Fifty-Fifty - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Fifty-Fifty

June 24, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

What would make the 2013 Scion FR-S better? Fifty more horsepower and 50 more pound-feet of torque, that's what. And if forced to choose, I'd take the torque. Just like Daft Punk's new record shows us that disco never went away (it just hid out in other subgenres for 30 years), torque never goes out of style.

Fifty more horsepower would be sweet, but the FR-S is still quick without it. In testing, we managed zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds (6.3 seconds with rollout) on the stock Michelin tires. That's right in line with the VW GTI, Mini Cooper S and Mazdaspeed3. But 50 more lb-ft would definitely encourage more audacious tail-wagging (which we can all get behind) and more frequent tire replacement (which seems a small price to pay for a steady diet of powerslide).

A good turbo or supercharger kit will set you back $5,000-$6,500, and we're starting to see numbers. One poster at the forum shows a dyno for the new Greddy kit. At 7psi and fitted with a Greddy exhaust (but retaining stick injectors and fuel pump), an FR-S gained about 90 hp and 70 pound-feet.

How much faster would that make our long-term Scion FR-S? I don't know. By comparison, a 305-hp Mustang V6 covers 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. I do know that no one here seems tired of the FR-S yet. We got possibilities. And disco still isn't dead.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor


  • yellowmiata yellowmiata Posts:

    The Website: I'm still hoping for the old to come back. This website is poorly displayed on Safari (try scrolling and watch the windows start to overlap and disrupt reading). IL, when will you let go of sunk-cost and do what is right for your readers? The FR-S: +1 to more power, but isn't that always the case with light-weight 4 bangers? My '92 Miata with 116hp (new, I'm sure after 50k miles it was lower) was a blast not because it was more powerful, but because it had all the right pieces in the right places (handling, top-down fun, RWD, enough power). Perhaps instead of upping the tires, you could have enjoyed it stock? Well, it's fun to follow your FR-S chronicle, regardless. (But would be more fun on Kevin

  • nedmundo nedmundo Posts:

    I took a short test drive in an FR-S, and absolutely loved it. But you're right it could use more torque, and I think even a modest increase of, say, 20-30 lb.-ft. would be great, especially if it's available over a wide RPM range. Hopefully Toyota and/or Subaru can pull this off while keeping the car normally aspirated. I have nothing against turbos -- I happily drove a Saab for eight years -- but I love the character of the FR-S as is.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I find it hard to believe that a 7 psi turbo kit is going to yield 90 hp, either at the wheels or at the crank. Link, please.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I don't have an issue with the stock numbers, since it's pretty similar to a Civic Si and I don't ever remember feeling like I needed more power when I'm slicing and dicing against I-75 traffic. Those numbers from boosted cars are about expected too... since folks have been modifying the Honda 2 liter engines since early 2000 with equal/greater effect... What I do have an issue with is the apparent lack of modifications the FRS has seen, even though you guys said you were going to do a back-to-back comparison between the FR-S and BR-Z. Just bolt on forced induction already!

  • +1 to the second half of duck87's statement. I've been biting my tongue, keyboard-wise, for some time now. But a post like this is too much to bear. Multiple supercharger (and possibly turbocharger) kits are available. Koni Sports (Yellows) are availa

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Tough crowd. I, too, am eagerly awaiting a turbo on this, to learn of the "fun" comes in equal measure to the price tag.

  • samster231 samster231 Posts:

    One question on those 7 psi gains. Was the cat left in place? I haven't looked at the system reported, but too often these increases come w/ a "race header/ cat delete" that could never pass emissions testing.

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    @fordson1 "GReddy Dyno results: +93.5whp* / +68.7ft-lbs* @ 7psi *(2013 Scion FR-S with GReddy Evo3 exhaust and GReddy Tuned-EcuTek - NOT INCLUDED)"

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Edmunds really needs to hire a project vehical coordinator who can map out and manage the progress of the vehicles you buy with the stated intention to modify. The new engine for the Miata has been in process for so long I have to assume that you are hiring migrants from the local Home Depot to mine and smelt the needed metals by hand. The Jeep was only about 90% of where it should have been (missing lockers and appropriate gear ratios for those tires) and the FR-S has had basically cosmetic upgrades. I know that BRZ was free from Subaru, but if you weren't REALLY going to modify the FR-S then why not get the automatic Subaru for a more meaningful comparison.

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Dude, bankerdanny - the website is learning the art of click-thru mining to harness sponsers. Until this happens, there's no budget for more staff!

  • "That's Mitch Pederson of MP Tuning getting busy with the BRZEdit ECU reflashing software on our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S. This is significant, as BRZEdit clears a huge hurdle in successfully implementing forced induction." - 3/13/13 entry. I've been trying to patiently wait for a review or dyno of the reflashed tune. But I guess today's entry answers my question about whether it made a significant difference.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    @gloss - thanks. So for $5200 for the turbo kit, then $860 for the exhaust (don't know if this Apexi one will suffice), then the software suite and the tuning to go with it. Call it $7k out the door. With the mods done so far and the original purchase

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    @gloss: Also, the only way they can claim 90+ hp increase at the wheels is by saying that stock they got 154 hp. This engine is rated at 200 hp - 154 at the wheels would be almost a 25% drivetrain loss - ? Edmunds dynoed this car and got 173 whp. So y

  • Perhaps it's time for an Edmunds Project FR-S.

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