Forced Induction - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test
ADVERTISEMENT

2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Forced Induction

June 28, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

You think you're frustrated about the lack of forced induction on our Project FR-S? Believe me, you're not alone. I won't get into the excruciating nitty gritty specifics as to why it's taking so long, but I'd like to address some of the "but there are so many kits available!" refrains.

We live in the land of 91 octane. The FR-S has a 12.5:1 compression ratio engine. This combination means low boost. Also, what this car needs is punch down low and through the midrange. Sure, a bump in peak power would be nice but not if it comes at the expense of what the car actually needs, power delivery-wise.

Consequently, for a turbo kit, there's no sense using a turbo capable of supporting 400 horsepower, since you're simply giving up boost response to meet a power number you can't reach. It's wasted headroom. Yet the various turbo kits I found all use a 400-hp (or more!) turbo. And when the kit vendors have released a dyno chart (a best-case run, probably) for their kits, they generally reach their peak of 5-7 psi at about 4,000 rpm. It's just not the power delivery we're looking for in a dual-purpose car, a sentiment I suspect other owners would agree with.

Furthermore, I don't want mushroom air filters that draw underhood air, or methanol injection or cheap knockoff turbos or other such forced induction kludges, and neither should you.

That's not to say there hasn't been progress. If all goes according to plan in the coming weeks, we'll have some updates to share with you regarding a set of lungs for Project FR-S.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


Comments

  • I smell an Innovative twin screw in the works..:D

  • yellowbal yellowbal Posts:

    Does CARB restrict which kits can be used?

  • gregnv gregnv Posts:

    Yep, supercharger time...

  • gregnv gregnv Posts:

    Yep, supercharger time...

  • thetruck454 thetruck454 Posts:

    I must applaud you for being stubborn, as I think all too often people don't think about usable low/mid power without having to cut corners. Some company needs to make a TVS blower kit for the car, that will solve your problems.

  • thetruck454 thetruck454 Posts:

    I must applaud you for being stubborn, as I think all too often people don't think about usable low/mid power without having to cut corners. Some company needs to make a TVS blower kit for the car, that will solve your problems.

  • banhugh banhugh Posts:

    Great news! Now we can start whining about the stock transmission's clutch disk and how long it will last with the upgraded engine output!

  • banhugh banhugh Posts:

    Great news! Now we can start whining about the stock transmission's clutch disk and how long it will last with the upgraded engine output!

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    I guess it's time to have the dwarves that have been mining and hand forging the parts for the Miata get working on new, lower compression pistons for the FR-S. Hopefully they can finish them this decade.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    I guess it's time to have the dwarves that have been mining and hand forging the parts for the Miata get working on new, lower compression pistons for the FR-S. Hopefully they can finish them this decade.

  • Excellent! Looking forward to an update!

  • Excellent! Looking forward to an update!

  • banhugh banhugh Posts:

    echo...

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    What is going on with these double-tapped posts all over the place?

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    bankerdanny - I think this $28k car is now up to around $43k with the mods they already have and the turbo kit they're contemplating. No way are they going to tear the bottom end out of it and start playing around with lower CR pistons. The idea of a project car is fun, but in the real world, you or I would take that $50k and just spend it on a CPO Cayman S. Besides the idea of Porsche vs. Toyota, I would rather have a 3-year-old car with a real warranty than a 9-month-old car with a warranty I've just invalidated.

  • fordson1: How do they already have $15K into this car? I know that Volk Racing wheels are pricey, but other than those, the tires, and the exhaust, and the tune, is there another cost that bumped the amount spent on this car to what you've claimed? (Not inflamatory, just curious . . . )

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    The turbo kits are all around $6k, plus call it a grand for tuning, plus the wheels ($3,200), tires ($1,000), tire mounting and balancing (call it $100), exhaust (around $1,400)...total $12,600, plus installation of the turbo kit, the camber plates and installation, the adjustable rear control arms and installation, the new brake pads and installation. $15k for all that is probably conservative, if anything.

  • Ah-ha! I get it now. I thought you were claiming they had $15K in it to date. I'm going down that road myself right now with my Mustang. Just dropped over $6K on a supercharger. New wheels and tires last year set me back another $2K (and those were only cast wheels)! Konis, springs, sway bars, strut mounts, and Watt's Linkage all last summer too (Another $2.5K?). It adds up fast. And throwing away a factory warranty is surely a gut check too.

  • And back to the original post, I wholly understand not leaping before looking in terms of an upgrade path. Bad modifications are worse than no modifications at all. It was just that there was a complete lack of any updates as to the plan, and the FR-S seemed to be treated as just another long-term car. Carry on, I'm eager to see what's in store!

Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Past Long-Term Road Tests

ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411