One of the things you need to know walking into buying a Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ is that these cars were built to be modified. Many younger folks these days don’t often own cars, it’s a strange thought but times – and culture is changing, but with more enthusiasts discovering car culture for themselves, I think the car modding hobby is safe for some time to come. Alex Alfaro hails from Panorama City, CA, deep in the heart of Southern California Car culture, and yet, at almost 25, Alex had never owned a car before.

How’d that come to be? Alex served active duty in the United States Navy, and incidentally, for three years, his station was USS COWPENS CG63 in Yokosuka, Japan. Naturally, after spending three years in Japan, it’s easy to see how and why Alex got a taste of JDM car culture and was hooked. Once his tour was over, it was time to come home – and here in Southern California, it’s quite difficult to get around without a car. Taking advantage of those GI benefits, Alex was accepted into Cal State Univ. Northridge.


Fresh out of the Navy with no car, a nice little stack of cash from active duty and in need of a ride to class, it was finally time for Alex to go shopping for his first car. With the influence of living and working in Japan and seeing their car culture firsthand (whereas many of us have only seen pictures in magazines or online), the fresh-to-the-market Scion FR-S was a natural choice. For all you students out there car-shopping, the FR-S has served his needs as a student well as you can expect of a “practical Toyota” *wink wink nudge nudge*,  Alex has been a full-time student at CSUN for two years now.

IMG_2710 (1)

Alex sought out the help of the Modification Experts at ModBargains, and in the years since the car has come a long, long way from the way the car rolled off the transport. The exterior of the car is reasonably subtle without too much extra aero, and that’s all fine and good, because go-before-show is always a great way to build a car and the effort really shows. Alex was very clear with what his vision for the car was and the modifications seem to be right on track. Alex tells us,
“(I) Never owned a car before so the fact that my FR-S was my 1st car means very much to me… …I was stationed on the USS COWPENS CG 63 in Yokosuka, Japan for 3 and half years and it was there where my passion for JDM cars really began… That’s why I ended up choosing the FR-S over any other car… I never imagined she would grow so much since then. I never thought she would be where she is now as far as modifications go. My ultimate goal for my car is to make her the fastest realistic daily driver without going Turbo or Supercharger. I want her to last as long as possible. I do enjoy taking her to the canyons, but I’m always careful and responsible enough not to do anything reckless.”
To fix the FR-S torque dip, the car has had a few upgrades- notably a set of Borla Unequal Length Headers for FR-S and a ECUTEK Stage II Tune make a world of difference in getting rid of the torque dip. The car also boasts an Invidia N1 Exhaust for FR-S, coupled with a Motiv High Flow Cat and Overpipe. Feeding the car is an Injen SP Short Ram Scion FR-S Air Intake good for an additional 12whp and 9wtq- and this car  needs every last bit of torque it can get.
Motiv Front High Flow Cat Pipe
Motiv Over Pipe
Invidia N1 Catback Exhaust
Ecutek Stage Tune 2 by Delicious Tuning
Injen Short Ram Intake
The FR-S/BRZ Suspension handles great in stock form, but a little bit of finesse makes the car even more fun to drive and lets you tailor the car to your driving style. Alex consulted the Mod Experts as to what suspension set up would work best for him and ultimately decided on a set of RS-R Super Down Springs for Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ which bring the car down by about 1.2in front and rear and also enhances the handling, and to cope with the added stress of stiffer springs and reduced suspension travel, a Cusco Front Strut Tower Brace keeps the chassis rigid. Topping it off is a set of Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines which firm up the brake pedal for much better feel under braking.
Then we get to the FR-S lighting. Alex has really spared no effort in giving his FR-S its own very unique set of eyes. Up front the FR-S has been given a blacked-out headlight treatment (the housings, not the lens) and JDM clear sidemarkers and LED DRL bulbs, Park Lamps and Turn Signals, matched up with a Diode Dynamics 6000K HID kit and a Multi-Color LED Fog Light setup. Rounding that out, at the rear, the stock tails are gone, replaced by a handsome set of Buddy Club LED Tail Lights for FR-S/BRZ, giving the car a slightly more exotic look.
Buddy Club USDM Taillights
Blacked out headlights mod
Vicious LED Bulbs (DRL’s, LP, TS)
Diode Dynamics HID KIT 6000K
Diode Dynamics Fog Light Kit
Diode Dynamics FL LED Multi C Bulb
Rounding out the look of the exterior is a Raceseng Rear Tow Hook for FR-S for that Track-Ready look out back, and up front a Raceseng Tug-Mount front License Plate Mount for FR-S keeps the look clean by deleting the nasty OEM plate holder. Matching the look of the blacked out headlight housings, the side glass has been tinted 20%, while the rear has been tinted just 5% to shade the car a bit more without reducing visibility too much.
20% Side Window Tint 5% Rear
FR-S 86 License Plate Frame
Custom License Plates
The interior hasn’t gone untouched, either. The OEM Audi system has been upgraded with CF Reference Components for much higher fidelity sound, and a custom center console plaque reminds you that you’re driving something special.
OEM Audio Plus CF Reference
Custom Center Console Plaque
Superman Floor Mats
IMG_2360 IMG_2163
All told, Alex has transformed his FR-S from stock to staggering in a fairly short amount of time, but much like art, we are never truly “done” modding. Alex tells us his future plans for the car are “Cusco Bucket Seats, a Five Axis Spoiler, and BeatSonic Ver. 2 Sharkfin antenna, and some other pretty basic upgradeable engine stuff. I am just so happy where I am with her now that if I couldn’t do anything else I would be happy.”At the end of the day, our goal here isn’t to sell parts – our mission here is to help you enjoy your car more, and from the sound of how happy Alex is with how his FR-S has turned out, we think we’re succeeding.

Interested in modifying your Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ? Talk to our Modification Experts – our enthusiastic experts are here to offer advice whether you’re not sure what size wheel to go with or what suspension setup you’ll like best. Give us a call at 714-582-3330 or chat live at
Story by Nicholas Gregson
Photos Courtesy Alex Alfaro

Want to read more? Check out a few of our other FR-S/BRZ related posts:
How To Fix The Torque Dip in Your Scion FR-S or BRZ

How To Fix The Clunky Notchy Shifter In Your FR-S or BRZ
Race-Ready Apex Wheels for Mustang, FR-S + BRZ, now available at ModBargains!
Quick Snap: Scion FR-S on Forgestar F14s
April ’14 COTM: Shutter’s Scion FR-S
Scion FR-S Gets Upgraded with Carbon Fiber Aero Parts
13 Great Exterior Mods For Scion FR-S & Subaru BRZ
6 Mods To Get The Most Out Of Your Scion FR-S / Subaru BR-Z
Quick Snap: Scion FR-S on Klutch SL5 Wheels at Sundown
Product Spotlight: Scion FR-S/BR-Z Duck Bill Style Trunk Spoiler

Full Blown Scion FR-S Turbo Kit Now Available for Installation at ModBargains
Scion FR-S GReddy High Performance Intake: Installed Photos

Quick Snap: Subaru BRZ Gets ST Coilovers & Enkei RPF1 Wheels
Expert Review: Plug-and-Play E85 Power for FRS/BRZ with Vishnu Openflash Tablet