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  • 2012 FORD F-150 PLATINUM ECOBOOST + 2013 SCION FR-S

    One of the most tired discussion topics in the automotive world is the “one vehicle that can do it all”.With the F-150 being the best-selling vehicle in North America since the dawn of time, there must be something special.

    2012 FORD F-150 PLATINUM ECOBOOST

    Ironically, Platinum edition came with the smallest displacement engine available, a 3.5L Ecoboost V6. With 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, the Platinum never lacks for power, and displays minimal lag during acceleration, all the while making cool turbo noises more reminiscent of a diesel-powered pickup truck.

     Various outlets have reported 0-60 mph times in as low as 6.5 seconds, which feels positively rapid for an enormous pickup truck. With 90 percent of the Ecoboost’s torque available at 1900 rpm, grunt is never lacking, and never once pined for a big V8, soundtrack be damned.

    Ford’s still glitch-ridden SYNC system makes an appearance, in conjunction with the typical Sony head unit. Sound quality is excellent as always, but we ended up being frustrated with the SYNC’s finicky touch screen unit despite being very familiar with its workings. Most impressive is the sheer amount of leg room available in the rear seat

    2013 SCION FR-S

    It’s not the raw driving machine many may expect. Its not visceral like a Lotus Elise or as singular in purpose as a Honda S2000. It is, however, very much a purist’s car and one that company CEO Akio Toyoda aptly remarked, “rewards proper driving technique.”

    Instead, the basic front-engine rear-drive layout, combined with a low center of gravity due to its flat-4 boxer engine, a limited slip differential and an overall curb weight that comes in around 2,700 lbs are the tools at the disposal of the driver.

    Much in the same way that the car’s layout has been set up for optimum performance, from the driver’s seat, the tools required are also all there. The steering wheel is thick but also incredibly tiny making every input count. At just 365mm, Toyota claims it’s the smallest they have ever put in a production car. The shifter is quite long, although the shifts are incredibly short, with the distance between first and second gear about three inches. It even feels good, weighted perhaps a bit lighter than a MX-5, but with a fluid every-day ease of use much like a Civic Si. Add to this the fact that the pedals are perfectly placed for proper heel-toe downshifts.

    The Scion FR-S is a special machine. It is unique because it is the world’s only direct-injection flat-four rear-drive sports car, but the reasons go well beyond the facts, to the level of driving enjoyment it delivers.

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