I remember being introduced to the tuner world back in high school. You could say that I wasn’t too keen on front wheel drive in-line 4′s ripping up the street. They sounded awful, with more similarities to lawn mowers racing up the street than actual cars. Additionally, the whole idea of a front-wheel burn-out was just downright silly. Over the years, I have grown to respect the power and capabilities of cars produced in the Far East, but one craving has remained unsatisfied. I crave the need to go sideways. No, not sideways like falling over on the sidewalk due to an espresso overdose; I’m talking about the art of drifting.
Subaru and Toyota have rushed to my rescue with two cars that can be thought of as fraternal twins if you will. They are the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. These cars are two 4-cylinder rear wheel drive “brothers” that share the same platform. Two auto manufacturer masterminds, Subaru and Toyota, joined forces in this competitive auto industry to create these magnificent machines. These two autos will be released this spring to the public, offering a 2.0-liter Flat-4 or a 6-speed manual/automatic transmission that makes a combined 25mpg. Oh yea, did I mention that they’re not front wheel drive? The 200HP, 151 lb.-ft. of torque will be sending these two sideways with the ease of the throttle. Say it with me now: “Every. Tuners. Dream.”
This dynamic duo is not the first team of vehicles to summon the return of the RWD 4-cylinder. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has been around for a couple of years now and will be a huge rival for these two. The Hyundai sports a 274HP 2.0-liter Turbo I4 engine or 348-hp 3.8L V6 engine, and has a starting MSRP of $24,250. Although on paper the Genesis Coupe is a cheaper, more powerful car, the styling just doesn’t give me that spark of excitement compared to the FR-S or BRZ; they just look like they want to be driven. The Scion FR-S will start off a bit more expensive with an MSRP of $24,980, but a couple thousand pennies is just some extra pocket change when you consider Toyota’s history of RWD compacts. Must I remind you of the Levin, Supra, and IS? With that line of thoroughbreds, you know you will be getting a well-balanced car worthy of the tuner world.
I can’t wait to trade in my Civic SI this spring for a Scion FR-S. While the SI has served me well, I just can’t resist the temptation to try something new. These two machines provide the perfect canvas for any tuner to add his special touch. Who’s ready to go sideways?