2013 Scion FR-S: Faster Than Ever
March 7, 2013
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