Appropriate Power - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Appropriate Power

August 8, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Anyone following our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S will know that I was a fan of its overall performance from day one. Yes, I realize the engine was unimpressive from a numbers standpoint, but it was balanced with the rest of the car.

Then we added the stickier tires and the balance changed. It became quite a bit harder to get the tail to whip around in turns, and for me, that's where the fun was. Regardless of tires, the engine just didn't have the grunt to launch the car out of turns with the sort of aggression I crave.

But now...

Now with the supercharger.

Yes.

There's enough grunt to pray at the altar of oversteer. A short lift and tap of the throttle and the rear end points out of turns beautifully. The engine now has the ability to slide with the ease that it did in stock form, albeit at higher speeds.

Balanced has been restored to The Force.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 19,150 miles


Comments

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Numbers are important, but only tell part of the story. This post is more relevant to me than the other, where the "0-60mph above all else" crowd is having a field day. I'm more interested in drivability and how the car acts and fells than all out acceleration. From this post, I would say that the supercharger was worth it.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    Interesting perspective. When the initial specs on this car came out, much was made about the "Prius" tires and how awful they were. From your post it seems like those tires were well matched with the rest of the car in stock form in terms of making it fun. Enhancing the grip alone, made the overall experience less enjoyable. I guess the engineers knew what they were doing with the stock car relative to the goal of making it cheap, simple and fun. Now you guys are going through a similar process to retain the "just right" nature of the car while making it faster.

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    I agree, I think this demonstrates how Toyota arrived at the decision to use hard tires to match the power. I believe I read that Toyota made 200 hp a priority. I wonder if they could have tuned for more effective torque delivery and better feeling engine had they not made that the benchmark?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    "I believe I read that Toyota made 200 hp a priority. I wonder if they could have tuned for more effective torque delivery and better feeling engine had they not made that the benchmark?" I would say definitely, but the US consumer is so fickle/ignorant that Toyota had little choice but to tune for 200hp peak. Look at the way the 0-60 crowd are beating on Edmunds when the real benefit of the blower is elsewhere in the power delivery. Dumbasses [/Red Foreman]

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    @agentorange: spot on! I think 0-60 times and peak horsepower should be a footnote behind discussion of engine character and satisfaction of power delivery. Enthusiasts want fun and involving cars, which gets murky when some are fixated on benchracing the

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