Centered within one of California’s premier celebrations in motion, Toyota has been the title sponsor for the 2012 Grand Prix of Long Beach. A venue where the American Le Mans Series, Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and Indy Lights and the IZOD INDYCAR Series were allowed to do battle on streets otherwise speed-regulated for just one weekend in the spring. Exhibiting some of the finest motoring technology through competition on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course, the level of captivation was indeed high for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Not participating in on-track competition but winning over the crowd of Long Beach, a modified version of the 2013 Scion FR-S sports car was displayed in custom trim.
A special drop-top sports car created by Cartel Customs in association with Iacono Design and Toyota as a one-off showpiece, the Scion FR-S Speedster is another demonstration of how the lively California car culture can carve-out a flamboyant identity for a fresh off the assembly line production vehicle. An experienced automotive artisan with Scion products (the 2010 SEMA Show car Scion xB All Stretched Out being another example of their craftsmanship), Cartel Customs FR-S Speedster utilizes Toyota’s racing heritage as inspiration. Cartel Customs pointed to the AE86 model of the Toyota Corolla as the major driving force for the Scion FR-S Speedster.
The red and white paint scheme with accompanied by the presence of the number 86 sends a clear message that motorsports is emphasized in the Scion FR-S Speedster. The number 86 is directly derived from the before-mentioned Corolla. The most notable, customized touch of the Scion FR-Speedster is obviously the removal of the production car’s roof. With a chopped front windscreen, the open-air motoring experience of the Scion FR-S Speedster is designed to allow a driver and passenger to realize the sensation of performance. Second to the Scion FR-S Speedster’s roofless cockpit, the APR Performance Custom 61-inch rear wing is a monstrous carbon fiber element over top of a specially made rear deck.
Radical custom touches inside of the Scion FR-S Speedster include the rich use of carbon fiber and red leather. Capturing a firm racing vibe, roll bars are visible alongside the lower door as well as racing-inspired switches for ignition, lights and fire extinguisher is found within the FR-S Speedster’s center panel. A performance steering wheel and a modified dash cluster completes the one-of-a-kind vehicle‘s interior.
While the production car’s 200-horsepower, 2-liter Boxer engine is left largely unmodified with only a GReddy SP Elite exhaust system incorporated as part of the combustion process, the Scion FR-S Speedster’s power development is enriched through the flow of TORCO Synthetic SR-5 Racing Oil through various lubrication channels. An ACT Clutch helps guide the driver through the Scion FR-S Speedster’s six-speed gearbox even under harsh racing conditions.
A lovely vehicle standing still, the audience for the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach were treated to seeing the Scion FR-S Speedster in action. Serving as a parade vehicle for the event, the Scion FR-S Speedster was piloted by professional sports car and past INDYCAR driver Scott Pruett through Sunday’s on-track activities. Working as more than just a show car, the Scion FR-S Speedster’s Wilwood calipers and SRP drilled brake rotors aided Pruett in maintaining firm control of this special vehicle.
To be shown in other select venues are the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the FR-S Speedster from Scion could likely be one of the many dream cars only skilled custom designers and builders could bring to life.
Information and photo source: Toyota Motor Corporation