Since their release, both the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ have been on my radar. Over the past year and a bit, we have had the pleasure of testing nearly every manual model of the twins available for sale. This past week, I had the limited edition 2014 Scion FR-S Series 10. Despite being known for being a bit down on power, it’s as if every single petrolhead in the world has a soft spot for the twins.
This year, Scion has released the Series 10 limited editions of a bunch of their models. The “10” stands for the celebration of Scion’s tenth anniversary. The FR-S comes painted in a unique “Silver Ignit10n” (yes, they just did that) colour and comes with a few neat features. The most obvious of these features are the Scion badges on the front and rear of the car that actually glow blue. The car also comes with adjustable HID projector headlights taken directly from the Japan-market Toyota GT86. These lights also feature an LED strip as the daytime-running lights.
Like the other versions of the GT86, the Series 10 FR-S came with the FA20 Subaru boxer engine. This flat-four produces a decently adequate 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Although the horsepower and torque numbers are nothing to brag home about, the power delivery is very precise and is always there on demand. Normally I’m the type of petrolhead that complains whenever a car lacks power, but this time around I wasn’t disappointed.
This is also the type of car you can drive at 10/10ths of its potential without hurting yourself, and without spending a ridiculous amount of money on gas. I drove the FR-S around all week with a very heavy right foot, and I still managed a very comfortable 8L/100km. Cruising on the highway with the normal flow of traffic, the car managed to get 6.8L/100km. One noteworthy point is that all iterations of the FR-S and BRZ take premium-grade fuel.
The interior of my car came virtually untouched from the regular model. There are, however, a few subtle hints that indicate that you have bought yourself something notably special over the regular FR-S. For one, there is a numbered plaque on the driver’s doorsill that indicates that it’s one of 2500 limited edition Series 10 FR-S’ built. The car also has a frameless rear-view mirror, silver seatbelts, a keyless smart-key entry system, and a digital climate control system snagged from the BRZ.
Luckily for the petrolhead who looks for a pure driving experience, the interior of the FR-S and BRZ is relatively spartan. They have been meticulous enough to not bombard you with a slew of useless features. Things like a sunroof, leather seats, and a complicated multimedia system are sacrificed for lightness, structural rigidity, and overall simplicity. The cloth seats have the perfect amount of support, and hug me perfectly when throwing the car around corners at well over the posted limit. The driving position is one of the best out there, and the steering wheel is Honda-levels of awesome. The pedals are positioned so well that heel-toe techniques are effortless.
The driving experience of the FR-S Series 10 is like no other car on the road. The precision and accuracy is so overwhelming; the balance and sheer exhilaration it gives you when entering a twisty road is irreplaceable for this price point. I’ve always had a one-track mind where I would only want to own a car with gobs of power. This car has made me change my mind about the concept of balance; you can have more fun driving a slow car fast than driving a fast car slowly.
I have never been a real fan of the vocal chords of 4-cylinder engines, and unfortunately this Boxer is no different. It just sounds like a pre-pubescent teen trying hard to impress. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy the shifter as much as I wanted to. Perhaps I set my sights too high, thinking of the absolutely perfect shifter on the Honda Accord Coupe. Aside from these two ever-so-slight complaints, I’ll have to say that the 2014 Scion FR-S Series 10 is pretty much perfect.
Even though the Series 10 model has a bit of a price premium, at $29,775, I would gladly take it over the regular FR-S. The perfect combination between the Toyota tuning and BRZ’s stiffer dampers make the Series 10 a seriously compelling argument. That being said, if you were too late in buying the limited edition (they do sell out pretty quickly), the less-exclusive but just-as-good BRZ is a great alternative. Despite my slight issues with the engine sound and shifter, this car was designed specifically with people like me in mind. For those who like waking up early on a Saturday morning with the sole purpose of going for a drive, your match has arrived.
2014 Scion FR-S Series 10 Gallery