Our Chief Engineer needed a fun and economical daily driver for his day job, but it’s got to be sporty, and most of all, MEN LIKE US DON’T DRIVE HYBRIDS (at least until they get cooler and faster). Other requirements: Car can’t be too expensive, and it would be nice to have a good selection of reasonably priced aftermarket goodies to choose from. Might as well also throw in the capability to run the car at the occasional Autocross or Track event, and the list of potential candidates gets pretty small. The new Scion FR-S came out on top, so we snapped one up. Since the price is NOT negotiable, might as well hold out for the color you want (e.g., Ultramarine Blue).
Fresh off the showroom floor, the Scion FR-S looks great and handles great, especially for the price.
But in stock form the car sits up a little too high, the exhaust sounds a little tinny (even with the bizarre “sound generator” piping tuned intake noise into the cabin), and the wheels, while nice, don’t generate as much excitement as the rest of the car. So after some quick calls to the dealer regarding how much of the warranty we are/are not voiding, it’s onto the internet for some cool aftermarket stuff, pull out the wrenches, and start customizing the car.
The Invidia Q300 Muffler gives a sporty sound without the droning and other inconveniences of louder systems. Perfect for a daily driver car.
The Invidia Mid-pipe uses huge 2.5″ polished stainless steel tubing.
100% Polished Stainless Steel, an unusual flat bottom, and sporty tips add to a sporty sound that makes the FR-S even cooler.
To lower the car with acceptable ground clearance and street ride, we used the softest aftermarket springs available – Tein H-Tech. While lowering the front 1″ and the rear .8″, the spring rates are increased only 28% front and 22% rear. The greater increase in front spring stiffness relative to the rear will also help to mitigate some of the FR-S’ looseness at the limit.
Besides lowering the car and swapping in a sportier exhaust, we finished it off with 8″ wide Drag DR-38 wheels, and JDM Smoked front sidemarker lights to eliminate the “Dreaded Amber” look.
What we ended up with at this first stage is a car that looks and sounds cooler, feels sportier, and even handles slightly better.
photographs by Lightning Motorsports