Before you get your hopes up, allow us to confirm that this Scion FR-S convertible is not heading to production. No, the FR-S seen here is merely a show car built by California-based Cartel Customs to help Scion promote its new rear-wheel-drive sports coupe.
Scion has worked with Cartel Customs on several other vehicles, primarily chop-top cars that have been shown at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, including a customized iQ at last year’s show. The topless FR-S debuted last weekend at a Formula Drift event in California, and will serve as a parade car during this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race.
We’re told the Scion FR-S convertible was put together in a hurry to help show off the new coupe to potential customers. Aside from removing the roof, modifications to the FR-S include red leather seats, a centrally mounted instrument cluster, toggle switches for the ignition and lights, a roll cage, a new steering wheel, a big carbon-fiber rear wing, and unique 18-inch wheels. The 200-hp, 2.0-liter boxer-four engine is unchanged.
Other upgrades include larger Wilwood brakes, an ACT clutch, a GReddy exhaust, and adjustable coilover suspension. The red and black “gash” paint scheme on the sides is meant to recall the livery of the Toyota Formula 1 team — which pulled out of the international racing series at the end of 2009.
Just to reiterate, this show car doesn’t mean Scion has signed off on building a production FR-S convertible – but we’ll still keep our fingers crossed.