Assumptions by some regarding the possible demise of the Scion brand appear to be conjecture only as Scion prepares to show some exciting concept vehicles at the 2013 SEMA Show (Specialty Equipment Market Association) based on several of the Scion family of vehicles.
Earlier this Spring, Toyota released its dealer network from the requirement that they carry the line of Scion vehicles at each dealer location. There was considerable buzz at that time that the announcement signaled a backing away from the brand by Toyota.
Based on the strength of the line of the vehicles appearing at the SEMA Show, the introduction of the 2014 Scion tC along with the release of a celebratory Scion 10 Series of special edition vehicles to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Scion line, we think the Scion is still with us.
Toyota provided the following statement regarding the decision to allow Toyota dealers a choice in including the Scion brand at their dealerships:
“Scion encouraged its dealers to ask themselves if the Scion brand is still right for their market and their business. There is a perception among some dealers that they are expected to sell the Scion brand and this is not the case. Our dealers have the option to sell the Scion lineup, and for the dealers that choose to be a part of the team, we want to make sure that we have their necessary commitment that will help Scion be all that it can and should be.”
Setting that discussion aside for now, we have been a fan of the Scion FR-S since its introduction and find it to be a very solid performing sports car (seats four) that can be had for well under $30,000.
It comes in two models differentiated by the transmission the buyer chooses. For 2014, the manual transmission MSRP is $24,700 and the automatic transmission version has a MSRP of $25,800. There are only a couple of options available with the most significant, and I would add it, being the Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio System for $845.
With delivery and the BeSpoke Audio System, the 2014 manual shift final price is $26,300 and the automatic is $27,400.
We would choose the manual shift as we think the manual gear box in the FR-S is just about the best out there in its segment. We have driven it several times and reported that the short and sure throw of this gear box makes driving the FR-S aggressively absolutely easy.
For the 2013 SEMA Show, Scion is bringing four Scion FR-S concepts, a Scion xB concept and a special group of three Scion tC concepts from their Scion Tuner Challenge.
The Scion FR-S and Scion xB concept vehicles are as follows:
Steve Aoki x Scion FR-S is designed by renowned DJ and producer Steve Aoki. It includes a fully operational mixing station, a custom Pioneer sound system with multiple component speaker packages, a deck lid-mounted LCD display, a fog machine and strobe lighting.
Bulletproof FR-S Concept One is presenting a supercar concept features a carbon fiber interior, a widened, handmade body, a rebuilt 500 horsepower engine, an advanced turbo system and track-tuned suspension.
GReddy Performance x Scion Racing Drift FR-S is a drifting prototype is equipped with a Rocket Bunny Ver. 2 aero kit and a GReddy turbocharged 2JZ-GTE engine capable of putting out 750 horsepower.
FR-S “Style J” takes a futuristic urban design incorporates comfort and technology with concept camera mirrors, custom leather interior features with beige stitching and black accents throughout the car.
Strictly Business Cartel Scion xB is designed by Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs and Dominick Vitelli of Quality Coachworks. This custom mini-stretch brings in a business agenda with an on-board Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple Mac mini, wireless keyboard with mouse and hands-free mobile calling.
Steve Hatanaka, Scion marketing and special events manager said about the SEMA appearance, “The FR-S continues to be a SEMA favorite, and this year’s builds take the sports car in every direction.
He added, “All the SEMA vehicles draw on the passions of our drivers. Urban dwellers, entrepreneurs and the high performance enthusiasts all will find a Scion to get excited about this year.”