Faster Than Ever - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S Long Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Faster Than Ever

March 7, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Two easy steps made our 2013 Scion FR-S faster than ever. Here's what you need to do:

Step One: Drive to Oregon. When I drove our long-term FR-S up to Corvallis, OR, I had the distinct pleasure of filling up with 93 octane. Well, someone else actually did the filling (crazy state law), but I enjoyed the fruits of that labor. In California the best fuel we can get is 91 octane. And 91 octane buh-lows.

Step Two: Do It At Night. The night was cold and the car was warm when I filled the FR-S with this high-octane swill (seriously, 93 octane is like race gas compared to 91). It was in the high 30-degree F. range. Cold ambient conditions are high in density, packing more oxygen into each cylinder, and they also allow more ignition advance in knock-limited engines. More advance liberates more grunt.

I gave it the wood on the freeway on-ramp. The car was noticeably faster. This was no placebo effect, the thing was significantly more eager to chew through the revs. So I obliged by doing it again and again.

Okay, I actually can't say for certain which of the previous steps was more responsible for the increased pep, but I can say that the car was way more urgent afterward when both conditions were met.

California, kindly insert your 91 octane "premium" fuel into a dark place.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Probably not much of a power gain, but the extra $5 it cost to fill up with 93 is worth in my opinion to get a more willing engine. Sounds like you think so too.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Probably the 93 is worth 4-5 hp peak, but gains at all rpm. The cold - probably the same or a bit less. Interesting to see how the Carerra does with it. There are a whole bunch of places in SoCal where you can buy higher octane fuels.

  • cotak cotak Posts:

    "Butt Dyno" nuff said.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    Sexy [non-permissible content removed], man.

  • huybui huybui Posts:

    did it eliminate the flat spot in the mid range?

  • henry4hire henry4hire Posts:

    I bought a Lucas Octane booster and it felt like it helped a little bit. I am sure it brought it close to the 93 octane found outside California. I know there is a Unocal 76 in Pasadena that sells 100 Octane racing gas for like $8 a gallon. Naturally on anything other than a racecar, that stuff is worthless.

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