At the New York International Auto Show last week, Scion unveiled its FR-S inexpensive sports coupe concept. Originally dubbed the Toyota FT-86 in production, the FR-S will be a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports automobile with a flat-four cylinder engine, according to Road and Track. It will likely retail around $25,000, in close competition with American muscle vehicles like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, writes Inside Line. While some concepts never make it to production, “The FR-S Concept will inspire a new model coming to the Scion brand next year,” states Toyota.

Toyota states the production model will have a naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter flat-four-cylinder engine, mated either to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Car and Driver thinks that the production model will produce about 200 horsepower and will use a combination of direct and port fuel injection to further amp up its power. The concept displayed 20-inch wheels and 18-inch carbon ceramic disc brakes, but Auto blog warns its readers not to anticipate to see those make it to the showroom floor. Generally, bigger wheels decrease ride comfort, and carbon ceramic brakes are costly to produce and would add to the price. However, if these characteristics are a major part of why you love the FR-S, you can always have them upgraded with aftermarket parts.

So far, it seems like the auto press is most impressed with the car’s looks. “The Scion FR-S has looks that can thrill at a moment’s notice,” writes Kelley Blue Book. USA Today states that the FR-S has “sexy looks,” and Jalopnik raves, “the FR-S should easily be the most handsome Scion ever.”
Wheels anticipates the production version to be pretty close to the concept, and estimates that it will be available in showrooms next year.

So, if you’ve decided to think about buying the FR-S, you’ll have to wait a while. But early reports sound like it may be worth the wait. But the auto press likely won’t have a chance to get behind the wheel for at least a year. This means we probably won’t know how the Scion handles or what kind of gas mileage it gets until 2012 or later. In the meantime, you may want to think about buying a Ford Mustang or a Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Miata starts around $23,100 and earned our 2011 Best Sports Car for the Money award. The Ford Mustang starts a bit lower, around $22,150, and is currently ranked 1 out of 4 muscle cars. But, if you’re willing to wait and see more details about Toyota’s successor to the Celica, it may be worth it.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year’s ideal cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new automobile by checking out this month’s ideal automobile deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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