Rocket Bunny Wide Body Kit for Scion FR-S
There is no doubt that the Scion FR-S and its sister vehicles (Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ) are remarkable vehicles with an unprecedented variety of aftermarket accessories available. The 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas and the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon allowed for a peak into what will be coming out for this vehicle in the way of body kits and exterior styling. Two distinct styles were presented in each show, at the SEMA show the styling was more of a ‘tuner’ look with track and drift relevance, while the Tokyo Auto Salon wowed the crowd with less functional and more aesthetically pleasing designs, many of which took on the VIP and Executive look of giving the vehicle the high end look. What is great is that each show displayed the versatility of this vehicle in tuning to your particular taste.
The many factors to consider when purchasing a Scion FR-S body kit. Many tuning enthusiasts only consider one or two elements when purchasing a body kit. It can be a time and financial investment so there are many factors to look into and must be evaluated before your purchase. Some of these factors include:
- Material (carbon fiber, FRP (fiberglass), ABS plastic, urethane
- Ease of installation
- Type of body kit (lip kit, diffuser kit, full bumper replacement kit)
- Purpose (show, track, drift, street, aesthetics and general use, mixed use)
- Availability of installers near you
- Look of the kit
Lets look at each of these factors a little more closely and take each into consideration when purchasing a body kit for your Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ.
This is the most common determining factor in purchasing a body kit but often can be the most misleading. Body kit development and manufacturing has come a long way since the old Fast and Furious days of cheap fiberglass kits that were paper thin and required an enormous amount of work. Some FRP kits still do require quite a bit of work, even more so when considering a wide body kit that takes many hours to put on. Often you can find an inexpensive kit that will cost a large sum to finish, paint and install. We’ll go over that later in the materials section, but for now just keep in mind that price is not the end all-be all. A full bumper kit may require many extra hours of work as opposed to a lip kit, and both will require paint. On the other hand, a carbon fiber lip kit can be installed without paint and mounted to the existing bumpers which saves on both materials and installation rate. Lastly you will want to consider the durability of the part, is it a FRP part that can easily get damaged or something that will last a lot longer.
An FRP Wide Body Kit has a very desirable look, but cost of installation must be considered.
Body kits are made of several different types of materials and it is important to get a grasp of the pros and cons of each type of material for your Scion FR-S body kit.
FRP – FRP stands for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic, which is the engineering term for what most people call fiberglass. So when you hear FRP or Fiberglass or Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic you are typically talking about the same thing. FRP is the least costly to manufacturer and the easiest to repair if damaged. The cost and easy ability to replicate designs make FRP the most common material used in body kits, upwards of 95% of the market is FRP. FRP also holds paint better than other types of materials.
While there are many very good FRP body kits on the market, there are also many poor quality kits as well. The explosion of the tuning industry made many cheap replicas come out on the market and has given the industry a bad reputation. Often people are weary to buy an FRP body kit because of this. There are many good FRP kits out there but be weary on very cheap kits as often you will get what you pay for (or less) if you get something that costs $350 but $1000 to install and lasts only a couple of years. This is a one way ticket to frustration and expense.
Polyurethane – also just called urethane is a flexible and rubberish material that is used on most stock bumpers and some body kits. Polyurethane has excellent fitment properties making it easier to install. The downside of urethane is it costs more to manufacturer and therefore less available and more expensive compared to FRP. If your vehicle has a polyurethane option available for it, it is most definitely worth considering purchasing for the ease of installation and durability factors.
ABS Plastic – ABS as it is called is similar to polyurethane but a bit more rigid. ABS is not used in very many body kits on the market but you do see it from time to time. As of this writing I do not know of any body kits made of ABS plastic for the Scion FR-S. ABS typically fits great but might be a bit fragile in extreme cold (becoming more brittle) so typically it is used for lip kits where there is less of a chance of it flexing and breaking.
Carbon Fiber – Carbon fiber (also called CFRP, carbon fiber reinforced plastic) is typically what is used for most carbon fiber hoods, kits, trunks and other parts in the automotive industry, also called ‘wet laid’ carbon fiber. This type of product is a carbon fiber fabric laid over a FRP mold and then the resins are injected and hardened, then the product is finished with a clear coat. The other type of carbon fiber used mostly on very expensive race cars is called ‘dry’ carbon and is the same type of carbon used in the aerospace industry. The cost of “dry” carbon is typically 3-4 times that of the cost of wet laid carbon. Most items you will find are wet laid unless otherwise specified, and you will know it judging by the price.
Carbon fiber typically is meant to be installed as is, a finished product, and can potentially save cost over a similar item that has to be painted. For example, a lip kit that costs $1299 and a carbon fiber lip kit that costs $1599 you may see a price difference of $300 but when the standard lip kit requires paint and prep, you may spend more on that than the carbon fiber version.
Ease of Installation -
APR Performance Track Series Body Kit for Scion FR-S
The easiest type of kit that can be installed would be a ‘diffuser’ style body kit that uses diffusers and/or splitters that mount to the underside of the vehicles bumpers and rocker panels. A good example of this would be the APR Performance Track Series Body Kit. As you can see in this example, the parts do not need to replace existing parts and basically bolt to the bumpers and rockers, furthermore this kit is made of carbon fiber, therefore no prep (sanding, shaving, filling) or paint is required.
The next easiest kit would be a carbon fiber lip kit, this of course will also not require shaving or filling but you will have to remove the bumpers and mount the lip pieces to the bumpers and rockers. This is not much more difficult to install than the diffuser kit mentioned above.
Paintable lip kits would be next in line, with polyurethane being a bit easier to install than an FRP part which would likely involve a little bit more prep work. Full bumper replacement kits would be the next hardest and just like in the case of lip kits, polyurethane would be a preferable material from an installation perspective to FRP. Lastly a wide body kit would be the most difficult to install because this would require additional body work to mount the fender flares.
Type of Body Kit, Desired Look and Desired Use -
The next determining factor is what you plan on using the body kit for. Are you using it to add some style to your vehicle, or will it be used on the track and require the most amount of down force? Or something in between?
Nearly all body kits will give your vehicle a stylish upgrade so it is important to find one that you like the look of. Also most body kits will give your vehicle some sort of functional down force under higher speeds. A wide body kit will also help vehicles that are destined for track use utilize wider tires/wheels for optional traction while shielding the additional width from the wind.
Make sure to take all of these factors into consideration when choosing a body kit. Take your time to explore all the details, don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer and ask details. It is also a good idea to research installers, every shop has different materials rates and experience levels (time to completion). A body kit will change the look of your vehicle, most of the time for the better but if not done right it could be time and money consuming.
Our Picks for Best Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ Body Kits -
Best Overall Scion FR-S Body Kit would have to go to Five Axis for the Scion FR-S Five:AD Body Kit. This body kit is a relatively low cost kit at $1299 and even comes with a pre painted option of $799. Most body kits on the market do not allow for pre-painting (typically they must be color matched and dry fit first). Also this kit is made of a flexible polyurethane material and is easy to install. Lastly the kit looks amazing! Good enough for the Five:AD edition to be sold in dealerships and good enough to be used on the #2 place for the Scion FR-S SEMA Tuners Challenge!
Best down force kit for track use would have to go to APR Performance for the Scion FR-S Track Series Carbon Fiber Body Kit. APR is no stranger to downforce, in fact they specialize in it. All parts from APR are functional to say the least and tested in real world applications. APR Products are used by track racers around the world and it is a dominant brand in the market.
Best Wide Body Kit will go to the Rocket Bunny Wide Body by Greddy. This kit was designed by TRA Kyoto designs in Japan and is featured on the Fatlace Scion FR-S. The price for the Rocket Bunny is $2700 and includes the fender flares and full down force body kit package.