I knew the FR-S…wait a minute, that’s not what it’s called.
Oh, it might be in America. But here in Britain, we like to call it the ‘Toyota GT86’ here. Scion would be laughable as a brand here. There’s also the Subaru BRZ but we don’t like to talk about that here.
But it is the FR-S here, so let’s just refer to it as that…sigh.
But yes, the FR-S had been hyped for a very very long time as a return to the good old days of 90s JDM drifting loveliness…well, I didn’t see it as that. I just saw it as a return to fun cars for Toyota.
And when released it sure did not disappoint. Rave reviews were given to it despite a supposed lack of speed. It was also a winner through value – compared to other expensive cars you would have as much fun in, this was a pint of milk relatively speaking. A very good car at a great price.
In fact, for my Media Studies coursework at GCSE, I even decided to base my magazine article on it. And I mostly based that on how accessible it actually was. I’d have to go through dire straits to just casually shoot a Ferrari, so I did the sensible thing and picked the fun bugger from Toyota.
PD meanwhile, had already hyped the 3 concepts to no tomorrow – the original FT86, then its G Sports Concept followed by FT86 number 2. Then it went completely bonkers when it actually came out.
First, it was the 86 – the Japanese model. Then the FR-S for free, then the BRZ in another DLC package. And they haven’t exactly stopped for this game.
In addition to the above, for GT6 we now have the GT300 BRZ (which is admittedly rather fast IRL), as well as a special if rather confusing “Racing” model of the 86 and the Gazoo Racing 86 from the Nurburgring 24h. By GT7 it’ll have easily passed the GT-R by in terms of numbers. Provided they don’t go and bring them all back again…
Note numerous battle scars on FR-S. These will be explained later
But in GT6, driving the FR-S is…rather weird. There are two factors that could explain it. Either it’s the Sports Hard tyres it starts on, or the more likely problem, in my mind, is the new physics engine.
With its drivetrain, I would have expected the FR-S to be a real slip-slider. But…it really wasn’t. It always remained straight and true. Indeed, as only my second drive in the game at all, I became quite convinced that the traction control hadn’t turned off properly. But the throttle response disproved that.
Worse still, the handbrake wasn’t available on the default control setting. So I had to go and set it to its famous circle button position of old.
And that didn’t really help either, if I’m honest. Indeed, I rather struggled to get it to handbrake turn, either not with enough power or with too much handbrake, resulting in a spin, and as you can see, much battle scarring. That said, this Matterhorn track is really not a good place for such a thing, so it probably wasn’t either mine or the car’s fault.
On the hilly confines of Matterhorn, the low-power engine also does get rather strained. Its 197bhp is not backed up by enough torque to give it good hill speed. On the downhill sections it also seemed rather out of control.
I realise that I’m probably slagging off the FR-S quite badly here, but that’s not necessarily what I’m trying to achieve. Indeed, despite the difficulty in driving it, it still felt surprisingly rewarding to fling around. Especially as I did eventually get the hand of getting it handbrake-turned properly, and then it was quite a buzz. And it really does not look as plain as everyone else makes it out to. In fact, I rather like the look of it all. It certainly doesn’t show too much difference from the original FT86 for sure.
This was before I tried to take it to the handbrake
I won’t blame you for buying this. Indeed, you probably quite like it as a car anyway and would happily take it regardless. But in GT6, you have to work almost too hard to get the reward from it. But that reward is a sweet one.
By the way, Matterhorn – a fine and fun course, though the loading up of the fans needs some questioning, and not as effective for me as Cape Ring was. Yes, I did say that. That’s my opinion of it.