First order of business: The incredibly hot machine pictured directly above these words.
To the people visiting this week’s New York Auto Show, that gloriously sculpted red automobile is the Scion FR-S. To regular readers of this blog and fans of economical sports cars everywhere, it’s the latest concept incarnation of the infamous Toyota FT-86.
Why infamous? Because the frustratingly slow tease of this thing seems to come in a string of never-ending concepts, with no firm date for a production version. While this one looks closer to a showroom version, there are a few elements that just don’t have a chance at making it.
Power for the concept, and most likely for the production car, comes from a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Not likely to make production are the 20-inch wheels that are attached to a set of 18-inch carbon ceramic brake rotors.
The great thing about this car is that it looks nothing like a Scion, which should give the brand an extra shot at success. Assuming the FR-S ever gets out of concept form.
Like Scion, Suzuki could use some extra sales to help justify its existence in the U.S. market. The company makes some terrific cars, including the SX4 and the Kizashi, but the problem is no one seems to know about them.
The company is using the New York Auto Show to showcase two new concepts based on the fantastic Kizashi sedan. Truthfully, though, I only care about one of them. The first is a hybrid that looks far better than any other hybrid sedan and should get close to 40 mpg on the highway.
But, assuming you know my stance on hybrids, that’s not the car I like.
The Kizashi Apex concept, on the other hand, is far more exciting thanks to a turbocharger, air-to-liquid intercooler, electronic boost control and a recalibrated ECU giving this mad little Kizashi an estimated 275 to 300 horsepower. That power will be managed by a proper six-speed manual transmission.
Build it, Suzuki! But leave the hybrid version on the concept stand.
You know the next question: Are you parking the Scion FR-S coupe in your garage or the Kizashi Apex sedan?