Scion hoped to capitalize on the buzz over its new Scion FR-S sports car by offering the first cars to 86 randomly selected individuals who applied at a Scion website. Great idea… except the winners still know nothing about the car they're buying.


Scion VP Jack Hollis announced the "Scion First 86" contest at last week's Detroit Auto Show. People applied yesterday at for a chance to be one of the first 86 owners or get some undisclosed "special prizes."

As part of the deal you had to select a local dealer, which is a clever way by Scion to judge geographic desire for the new two-door — as well as build buzz.

A Jalopnik reader — who we'll call John to protect his identity — entered and was one of the individuals selected. He was sent the email above and, according to John, was called by Scion corporate. Here's how he remembers the conversation:

Scion: "Congratulations, you're one of our First 86! You won the ability to
buy the FRS early!!"
John: "How early?"
Scion: "I'm sorry, we don't know that."
John: "Okay, can you tell me the price?"
Scion: "The price has not been announced."
John: "What options for the car will I have?"
Scion: "I don't know the options either."


So Scion is asking buyers to put $500 down for a car without knowing how much it'll cost, when they can get it, or what options it'll have other than the pre-selected color and transmission.

Sounds like every luxury car pre-order process we've ever encountered.

And yes, that's for a Scion. The car brand that's supposed to be cheaper than Toyota.


I feel like our world's turned upside-down.

But despite all the hilarious conditions that come with being one of the first 86 buyers, John is still thinking he's going to put down a deposit. He wants the car that badly.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter