Scion FR-S TRD Exhaust Makes All The Right Notes

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Scion's lightweight, rear-wheel-drive FR-S only left us with a small list of wants after we gave it and the nearly identical Subaru BRZ our most prestigious Best of 2013 Award. At the top of the list is more power, but that of course hasn't happened yet. The twins' weak aural experience from under the hood and the exhaust is thankfully a much easier and less-expensive issue to address than squeezing another 40-50 horsepower from under the hood.

Cars.com Names Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ Best of 2013

A 2014 Scion FR-S we recently tested equipped with Toyota Racing Development's performance exhaust system hit a home run in the area of the ear-pleasing notes. That's important because we always thought there was something lacking from the FR-S' factory equipment.

A sound tube designed to make the engine more audible inside the cabin was not the robust sound I wanted to hear more of; the noises out back were more pleasant and less audible. TRD's exhaust adds a whole new layer of fun to the already entertaining FR-S.

By Joe Bruzek | June 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

Why I Can't Buy a Scion FR-S (Even Though I Want To)

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Cars.com named the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S our Best Cars of 2013, and we ended up buying a BRZ for our long-term test fleet. During the following 12 months I discovered it was a practical daily driver on top of being fun to drive.

Follow Our Long-Term Test Fleet

I loved the BRZ. Then I spent a few days with a Hot Lava 2014 Scion FR-S. It fixed the one complaint I had with the BRZ, offering a better entertainment system, plus it came with an ear-pleasing racing exhaust (courtesy of Toyota Racing Development) that doesn't sound anything like a coffee-can-equipped Honda Civic racing down Main Street on a Friday night.

Granted, if I truly owned the BRZ I would've been at Best Buy getting the stereo swapped out. But even though I liked the Scion's color and exhaust better — plus it had the preferred off-the-lot entertainment system — I still wouldn't buy it because of the name.

By David Thomas | May 27, 2014 | Comments (16)

New 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger to Debut in New York

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There was little doubt Dodge would have to update its Challenger muscle car to compete in a world with an all-new Ford Mustang. But even we were a bit surprised to hear a new version of the four-door Charger would debut alongside the updated Challenger at next week's New York International Auto Show.

More Dodge Charger News

Chrysler released the images above (Charger) and below (Challenger) to announce the debuts. What they show is what looks to be a completely reworked front end for the Charger and an all-new gauge cluster for the Challenger along the lines of the digitally augmented gauges in other Dodge vehicles.

By David Thomas | April 8, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Photo Gallery (20 Photos)

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For the past few years at the Chicago Auto Show, a company based in Gurnee, Ill., has built and displayed a custom Chevrolet Camaro in honor of the local NHL franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks. This year is no different.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Real Wheels makes custom parts for an array of vehicles from semitrucks to SUVs, but it’s the Chicago Blackhawks Camaro that likely gets this company the most attention. This year’s car is a 2014 Camaro SS convertible with some new tweaks. There’s still the Indian head logo cutouts in the custom grille, but there is no logo on the hood, just a stripe job around the hood scoop.

By David Thomas | February 7, 2014 | Comments (8)

2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition Available for Three Months

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In conjunction with the debut of the 2015 WRX STI at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Subaru announced that a Launch Edition (above) of the sedan will be available for only three months. The car hits dealerships in April 2014.

More 2014 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The three-month sales window could conceivably be shorter because Subaru is limiting sales of the Launch Edition to 1,000 units. All Launch Edition models have gold 18-inch BBS wheels, a short-throw shifter, black Alcantara seats with blue accents and WR Blue Pearl paint.

By Mike Hanley | January 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Ford Mustang First Photos and Details

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This isn't a refresh. This is the first all-new Ford Mustang since the company reinvented it — retro style — in 2005.

2015 Ford Mustang: First Look

The 2015 is lighter, wider and features an independent rear suspension, a first for mass-market Mustangs. But it is the new styling that will have everyone talking.

By David Thomas | December 4, 2013 | Comments (23)

Cool Compared: Subaru BRZ Versus Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

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Untrained eyes could easily overlook the Mitsubishi Evolution sports sedan. Its front-mounted intercooler for the turbocharged engine, large wing of GSR models and wide fenders are the type of cool features performance nerds appreciate. The turbocharged, all-wheel drive Evo was in its prime at one point, but now in its seventh model year — relatively unchanged — it is slowly losing pizazz each year the capable sedan goes untouched by Mitsubishi.

Follow Our Long-Term Fleet

There's a new import turning heads on the streets among sub-$40,000 performance cars, and Cars.com owns one: the 2013 Subaru BRZ. The rear-wheel-drive, lightweight BRZ and Scion FR-S are no match for the Evo on the track or the dyno, but the rear-wheel-drive twins exude an unheard of dry-ice cool factor. The Evolution GSR we recently tested provided a good opportunity to drive these affordable performance cars back-to-back.

By Joe Bruzek | October 4, 2013 | Comments (5)

Backseat Pass-Throughs: Do You Use Them?

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I've driven thousands of cars during the past decade, and many had a pass-through from the trunk to the backseat through a compartment disguised behind the pull-down armrest. How many times did I actually make use of this secret passageway? Um ... maybe two.

One was just the other week in the Acura RLX. I took a quick trip to the hardware store, basking in the glory of this luxurious sedan's ventilated seats. I needed a 2-by-4 and didn't even stop to think that it might not fit in the trunk — well, it didn't. Luckily, my RLX had a pass-through. I opened it up, slid the 2-by-4 in and was on my way.

Carting around a 2-by-4 isn't a usual occurrence; what else is the pass-through really good for? Does anybody actually use them on a regular basis? I polled some of my resourceful colleagues, and they've made much better use of this thoughtful feature than I have. Here a few things they've been put to use for:

By Kristin Varela | September 18, 2013 | Comments (7)

2015 Porsche Spyder: Photo Gallery

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After several years of development and teasers, Porsche officially unveiled the long-awaited production version of the 2015 918 Spyder at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. We have written about the 918 Spyder's eye-popping specs previously, but a few of the numbers are worth repeating: 887 total horsepower from a midmounted 4.6-liter V-8 and three electric motors. Zero-to-60 mph is accomplished in 2.8 seconds. Top speed? Upward of 211 mph. Even more impressive is a claimed recent lap of Germany's famed Nurburgring track in a scant 6 minutes and 57 seconds, a new world record (for now).

By Brian Wong | September 11, 2013 | Comments (2)

Did Custom Camaro Herald Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Victory?

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Let's see here: February 2010, Windy City-area RealWheels Corp. unveils a special-edition Chicago Blackhawks Chevrolet Camaro; June 2010, Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. February 2013, RealWheels unveils a new special edition Blackhawks Camaro; June 2013, Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup again. Coincidence?

If netting Chicago its second NHL championship victory in three years was the goal, adorning the two-tone red-and-black Camaro with logos, badging and other details seems to be working. Will the Hawked-out Camaro make an appearance at the victory parade in Chicago this Friday? It's hard to say as the car was to be hawked in a raffle during the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, but join us in reveling in last night's victory over the Boston Bruins; check out the photo gallery by Cars.com photographer Evan Sears.

Chicago Blackhawks Chevrolet Camaro SS: Photo Gallery

By Matt Schmitz | June 25, 2013 | Comments (2)

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