Scion counts on sporty FR-S to boost sales
Photo credit: Bloomberg
- 2012 European Automakers: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Volkswagen
- 2012 Chrysler-Fiat Future Product
- 2012 Japanese Automakers: Infiniti, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki
- 2012 Ford Product Plans
- 2012 Korean and Chinese Automakers Future Product
- 2012 European Automakers: Aston Martin, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Rolls-Royce, Smart, Volvo
- 2012 Japanese Automakers Product Plans: Acura, Honda, Lexus, Scion, Toyota
- 2012 GM Product Plans
DETROIT -- Scion is counting on a throwback sports car, the Toyota sub-brand's fifth nameplate, to kick sales into a higher gear, says Vice President Jack Hollis.
The Scion FR-S is a low-slung, 2,700-pound car with a 2.0-liter 200 hp boxer engine, "front-mounted and slung so low its center of gravity is lower than a Porsche Cayman," Hollis said.
"It's a one-spec car," he said. "You pick your color and your transmission and you're done.
Scion is marketing the new model using Toyota sports and racing heritage, aiming the car at enthusiast drivers.
"It's a direct descendant of three Toyota models: the 2000GT, Sports 800 and the Corolla GT-S, code-named AF86," Hollis said. "Like all three, [the FR-S] draws on responsive power, light weight and perfect balance."
It also was developed jointly with Toyota Motor Corp. affiliate Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars and the source of the car's boxer engine. Subaru will sell its version of the car as the BRZ.
Toyota hasn't released pricing for the FR-S -- "the first digit is a two," is all Hollis would say -- and will go on sale nationally sometime in June.
That will put it immediately on the heels of the rollout of Scion's fourth nameplate, the iQ city car. Scion sold 248 units of the iQ in December in a West Coast-only rollout. The iQ will be on sale nationally by March.
Hollis hopes to sell 10,000 to 15,000 of the FR-S in the seven months of 2012. He declined to forecast brand sales.
In 2011, Scion's U.S. sales rose 8 percent to 49,271, while industrywide light-vehicle sales rose 10 percent.
You can reach Jesse Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.