When the Scion FR-S debuted in 2013, many automobile journalists and enthusiasts heralded it as the “second coming of the vaunted Toyota Supra”. But, soon people realized that they were being a bit too optimistic.
Sure, the FR-S brought back a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive coupe that every Toyota enthusiast was asking for since the demise of the Supra in 1998, but the FR-S and its twin, the Subaru BRZ were completely different and had a personality of their own.
After its highly-anticipated global debut, everyone who wanted a lightweight, nimble, and fun-to-drive, rear-wheel-drive sports car snatched them like hot cakes. Many became the poster car for tuners, drifters, and track-day junkies around the world. But, after a year and a half, the heat began to cool down and Toyota dealers nationwide had more Scion FR-Ss laying on their lots than a V6-equipped Camry XSE.
Realizing that fact, Toyota engineers immediately went back to their drawing boards and refreshed the FR-S for the 2015 model year by adding stiffer suspension and slightly tweaking the exterior.
What’s New For 2015
For 2015, the suspension of the Scion FR-S is upgraded with a more aggressive and stiffer front suspension setup and re-tuned rear shock absorbers. This was done to reduce the body-roll around sharp corners and to allow more communication between the driver and the road.
Design updates are very minimal and can be pointed out only by a keen-eyed Scion FR-S enthusiast. For the non-enthusiasts amongst us, the old “whip-style” roof antenna is replaced by a sleeker shark-fin roof antenna, and the exhaust tips are larger and sit flush with the rear bumper.
The updated 2015 Scion FR-S features an automatic on/off headlights, and new carbon-fiber look interior trim.
Some paint options also get renamed for 2015. The silver paint switches from Argento to Steel, and the white switches from Whiteout to a pearl-white “Halo” hue, and costs an additional $395.
The 2015 Scion FR-S base price jumps up by $200, and a car equipped with the standard 6-speed manual starts at $25,655, and cars equipped with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shifters starts at $26,755 (these prices also include the $770 delivery and handling fees).
The 2015 Scion FR-S already comes loaded with all the important features demanded by the driving enthusiast. But, for a few additional dollars, the customer can personalize their rides with the following options.
Exterior options include Front Fog Lights ($490), Rear Lip Spoiler ($399), Mudguards ($109), and Rear Bumper Applique ($69).
Interior options include Center Armrest ($249), Ashtray Cup ($29), and All Weather Floor Mats ($90)
Additional interior package offers the BESPOKE AUDIO for $1,199. This adds a voice-activated Navigation System, 36 presets to store items from the internet like satellite radio channels, social media apps, and other necessities.
Optional and staggered 18 x 7 in rims front and 18 x 7.5 inch TRD wheels cost $2,150.
Performance upgrades for the 2015 Scion FR-S include TRD Performance Dual Exhaust ($1,100), TRD Performance Air Intake ($525), TRD High Performance Air Filter ($75), TRD Lowering Springs Kit ($639), and TRD Sway-Bar Kit ($550).
Engine Features and Fuel Mileage
The Scion FR-Ss engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.0 L 4-cylinder, which produces 200 horsepower at 7000 RPM and 151 lb.ft.torque at 6400 RPM.
The EPA rates the 2015 Scion FR-S with manual transmission at 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. With the optional 6-speed automatic, the EPA rating stands at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.
The fuel tank holds 13.2 gallons of premium unleaded fuel in the FR-S. On a full tank, the car has a city cruising range of 290.4 miles and highway cruising range of 396.0 miles.
Thanks to its nimble chassis and rear-wheel-drive system, the FR-S is fun to throw around corners. Steering system is a traditional Rack-Pinion unit and it does a good job of translating the driver’s steering inputs into immediate directional changes.
Suspension up front is MacPherson struts and double wishbones out back.
The FR-S does not make a lot of power, but thanks to skinny P215/45WR17 tires on both axles, the FR-S can be easily provoked to drift around corners and there is enough slack in the stability control and traction control systems to hang the tail out and have some fun (within the limits of course).
Stopping the Scion FR-S is a breeze thanks to 11.6 in vented front disc rotors and 11.4 in solid rear disc rotors with ABS.
“I wish my tester was equipped with a manual transmission”. This was my only complaint with the 2015 Scion FR-S during the review. The chassis is very complacent, the brakes were strong with minimal brake fade and the drive was relatively comfortable for a sports coupe.
The only let down was the six-speed automatic transmission. The shifts were okay, but when you want to go fast, you’re forced to wait for the computer to shift to a lower gear before you get any response from the engine. Of course, you can use the paddle shifters to expedite the process, but it soon goes from being an enjoyable experience to an inconvenience.
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This is more of a request rather than a complaint, but I really wish there was more power under the hood. Sure, 200 horsepower seems more than sufficient for daily commutes, but this is a track toy and it needs more power (and more torque as well).
Overall, the 2015 Scion FR-S is a nimble and fun car to drive. If you want to go fast, there are many aftermarket companies who can help you trick out your ride to your preferences. The cabin is a bit spartan, but it has everything a driver wants within his arm’s reach and there is nothing there to distract you from driving the car and having some fun.
So, if you are currently in the market for a fun, easy to drive, and nimble RWD sports coupe, then you should definitely check out the 2015 Scion FR-S.