The Scion Tuner Challenge Starts Now!

The Scion Tuner Challenge is known for attracting the top builders and turning out some of the most radical automotive creations each year at the SEMA Show, so we’re honored to announce that we’ll be participating with a build of our own this year. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tuner Challenge, Scion have mixed things up by choosing three of the top media outlets to compete against each other. Super Street will represent print, GT Channel as video, and of course Speedhunters as your digital media source of all things car culture.

True to form, we’re brainstorming behind the scenes to bring you guys the type of stylistic automotive mash-up you would only expect from Speedhunters, and we’ve teamed up our resident car builder, Keith Charvonia with designer Andy Blackmore to develop the build. Scion will be kicking in an FR-S and they’ve given us less than 90 days to transform the car from bone stock to show stopper. The FR-S has just arrived and we’re tearing into it now, so stay tuned for build updates.

Follow along right here on Speedhunters and, and let us know how you would build a Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S in the comments below. You never know, your ideas might even make it into the build!

The Speedhunters



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I vote Vossen wheels, Air Lift Performance suspension and Rocket Bunny riveted overfenders! Got to keep it fresh and innovative to stay ahead of the game.


midgeman this is smart, you seldom see rocket bunny kits on these cars, i think its a great idea


Avoid the normal slammed, fendered angle that everyone has been using and go retro themed with it, really make it lean on the original '86's design and feel. I'm talking the 'panda' paint, nice stance but not slammed with some nice wheels and a simple (SIMPLE!) bodykit. Retro gauges, re-upholstered seats, etc. etc. Email me at if you want a proper visual of what you guys should do....  ;)


all comments very welcome, we have some great ideas and currently sketching away, so feel free to post.  Without giving too much away, we don't want to copy the crowd.... ;)


Hmm, I forsee KM4SH, Vossen and Air Lift "Performance" parts will all make their way on the car.


I say you try to get RWB involved. The rocket bunny kit is almost expected, so nix that. (yes it's a bad ass kit but it's way too obvious. Maybe set it up like a rough street fighter vibe. Lots of light weight panels, scruffy exterior, all business interior, and a giant turbo. Make it badass but keep a firm eye on "i don't give a F@#$" attitude.


Capital E And no rear bumper for that extra hard-core look.


Vote cut the center out of the roof and bring out a Targa Top... paint it up like the Supra from Fast 1.... winning


Forty61 I would go with this, and Ode to 86 would be a wonderful way to be a show stopper. 
the KM4SH kit would look ok, but it would be nice to see something different. Maybe have a NON riveted fender look? a slightly smoother approach, not overly wide either, Maybe have the fenders black? to add to the panda feel?

As for wheels, I think to complete this retro look, Watanabe's would really fit the bill, in a dark bronze, with a FUNCTIONAL tire size, no need to have crazy amounts of stretch, but make it look like it can actually go fast 

Again, looks wise, i want to see an ode to the 86, as many retro looking parts as possible, all the way down to a accordion style shifter,  Needa a black rear bumper guard for sure. 

and IDK what the budget is, or if there is enough time, but how about going as far as throwing a 20v 4age in there? sure it would be slower, and it makes absolutely no sense, but if your going to do an ode...
Or a Beams 3sge 



Please do not use the Rocket Bunny kit. "Everybody are using them nowdays..


Evasive Motorsport has an aggressive looking FRS


Bulletproof kit, bit different from the rest


I like the idea of a digi camo widebody race car with the old military jet mouth (teeth and tongue) encompassing the grill like the Falken 911 from a while back.


midgeman Capital E No rear bumper like the rocket bunny S13 with a large diffuser and wing


I'm thinking we start with powerplant. I vote swap in a diesel-electric hybrid - maybe something from one of GE's freight train engines - that will make a modest 4,400 hp. Then let's get the suspension sorted with a retro leaf spring set up for that rat rod feel (function isn't a big deal for this SHOW STOPPER). I'm also thinking the Vossens should be mounted Back-To-The-Future style for that non-existent contact patch. As far as the kit goes, let's just take all of the body panels off. Oh and let's make the bosozuko guys sweat and do a crazy-straw style exhaust. This build is ticking all my boxes!


Iamthetrollhunter That may be a joke post (no body panels?) but do you realize that would be a true show-stopper? A FR-S with a freight engine would certainly turn some heads...


midgeman AndyBlackmore Boxes = ticked.


midgeman AndyBlackmore my work is done


Go against the flow, and build a sleeper FR-S. Stock looking (minus wheels/tires perhaps), but heavily modified.


Iamthetrollhunter Change the FR-S to FWD while doing the swap!


ChristopherWilmot But only if you put a wing on top of that wing. And why stop there? Just lose the from bumper, too. So raw.


Cut the roof off and convert it widebody convertible with serious horsepower numbers! And of course some bad ass wheels :D


Rocket Bunny kit, fifteen52 wheels, Magnus Walker signature on the dash, air lift suspension (using modified KW coilovers), kleers cleaning products. Done.

Instant e-fame... at least, according to what we've seen on here lately..


Go mad. Tear out the engine go 4 rotor turbo charged and massive exhaust for all that wonderful noise. Tear everything else out and put in a roll cage an win. Just win win. Function always beats style.


ej257 swap + mildly built up +wheels/tires/suspension/rocket bunny v2


No Rocket Bunny please.


harared I agree, they need some custom fabrication or just do a static drop.


Here's my lame concept. Try to incorporate as many queues from the Stratos/Killer B era with some italian seasoning. 17" Gold coffin tank staggered wheels with 50+ series rubber. Blood red paint or a scheme reminiscent of the Alitalia livery but with the old castrol/toyota colors. Hood louvered to within an inch of it's life. Massive (non-riveted) fenders and molded in spoiler. Radiator in the trunk with a roof spoiler on the removable or flip up tail section (mesh inserts!?). Rear window covered with lexan ducts. Dark tan leather covers on carbon seats, same leather on the rest of the interior (wheel/dash/shifter boot). Chrome/polish accents on the shifter/ebrake/steering controls. WRC pitbull stance with a gap you can fit a beer can in. For power: Two tiny turbos at about 300hp with less than no lag.

What do I win?


Exige Difflow diffuser swap. Custom Exhaust, Innovate Upgrade 335 kit with custom intake tube both painted Titanium blue. Ask Cosworth for the ported and polished FA20 heads you know they just haven't released to the public yet....Add Griffon TRD Front bumper, side skirts and dive planes. Add custom splitter. Rear mount the intercooler and radiator. From there add suspension from brands that will sponsor you. KW, Cusco, etc. Cosworth dash data logger.  Make the interior all electronic and flushly mounted.
Should win it.
Feel free to do this on my car.


Cut the roof off and make convertible. Air suspension. Widen it, but not with rocket bunny kit :D. Unique wheels. Leather interior. Compound turbo system or just turbo/supercharger :D. Some cool color.


Most importantly - no matter what you decide to do - make sure it's BUILT NOT BOUGHT. Major street cred.


convert it to an open wheel chassis, but keep original lights, and some lines of the front bumper.


guaranteed the car will have a kei miura kit, vossen wheels, air lift performance suspension,


spencermaranda79 I would go with Works wheels myself, and they are a title sponsor as well. :) I do like the idea of making it a Spider though, with a custom made tonneau cover rather than rear seating... with cobra roll bars sticking through, and a nice wide stance (it is Keith doing the bodywork, not Muria-san right?) It could ba a modern Japan version of the cobra. :)


Sorry, that should read "Coffin lid wheels" ... I've got Z1-Rs on the brain.


Panda 86 on watanabe wheels, riveted wide archs, BRE 240Z style rear carbon spoiler, fender mirrors similar to nissan idx concept, rear window louvres, carbon hood, rear centre diffuser removed, front centre carbon lip only


Whatever is done it should represent the brand on the track after the show while changing the way we modify out cars off of it. Performance mods should be done to showcase functional taste with style that will influence tuning taste in the US.
The car can compete on the track for the next few years to represent the Scion brand, the tuner and the sponsors.


Targa top, turbo & Aimgain aero - baby Supra Targa?


Shakontan style, tripple rotor and LaSupra style colour scheme.

Maybe turn it into a Drag racer? Flip it from being all about the corners.

There are almost too many possibilities. This is the sort of thing you could waste waaaay too much time over!


Actually I'm doing a design for the BRZ, more like Five Axis style though, I'll upload it here when it's done, for now I'll give you guys a WIP.


Step 1.

Swap in a to keep it in the Toyota family. Keep it N/A to keep it in the AE86 spirit and give it some ITB's. This will add power, but be something different than a EJ, 2J or V8.

Step 2.

Bolt on sponsor items. 

Step 3.



@just_shoot_m3 in 90 days?!? The engine swap would take 2 weeks min, plus tune, plus suspension... and facia upgrades and vinyl  this is a small crew, not a race team with prefab bespoke components to drop in. There is still full time jobs going on the side...


Porsche Boxster engine, Citroën Activa suspension, Porsche brakes Nissan ID-X four spoke wheels, subtle retro-inspired bodykit with two large Hella lights in the front bumper and everything finished in dark grey. Definately not what everybody else are doing, definately fast around a track, definately cool, definately not doable in 90 days ... :)


With all the recent posts of V8 engine swaps and other craziness from Europe...why not throw in a high horsepower powerplant with reliability...Viper V10? Or could you find some crazy V12 that would fit in it?  AWD?


Why can't Toyota run something like this in the UK? Or is it because it 'encourages spirited driving' and is therefore illegal?


Exterior: Widened carbon fiber body tinted Windows , Interior: Recaro racing seat tubbed out carbon fiber panels no rear seats and full roll cage and in the rear two nos tanks, supercharger and twin turbos, Brembo brakes and lightweight carbon fiber brakes, front wing and rear wings and burnt orange and Grey paint


As a couple have mentioned why not build a rally car/group B style the other guys will do street style for sure.. throwback to Monte Carlo tarmac rally style of the 80's, turbofans, can still have it low/stanced a bit, rally flaps, spotlights, seats+belts, sponsors easy to promote with graphic styling or keep it clean just white on white everything, motor wise big turbo kit with antilag system nice custom pipe work strip out+half/fullcage


I didn't really put any thought into the time constraints, but they didn't really tell us how big their team was or how many man hours they would be able to put into the car over the 90 day period. 

I was going for something I thought would be unique which was the swap and they can go for easy bolt on stuff for the rest.


takeyari pipes that make a hashtag, a pedobear plushie superglued to the bonnet holding a scion badge, overfenders, a woodgrain swirl airbrushed on that goes across the hood the rear wheel.


oh man I see you guys doing air suspension and a new kei miura kit... the KM4SH will turn into KM5SH or something. Hashtags will most definitely be on this car.


OnCam31  This^


Scion FR-S Midship. I know it's way too farfetched within the time and money restraints, but alongside a modern-WRC-esque bodykit, a massive air scoop coming out of the rear window, 18 inch Compomotive MO6's, and some sort of insane carbon composite swan neck GT wing, I think it would be so fitting...


It doesn't matter what the community suggests. In all likelihood it's just going to be Air Lift suspension, Vossen wheels and a TRA Kyoto bodykit anyway.


2xthefun Can't forget the Vossen wheels and Takata harnesses...






Stock car style fitment. Allows for lots of custom work and body panels. Low, clean body. Big retro spoiler. FR-S stock car!


If you guys had any balls at all, you would put a Formula Atlantic 4AG in it. Or 20V with a large snail. Find someone to build you some XR4 Longchamps. Panda paint. You want to evoke the heritage of the GT86, that's how you do it.


OnCam31 plan b


milkplus Iamthetrollhunter
With a stripper pole


I love the Rocket Bunny kit but please not just another Rocket Bunny FR-S


@Teachmehowto20 Forty61


He's joking. Don't do that. He didn't mean it and he's sorry. Say "I'm sorry." lol




Give it the 2jz it deserves


Varis Arising style


Twincharge the stock engine! ;) Combine a turbo-kit and supercharger kit as i know they both exist as
"bolt-on" parts to this car. 
Functional wheels and sticky r-compound tires, make everything in the suspension adjustable.
Win at SEMA, then scrape the floor with all at the tracks! ;)


Old School Panda Look ;)


AWD 4x4 GT86 by: Tommi Mäkinen (Neste Rally Finland 2014) aka TMR x GR gazoo Racing project ;) and


celica turbo Gr.5 style,i will draw something for you


if it just for show, drop rocketbunny kits, te37v, and airlift bags. If you want to bring it to the track, kw suspension, twincharge, catback exhaust, rollcage and takata seats & harness, and rocketbunny kit of course.


Do a VIP body, big wheels sitting low on coilovers , big spacers, flush wheel arces on BBS LM's, no wings, all white, single and central exhaust, GT3 style. Striped interior and no roll-cage. And a 3S-GTE swap. Good luck!


Do a car that is not zzzzzz


My crystal ball says its going to have at least Vossen wheels, airlift suspension, or probably a Rocket Bunny body kit.  Gotta keep the sponsors happy.


just for kicks, will you guys be having the same thing, only for 1/24 scale?  :D


Twin Turbo 3.6 Tribeca Flat 6 drift monster... why? No one has done it yet.  A couple of GTX3071's on there on E85 w/ perhaps a V-Mount setup like the old school greek subies used to do?  Mmmmmm. 

Or Scandinavian style with an M5 V10?  So many ways to go...


Install pop-up headlights.


rocket bunny aero kit, don´t need more


SR20DET with twin turbo (or why not a RB26DETT, if it fits) , rocket bunny kit with wider fenders, 20 inch rims with air suspension system. Two tone paint, with matte black hood, roof, trunk and spoiler and the rest of the body with something bright, a pair of Recaros, and some additional gauges . And why not to replace the clutch pedal with a lever on the shuft knob?


AE86 paint (white and black sheme).


I was thinking about single seater FR-S. Cut the green house,shave whole interior and design a new dash . hide the 

rollbar under a nice peace of carbon shield ( something like they do in F1) keep it left hand drive, 

not in the middle.good to covering passenger side . make it as light as possible. paint it in frozen grey like m3 csl. 

for wheels I suggest HRE vintage series 935. and finally use that rocketbunny style for body panels, this is called 

PDP(Pure Driving Pleasure) FR-s


single turbo......... Borgwarner S480. rocket bunny the hell out of that thing, but in chrome purple with black trim, i chose purple because purple was a royal color, and speedhunters are nothing less then royal. go back to the roots of japan, make this scream a real Japanese monster. deep dish rims, and i'm not talking little bits, i mean you could fit a dollar sideways on that rim. black interior with Reclinable bride seats and black Takata racing harnesses. make this car turn the highest gods of auto enthusiasm cry because they cannot handle the sheer awesomeness of such a car. when you get into it, it is not a car seat, it is you're thrown and u try with all your might to handle this beast. with pure confidence if you can put a Borgwarner s480 on there it will scare you even as you are building it. ~Zackery Grapes


greenroadster Agreed, make it look clean as VIP but actually undercover streetable track killer.


@just_shoot_m3 BEAMS 3S with ITB's instead of the V6


build what the GT86 should of been- 4 cylinder VVT-i BEAMS 3SGE from an altezza, with ITB's.. surely something no one has done. get the rocket bunny kit, but none of that riveted business.. molded so it has smooth body lines. new SSR formula mesh wheels. nardi wood grain, circuit soul shift knob, and bride seats. yup.


ChristopherWilmot midgeman Capital E I've always wanted to see a large area above the diffuser (in the drag spot) used as an exhaust outlet, try get some suction on the back of the turbo. Lip spoiler that is also a super aggressive pop up airbrake.


One with a Porsche GT3 engine in it (maybe a 996 or 997 model?)...


Compound charge! must have ducktail, no door handles would look sweet, rocket bunny too predictable?.. Would be lame if all 3 media sources did the same kit.. Dark grey or maybe something besides a simple shade, lots of carbon pleez, track orientated rather than just stance must be functional, KW with air cups?


Maybe this?


Wheels: Compomotive / Sparco

Forged postons
400 Drivable WHP

BBK 330mm 8 piston front and 4 piston rear
KW coilovers

Some fender tune, not RB
RBrear wing
Takata 4pointsafety belt
Recaro Seats

no rear seats
Rear rollcage
Shortshift kit.


So I keep seeing posts about massive engine drop ins, and other options to make this a different car. Remember the primary sponsor who is DONATING the car is Scion! You take out the Toyota (aka Subaru) power plant, and this car stops being a vehicle for Toyota's advertising!

I love the Gatbil builds as much as many of you, but in this challenge, the goal is to make a FT-86 a spectacular tuner, not a Frankenstein monster. The car should be modified (engine, body panels, suspension, interior, etc), but in the end it still needs to promote what can be developed with the Scion base.

Otherwise, they may love what you do, but will not be able to award the prize for it.


This is Speedhunters.  This website is an amazing potpourri of car cultures and a Speedhunters car should reflect that.  

I say you take a Japanese car and put an American spin on it.  I'm talking 60s Dragster style.

Huge dragster hood scoop (the taller the better)

Skinnies at the front and super fat Mickey Thompson drag slicks in the back
A sick front rake
A Supercharger the size of the engine
Fender flares only in the rear
Capable of a 10 second quarter mile

And most importantly... a cool name.  Something like Hellfury or Demonhunter


miksfield I'm with you, the car has to reflect the wide array of car culture that Speedhunters represents. Good thinking!


Koldspell Compound charging can be done with off-the-shelf parts these days...


JjCruz I've seen ONE GT86 with ITBsm it was featured here from TAS I think. Amazing!


SajadSakiani WILD!


Josue magana Stock everything else? LOL


liberty_risk Could be cool. I've been looking at a 2000GT with blocked off pop-ups for track only. Cool look.


zephoto I like the Subie swap, it keeps it in the family. Got one laying around I can borrow?


nugundam93 Hope so, I would like one for my desk.


ScionSalesJay BRILLIANT! I think you might like the sketches Andy Blackmore is doing right now.


@Keeohno What did Larry Chen do??


@SS6K Love it, wish we had a year to build this but we get 90 days. Oh wait, more like 80 now!


2xthefun What's wrong with putting KM4SH on the car? There are only TWO in existence right now.


OnCam31 The driver will never fit!


Other Will They have a similar program in Canada that also requires driver skill. The cars are track tested as part of the judging.


ChristopherWilmot midgeman Capital E I've thought about this, it looks good on an S13 but the ZN6 bumper wraps around so much I don't think it would look good.


FunctionFirst Why the negativity? Pretty sure Vossen and Air Lift won't fit into the theme, but there are only two KM4SH kits in the world right now, mine and Miura's. Would it be so bad for Speedhunters to promote their own body kit on their build - as long as it fits the theme? We know the competition won't have it, so that's a plus.

All that said, the jury's still out on which body kit, if any, will be on the car.


Some great ideas here, thanks miksfield!


@mrE Hmmm...


Some great suggestions here, thank-you Koldspell. Stay tuned for updates!


Interesting concept! What's your inspiration behind this idea?


Thanks JjCruz, stay tuned for updates soon!


zephoto You're telling us! The first stages of the project are already underway, so stay tuned for our first update coming up very soon!


ja77 You'll just have to wait and see...


Some really cool ideas here, thanks greenroadster!


Hotcakes You'll have to wait and see :)


Maybe you should ask yourselves why so many people are posting comments like this in the first place.


KeithCharvonia zephoto Haha I wish I did!  Time for some junkyard hunting ;)


Try A Varis or a Rocket Bunny Ver.1 Kit On some Enkei or Barramundi Rims to get a Circuit type car


I'll say KW suspension, some nice wheels, mod the engine a bit not too much, rocket bunny kit, slap some stickers, and a purple on black paint scheme


Speedhunters Initially it was to have a Porsche powered Impreza, then the Scion/BRZ/86 came along. 

It helps to keep that low centre of gravity, and it is a brilliant NA motor with good torque.  Also the Mertzer engine has race pedigree in both NA and Turbo form, heck they've been racing them for 24 hours for years.

I have seen a Porsche engined Scion, so it's unique. However, if it can't have the GT3 engine then just use those fancy cylinder sleeves on the Scion engine and make it rev to 10 000rpm. If the sleeves can fit, you should have a 2,5 litre motor on the same stroke?


How about a rally look:
White with blue and red accents
Body raise with rally tires
bolt on fiberglass fender flares
maby red wheels?
mud flaps
full roll cage with a stripped interior and bucket seats
and a 2-JZ or a rotery


targa would be cool


I'll take a look! I just love the classic/simple, but plain built for a purpose look. And topped off with the TRD livery!


Make it like the ae86 trd.
Paint scheme (maybe slightly modernized)
Gold wheels with silver lip. (four spoke) (maybe 15-17 inch)
wider wheel arches
86 number on the side.
retro interior
don't make it unnecessarily fast like with a crazy huge turbo or supercharger.
finally, a retro name


Rocket Bunny is a cool kit, but please don't slap it on this, there's already thousands of them