You are here: Home / Car Reviews / Scion / FR-S / 2013 Scion FR-S Compact Coupe
  • 2013 Scion FR-S Compact Sport Coupe

  • Scion FR-S Compact Sport Coupe

  • 2013 Scion FR-S interior

    There’s a symmetrical dash with the instrument panel adding a cluster of easy-read analog gauges.

  • Scion FR-S engine

    The engine produces 200 hp at 7000 rpm and 151 lb-ft of torque between 6400-6600 rpm.

2013 Scion FR-S Compact Coupe

Scion FR-S arrives as perfectly balanced GT-style sports car

  • Review
  • Fast Facts

PAHRUMP, Nev. — With a dozen turns curling over a couple of miles of tumbleweed-strafed asphalt, the Spring Mountain race track in the Nevada desert at Pahrump fills the raked windshield of a GT-style sports car.

We’re strapped in the low-to-pavement driver’s seat and waiting for a starter’s signal to unbridle the muscle of 200 horses from a new boxer-style engine and allow this sleek composition of high-strength steel and aluminum to send our speed-addicted selves into triple-digit nirvana on forged aluminum wheels and Michelin Primacy summer tires.

Our test car at Spring Mountain, a slinky 2+2 coupe with hatchback styling and sport-tuned hardware perfectly balanced and rigged for performance with a front-mounted powerplant and RWD (rear-wheel-drive) orientation, wears the nameplate of FR-S for model-year 2013 from the Scion brand out of Toyota.

Those FR-S initials come from a description:  Front-engine, Rear-wheel-drive, Sport.

Consider the new FR-S a genuine sports car which brings a racy-slick body shell, driver-oriented cockpit with flexible seat/cargo configuration, keen weight balance for performance and handling, respectable fuel economy figures and surprisingly modest price tags.

MSRP for FR-S with a 6-speed manual transmission begins at $24,200 inclusive of DPH (delivery, processing, handling) fees. Select the 6-speed electronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters, Sport Mode, DRM (dynamic rev management) technology plus Torsen LSD (limited-slip differential), and the MSRP bumps to $25,300, DPH included.

The body design of FR-S — inspired by Toyota’s classic 2000GT of 1967 — features a long hood and GT-type hatchback tail with pagoda-style stepped roofline and ultra low stance.

It has a pointed face with fat-lip fascia tinted to the body color. Fenders bulge like muscles to make room for the Michelins and there’s that raked windshield which resembles the streamlined canopy of a F-18 Hornet fighter jet.

Climb inside to discover that the cabin feels airy and spacious, despite overall dimensions which tie FR-S to the compact class.

Driver and a companion sit low on contoured buckets with deep bolsters and suede-like cloth fabric upholstery.

Two rear seats, sized perhaps to only fit Barbie and Ken, have a seatback that folds down flat to increase storage space in the rear cargo bay.

There’s a symmetrical dash with the instrument panel adding a cluster of easy-read analog gauges.

The leather-bound steering wheel, only 14.4 inches in diameter, has tilt and telescopic adjustments plus paddle shifters attached on models with automatic transmission.

Engineers from Toyota and Subaru collaborated to design and build the lightweight 4-cylinder boxer engine as well as the low-to-the-ground chassis with independent suspension components including front MacPherson struts and a double-wishbone arrangement at the rear plus stabilizer bar fore and aft.

The speed-sensing steering system gets electric power assistance, which eliminates a load of hydraulic equipment and contributes to the efficiency of the engine.

Brakes carry a disc at every wheel with computer-controlled ABS (anti-lock brake system) as well as EBD (electronic brake force distribution) — which measures differences in speed for front and rear wheels, then doles out proper braking force to all wheels — and a VSC (vehicle stability control) device and TRAC (traction control), even a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system).

For motivation the 2013 FR-S totes a highly efficient 2.0-liter engine with DOHC (dual overhead cam) design and the four cylinders opposed horizontally and set perpendicular to the drive line. Constructed from lightweight aluminum and plastic composites, the plant features direct ignition and electronic throttle plus Toyota’s VVT-i (dual intelligent variable valve timing) device which works to balance the power output with thrifty fuel economy.

The engine produces 200 hp at 7000 rpm and 151 lb-ft of torque between 6400-6600 rpm.

Federal EPA fuel economy estimates tally to 22/30 mpg city/highway with the manual gearbox and 25/34 mpg city/highway with the automatic.

Standard exterior features on FR-S range from projector-beam halogen headlamps and LED taillamps to color-keyed side mirrors with power controls, variable intermittent front wipers, keyless entry system with electronic rear hatch locking, chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes and 17×7-inch alloy wheels with 215/45R17 tires.

Standard cabin contents include air conditioning, power controls for windows and door locks, front sport bucket seats with fabric upholstery, tilting/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, aluminum sport pedals and scuff plates, digital and analog speedometer plus center-mounted tachometer with programmable rev indicator.

Standard audio gear encompasses a 300-watt system with 160-watt Pioneer AM/FM/CD head unit (MP3/WMA/CD and satellite-tuner capable) and 140-watt 2-channel amplifier, eight speakers, RCA output jacks, plus auxiliary audio and USB input ports.

Accessories include door edge guards, foglamps, a rear spoiler, wheel locks and various performance enhancements from TRD (Toyota Racing Development) such as 18-inch alloy wheels, lowering springs, sway bars, big front brakes, cold air intake and a performance exhaust kit.


  • Description: Compact 3-door sports coupe
  • Model options: FR-S/MT, FR-S/AT
  • Wheelbase: 101.2 inches
  • Overall length: 166.7 inches
  • Engine size: DOHC 2.0-L H4/VVT-i
  • Transmissions/speeds: Manual/6 or Auto/6/ECT
  • Rear/front drive: Rear
  • Steering: EPS/rack and pinion
  • Braking: Power 4-disc, ABS/EBD/BA/TRAC/VSC/TPMS
  • Air bags: 2 (front), 2 (side), 4 (side curtain)
  • EPA mileage est. city/hwy.:
    • 22/30 mpg: FR-S/MT
    • 25/34 mpg: FR-S/AT
  • MSRP, est.:
    • $24,200:   FR-S/MT
    •  $25,300:   FR-S/AT