLs and the Yokohama Advan ADO8 tires that they're wrapped in are two of my favorite aftermarket products. The ADO8s are a little loud and will wear down quicker than the stock tires on daily commutes, but they're sticky and I'm on board with that. There is something, however, that I can't stand about these wheels.

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2013 Scion FR-S: One of the Year's 10 Least Expensive Coupes

February 15, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Sometimes you have to make a few compromises to save a few bucks. But there are cases in which you don't, and the Scion FR-S represents one such example. The coupe nabbed a place on our recent top 10 list of the year's least expensive coupes.

While the FR-S isn't heavy on luxury or space, it offers abundant style and is loads of fun to drive. And with a starting price of just $24,500, you don't have to break the bank to get your jollies. Sounds like a good proposition to us.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2013 Scion FR-S: Lock Your Trunk?

February 14, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

I can't remember the last time I locked the trunk of any car, and in the case of our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S, I'd be way more concerned about someone making off with the entire car rather than any one of my worldly possessions in the trunk.

If you want to lock the trunk of an FR-S (or a BRZ), you'll have to fumble around a bit to find the out-of-sight keyhole in the lid. I guess the location is kind of a hassle if you actually do need to use it regularly, but I like its hidden location because it makes for a cleaner design in back. This near total rejection of extraneous clutter is one of the things that make the Scion-Subaru twins so appealing to me.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Dog Hair Be Gone

February 13, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

This weekend I had to take my dog Mya back to the vet in our 2013 Scion FR-S. I put her doggy blanket down in the backseat like I usually do to protect the seat but her hair still managed to get on the cloth. When I took the car to the car wash for its weekly wash and afterward pointed out to the attendant handing me the key of the "clean" car that they didn't clean the backseat, he said that they couldn't and that it had to be shampooed.

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2013 Scion FR-S: FR-S Brotherhood

February 12, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Last night when I pulled up to the valet in our 2013 Scion FR-S at the fancy Fairmont Santa Monica hotel, the valet guy excitedly told me how I had "his car." The exact red and everything, well, minus the exhaust. He continued to go on and on about how he likes to race it up at Buttonwillow. Sometimes he even drifts it. Needless to say, I was impressed. Not very often in L.A. that you meet a guy with a fun car who actually knows how to drive it.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2013 Scion FR-S: My Kind of Sports Car

February 11, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

After scoring a couple of driving stints in our long-term SLS AMG, I was grateful to get behind the wheel of our 2013 Scion FR-S. Driving a quarter-million-dollar sports car around L.A. is too stressful for me. I'm too afraid to switch lanes, I dare not park it on the street (valet all the time), plus the SLS spotlight is too bright for me.

But our FR-S is more my speed: fun and affordable. Now, I realize there's no way these cars would ever be shopped together but it made me realize that I'm just not an SLS kind of girl. THAT kind of girl wouldn't worry about her beautiful car getting dinged because if it ever did she could afford to get it fixed or replaced.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Track Day Road Trip, Part IV

February 7, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

It was a gamble. I had checked the forecast regularly in the days leading up to our Laguna Seca track weekend, and the outlook was consistently dismal. So much so that there was no sense bothering with high-performance brake pads. Normally, this is the second thing you change for a track outing in an otherwise stock car, the first being tires. So, I left the stock brake pads on our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S.

And as you've seen, the track was sopping wet. I felt vindicated in my decision to be apathetic.

Then the sun came out. And a dry line began to form on the track surface. And for a time, pretty much the whole track dried out. The twitchy, traction-devoid, edgy FR-S I knew in the rain made way for a far different animal. These Yokohama Advan AD08 tires rule in the dry. Communicative, beautifully progressive breakaway, heaps of grip. Exit speeds climbed. Braking points were adjusted.

It took roughly two hot laps in the dry for the brakes to go limp. The braking power underfoot just went into the ether as the overheated stock pads' coefficient of friction dropped like a rock. If you had told me that you'd secretly swapped my brake pads with sintered Folger's coffee grounds, I'd have believed you.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Track Day Road Trip, Part III

February 1, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Drivers' meetings are important and necessary. And they should take no more than fifteen minutes. Longer than this means the organizer just likes the sound of his own voice.

I bring this up because the 45-minute drivers' meeting at our Laguna Seca track day left exactly four minutes to get ready to be on track. This brings up another point: If you're going to have eternity-long drivers' meetings, you should schedule the beginner group to be on track first. Newbies don't have nearly the prep time requirements of non-beginner groups.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Track Day Road Trip, Part II

January 28, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Up until this point in its existence, our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S had only seen dry days. Life in SoCal has its benefits. This trip (part one here) would be the first time we'd find out how its more aggressive tires on wider wheels would fare in wet conditions.

But we'd gotten such a late start heading out of Los Angeles (plus the stops for photos, food and a visit to Sampson Communications to troubleshoot some equipment) that night had fallen by the time we'd peeled off Route 33 onto Highway 58. Fie, daylight savings. Now it's wet, cold and dark. It was quite likely that the soft compound of these Yokohama AD08s wouldn't have much bite on this, one of southern California's best driving roads.

This road, it turned out, was deceptive. Grip was admirable given the slip-prone conditions, and the FR-S continued to impress as a pointy, feedback-rich tool for driving. I love this car. Equally surprising was the pace Bitter Dan was able to maintain in his Exige, shod as it was on rather worn R-compounds. I would later find out just how I'd been tricked by Highway 58.

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2013 Scion FR-S: Two Coupes Enter...

January 24, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

But does one coupe have to leave?

Scion has these two coupes. One, the tC, is essentially a two door Corolla with a flash interior. It's front-wheel drive and seems more likely to be turned into a mobile disco than a canyon carver. The FR-S however, is a coupe that seems to be at the forefront of saving not only Toyota's image but the idea of an affordable rear-drive car altogether.

Can Scion afford to have these two diametrically opposed coupes sitting side by side in a showroom? Does the existence of one take away from the purpose of the other?

If you were Scion, what would you do?

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 12,512 miles

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2013 Scion FR-S: Track Day Road Trip, Part I

January 15, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Several weeks ago, I took our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S to Laguna Seca raceway for a weekend of berms, apices and brake markers. It's an annual thing, this Laguna track weekend, and last time I chronicled the trip in several installments all bearing the title "The Beauty of Dual-Purpose Cars," in the Miata section of the Long-Term Updates. My esteemed colleague Kurt Niebuhr saddled up in Project Miata this time.

There's a lot of green (to adopt the parlance of billiards) between Edmunds HQ and Laguna Seca. Decided to make the most of it and take the bitchinest roads possible that roughly connect between the two points. So that's what we did. The collective "we" being the two of us and my friends (and Eyesore Racing co-conspirators) Bitter Dan in his Lotus Exige and Sarah in her ridonkulously clean Nissan 240SX.

One wrinkle on the voyage northwards: rain. Lots and lots (and lots!) of rain. No big deal. It had no bearing on our selected route but slowed us down a bit. The first portion of our path took us north on 101 until we peeled off on 33 in Ojai. This is one hell of a road, and the FR-S is just such a perfect car for it. It's so communicative that you can drive hard (with conditions in mind) in complete confidence.

Deep into the drive on 33 I found an oddity. I'd hear a chime-chime-chime from time to time, which makes a rhyme, I have a dime...anyway, the chime wasn't related to any particular driving style, nor were any new lights illuminated in the cluster, nor did the car drive any differently. Nonetheless, I slowed down and put the senses one click higher. Miles and miles later I realized what was causing the intermittent chime. It was the passenger seatbelt chime. Turns out that the light jacket and a half-eaten bag of dried fruit sitting on the passenger seat was enough weight to drip the seatbelt alert. Why this took some 100 miles to finally occur I have no idea.

More to come.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2013 Scion FR-S: Judging a Coupe by its Color

January 4, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

As I spot more and more Scion FR-Ss and Subaru BRZs out in the wild, I like to play a little game with myself: seeing if I can correctly guess whether it's a BRZ or a FR-S just by its color. Now, I know what you're thinking, BOTH models come with similar red, navy, black, dark gray, white and silver. The only different exterior colors are the FR-S's Hot Lava (orange) and the Subaru's WR Blue Pearl. But it seems that if that coupe I spot on the street isn't painted Subaru blue then it's most likely a Scion. (With the exception of our Dark Gray Metallic, of course.) Turns out that back in March of last year Subaru announced that, according to the first two months of sales, the WR Blue Pearl was the best-selling color at 33.9 percent, followed by the Satin White Pearl at 24.4 percent.

By the way, does anyone know why the Scion's Whiteout color is an extra $220? The BR-Z has a similar Satin White Pearl for no extra charge.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 12,486 miles

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2013 Scion FR-S: New to the Fold

December 20, 2012

2012 Subaru Impreza

Here's some fun swag that I collected during the public days at the Los Angeles Auto Show: a Paper Shaper rendition of the Scion FR-S, designed by Shin Tanaka. In red, just like our long-term car.

The paper toys come flat on heavy paper stock which you punch out and fold into a three-dimensional model. Tanaka also designed paper versions of the Scion iQ, tC, xB and xD. Collect them all!

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2013 Scion FR-S: Animal Style

December 17, 2012

Viper Meetup

Last week, we held another one of our meet-ups at a local In 'n Out burger to give our readers a chance to check out the all-new Dodge Viper. I was thinking of bringing our long-term Grand National, but with the threat of rain, I decided to drive our Scion FR-S instead.

The Buick is one of the most popular cars in our lot right now, followed closely by the Scion. I showed up before the Viper did, and that gave some of the early-bird attendees a little time to spend with the FR-S.

Most of those who sat inside commented on how good the seats felt, and I totally agree. These seats deftly balance aggressive bolstering with long-distance comfort. Yes, our long-term Ford Focus ST has even more lateral support, but the shoulder wings tend to push my shoulders a bit too far forward. Unless you were spending most of your time on track, I can't see any reason to change either of them.

Just like the Cars and Coffee event where I did show up in the Grand National, the Dodge Viper was the start of the show. All told, I thought it was an enjoyable gathering that allowed me to connect with a few of our loyal readers, some of which showed up with their own impressive machines.

If you couldn't make it out this time, fear not, we intend on having more of these in the future. Stay tuned for more details.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 11,900 miles

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2012 Scion FR-S: Adding Lightness

August 09, 2012

scion-frs-trunklid1.jpg A long time ago, like before television, some foreigner, I think his name was Chazman, no Chetworth, something like that, said that the best way to go faster on the racetrack was to add lightness.

At the time, people told him to shut and stop saying things that didn't make sense. But he went on to win a bunch of championships so people eventually figured out that there was some truth to his observation.

The engineers of the FR-S clearly took that idea to heart. As you can see, there are no fancy trunk lid liners in the FR-S or any attempt to cover up anything at all. It's very much like a racecar in this respect and I like it. Mr. Chitwad would be proud.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Scion FR-S: What Kind of Engine Does It Have Again?

July 31, 2012

scion-frs-badge2.jpg
Oh, that kind of engine.
I think it's cool that the FR-S pays homage not only to its roots, but to what's under the hood as well. And all in a single, quarter-panel-mounted badge that looks pretty cool.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$183 per month*
* Explanation
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