Lowell, Indiana, United States
Scion has had plenty of practice launching limited-edition versions of its cars, but the brand's ultimate special line is its recently introduced Monogram Series. First offered on the iQ last year, Scion is now adding this premium equipment package to the 2014 FR-S and tC, and both cars will be hitting the stage at the Detroit Auto Show next week.
The 2014 Scion FR-S Monogram Series will be limited to 2,000 units, and it will have a starting price of $27,400 (*not including the $755 destination charge). Standing as a $3,000 premium over the base 2014 FR-S, the Monogram Series brings plenty of extra goodies, including leather seats with Alcantara inserts, upgraded BeSpoke audio/navigation system, HID headlights and dual-zone climate control, to name but a few. Scion says the equipment in this package represents a $1,900 savings compared to a standard option list.
As for the 2014 Scion tC Monogram Series, Scion is only making 2,500 of these, and it will start at $21,400. That's an extra $2,190 over a base tC, but it also represents a $1,500 savings overall. The tC Monogram Series adds in features like the BeSpoke audio/navigation system, perforated leather seats, keyless entry and pushbutton start and upgraded materials on the center console lid and door panels.
We happen to like the Toyota GT86 - and, it of course goes without saying that the same applies to the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, as well - just the way it is. Yes, that includes the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine and its 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.
That said, a little extra power never hurt anybody, right?
The most obvious way to add some punch to the GT86 would be with a turbocharger, and that has indeed long been rumored for an STI version of the BRZ. Will Toyota follow suit? According to Top Gear, the answer is no. Says GT86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, "I think 300bhp with a turbo and 200g/km of CO2 would be tasteless in this day and age. And a turbo would mean the loss of the GT86's uniqueness." Perhaps a bit harsh, but there you go.
For the first time since 1998, J.D. Power and Associates says its data shows that the average number of problems per 100 cars has increased. The finding is the result of the firm's much-touted annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which charts incidents of problems in new vehicle purchases over three years from 41,000 respondents.
Looking at first-owner cars from the 2011 model year, the study found an average of 133 problems per 100 cars (PP100, for short), up 6 percent from 126 PP100 in last year's study, which covered 2010 model-year vehicles. Disturbingly, the bulk of the increase is being attributed to engine and transmission problems, with a 6 PP100 boost.
Interestingly, JDP notes that "the decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 PP100." Its findings also noticed that large diesel engines also tended to be more problematic than most five- and six-cylinder engines.