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Toyota sports car blitzes Detroit

2012-01-11 09:54

US 86: Toyota (and Subaru's) 86 sports coupe will be sold as the Scion FR-S in the US.

DETROIT, Michigan — Toyota's Scion brand wants to give young US drivers something the market is lacking: a lower-priced, rear-wheel-drive sports car.

Scion is introducing the FR-S at the Detroit auto show. It will go on sale in June 2012, although Scion will begin taking orders for the first 86 customers at the show. The number is a nod to the AE86 Toyota Corolla, a sports car produced in the 1980's.

"The FR-S is exactly what the industry is missing," Scion's Jack Hollis said. "It's a legitimate sports car."

The car will be sold as the Toyota 86 when it goes on sale in South Africa in the second half of 2012.

THE DETAILS:


Under the bonnet: The FR-S has a two-litrer, four-cylinder boxer engine jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru. It has 147kW/200Nm and is mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto transmission.

Outside: The FR-S saves weight - which improves handling - with a swooping all-aluminium bonnet and a boot instead of a heavier hatch. The flat engine allows the car to sit low, comparable to Porsches and other supercars.

Inside: Seats four, rear seats fold flat.

Cheers: The car will certainly appeal to young driving enthusiasts. It could also help Scion's sales, which fell by seven percent in 2011.

Jeers: Hollis calls it a "halo car" for Scion but it could also confuse drivers about what Scion is since it doesn't fit neatly into the brand's current line-up, which ranges from the iQ minicar to the boxy Scion xB.
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