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2013 Scion FR-S (pictures)

The new sports car from Scion looks good and eats up turns with pure gluttony. Cabin tech is solid at the base level, and gets downright intriguing with Scion's new Bespoke upgrade.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 19 James Martin/CNET
When Toyota decided to bring a sports car back into its model lineup, it codeveloped the project with Subaru, resulting in a very fine-handling car with three different names. In the U.S., this car is called the Scion FR-S, while in other markets it goes by Toyota GT-86. Subaru also markets its own version of the car under the name BRZ.
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2 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The Scion transformation was not wholesale, as badges on the side of the car still say "86."
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3 of 19 James Martin/CNET
Designers hit the nail on the head with the body, making a no-nonsense sports coupe. The grille sits low and the fender bulges are slight, while headlight casings are simple and integrated well into the front of the car.
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4 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The engine shows plenty of Subaru DNA with its flat-four style. Toyota added a hybrid direct- and port-injection fuel delivery system. This engine makes a modest 200 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque.
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5 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The FR-S cuts a classic grand tourer profile, with a roofline that slopes quickly back toward the trunk.
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6 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The FR-S' real strength is handling. The car feels extremely well-balanced in the turns, while the electric power steering system delivers precise and easy turn-in.
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7 of 19 James Martin/CNET
Scion fits the rear-wheel-drive FR-S with a limited-slip differential, although its lack of exit power in the turns probably does not make the differential work too hard.
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8 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The front seats, manually adjustable, are comfortable, surprisingly so for this dedicated little sports car.
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9 of 19 James Martin/CNET
Scion calls this parcel shelf in the rear a seat, but anyone forced back there would probably not agree with that definition.
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10 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The dashboard materials are very good, with a kind of rubberized plastic covering the main surface.
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11 of 19 James Martin/CNET
Scion leaves stereo controls on the head unit, keeping the steering wheel free of any distractions. The FR-S uses an electric power-steering system.
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12 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The instrument cluster comes in a classic sports car configuration, with the tachometer up front and the speedometer off to the side. However, the digital speedometer is a very useful addition.
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13 of 19 James Martin/CNET
This very mechanical-feeling six-speed manual transmission is the only way to go with the FR-S.
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14 of 19 James Martin/CNET
Shown here is the base Pioneer head unit. Scion offers an upgrade with an LCD and app integration.
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15 of 19 James Martin/CNET
The Bluetooth system offers a recent-calls function and a phone book, but it didn't download a paired iPhone's contact list.
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16 of 19 James Martin/CNET
With FM stereo, the head unit receives HD Radio broadcasts.
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17 of 19 James Martin/CNET
Bluetooth streaming audio shows full track information, although limited by the screen size.
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The Pioneer head unit shows the music library from a connected iPhone or iPod.
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The audio system includes a midrange and tweeter molded into each front corner of the dashboard, along with woofers in the doors.

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