Scion unveils a sports car for young buyers

DETROIT (AP) ? Toyota Motor Corp.’s Scion brand wants to give young drivers something the market is lacking: a lower-priced, rear-wheel-drive sports car.

Scion is introducing the FR-S at the Detroit auto show. It goes on sale in June, although Scion will begin taking orders for the first 86 people to own them this week. The number is a nod to the AE86 Toyota Corolla, a sports car produced in the 1980s.

“The FR-S is exactly what the industry is missing,” Scion Vice President Jack Hollis said. “It’s a legitimate sports car.”

Here are more details:

UNDER THE HOOD: The FR-S has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder flat boxer engine jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru. It has 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

OUTSIDE: The FR-S saves weight ? which improves handling ? with a swooping all-aluminum hood and a trunk instead of a heavier hatch. The flat engine allows the car to sit low, comparable to Porsches and other supercars.

INSIDE: It seats four, with two rear seats that fold flat.

PRICE: Scion won’t reveal that yet, but Hollis says it will be in the 20-thousands.

CHEERS: The car will have definite appeal to young driving enthusiasts. It could also help Scion’s sales, which fell 7 percent last year.

JEERS: Hollis calls it a “halo car” for Scion. But it could also confuse drivers about what Scion is, since it doesn’t fit neatly into the brand’s current lineup, which ranges from the iQ minicar to the boxy Scion xB.