Real-World Acceleration - 2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Scion FR-S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Scion FR-S: Real-World Acceleration

August 8, 2013

2013 Scion FR-S

Recently, we tested the acceleration of our Innovate Motorsports supercharger-equipped long-term 2013 Scion FR-S. A handful of commenters seemed perplexed by the fact the 0-60 time didn't see an even-larger improvement compared to the baseline non-supercharged run.

As explained in the original Track Tested piece, traction was an issue. And when it comes to 0-60 times, traction is king.

When we tested the FR-S against the Veloster Turbo a while back, I reckoned that each car had an asterisk next to their 0-60 times, for opposite reasons. The upshot is it's easy to get a dismal 0-60 time in a stock (or stockish) FR-S. The technique that delivers the best result involves revving the beejezus out of the engine, finessing the clutch just so, and spinning the tires almost all the way through first gear, making sure not to spin them too hard because that hurts the number. Oh, and don't forget: You have two gear changes to nail in the process, so don't muff them.

Get any of the aforementioned facets wrong and the FR-S's 0-60 time worsens dramatically. Never mind that it's an exercise that few will ever attempt in the real world, and those that do will it find difficult to execute properly in order to match our published numbers.

2013 Scion FR-S

Real-world, around-town acceleration is arguably better represented by a yardstick that's not so sensitive to traction. With that in mind, I parsed through the acceleration data, before and after the supercharger, to glean 30-50, 50-70 and 70-90 mph times:

FR-S before supercharger:
30-50 mph: 2.6 sec
50-70 mph: 3.6
70-90 mph: 5.2

FR-S with Innovate Motorsports supercharger:
30-50 mph: 2.2 sec
50-70 mph: 3.1
70-90 mph: 4.3

See the difference now? Whereas the 0-60 time only improved by 0.2 seconds with the supercharger, much, much larger improvements are observed among acceleration metrics that don't hinge on launch traction and technique. These are the kinds of improvements that are readily apparent every time you lay into the throttle of our supercharged Project FR-S.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


Comments

  • Apparently everyone forgot that the main reason you guys installed the supercharger was to fill the power gap in the mid-range, which has been sufficiently filled as shown on the dyno. The point is that this car be balanced in all aspects, people seem to have expected super-car like numbers, sheesh.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I would like to see 30-50, 40-60 and 50-70 times in 5th and and 6th gears, you know, like real people drive 95% of the time. I'll bet that really shows the benefit of the blower.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    your point about traction being more understandable with these numbers. still, for the cost, not sure it was worth it. if the cost was out of your own pocket rather than on Edmunds' dime, would you consider it a success and worth it? The readers are not doing the driving, so it's hard to know without your "seat of the pants" experience. when you replace the tires, repeat the test please.

  • fred142 fred142 Posts:

    Hi Jason, Thanks for the acceleration numbers. In his posting on a trip to San Diego, Mark said that the engine note was rough. With the supercharger, does the FR-S sound better? Thx!

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    Completely agree with agentorange above. Filling out that midrange torque will make accelerating in higher gears much less of a chore. But while that make the car more livable, does it really make the car more fun. We hear about the shifter. We hear about how this car loves to be driven. We hear about the excitement of trying to drive a slow car fast. I get all that. So while the supercharger makes things easier and allows for more relaxed driving, is it also rewarding lazy driving in a car that's greatest asset is driver involvement?

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Having driven a FR-S I'm convinced that the powertrain was the weak point- it doesn't sound great at any point, it shifts like it's crunching the synchros, and it's a bit of a stretch that it can be considered a "true" 200 horses (not helped by gearing). Since the engine is lazy and lacks character to begin with, and it's obvious the chassis can handle more power, the only real way to solve it is to add more power. So for the price of the supercharger and ease of installation, I think it's totally worth it (not saying there aren't better FI options). The wheels, suspension work and exhaust can go; but if I owned one I'd pay for this kit, put on stickier tires in the stock sizes, and do something about the brakes.

  • cotak cotak Posts:

    Again, when the turbo BRZ lands it's going to make existing BRZ and FR-S owners a bit green. Especially if the factory FI model cost the same as regular plus mod, and delivers more power...

  • cynic783 cynic783 Posts:

    thanks Jason, you really nailed it. 0-60 is certainly traction limited, especially on a stick car, especially especially on a powerful stick car. add power to a stick car and spin out of the hole unless you add traction too

  • akula1 akula1 Posts:

    No, a turbo BRZ will NOT make existing owners of blower modded 86s green. No more than an auto-crosser envies a dyno-queen. But if you want to wait till 2015 for turbo-lag, feel free. The rest will have had an extra year and a half of proper throttle response and linear torque.

  • snaab92 snaab92 Posts:

    Still not enough power. This car needs a factory turbo - not some bolt on bandaid that only gives the car a small (though much needed) bump in hp. Also, if I buy a new car I want a warranty. Good luck pulling up into the dealship with a supercharger bolted onto the top of the engine and ask for warranty coverage with anything related tot he powertrain. Shame on your Subaru/Toyota for not giving enthusiants the option to but a more powerful BRZ/FRS from the factory. The car needs a good 270 hp out of your new 2.0 turbo that will be in the WRX and that is an option in the Forester. You could do it without adding more than $3,000 to the sticker price and make what is a good but underpowered car a great car. Can you imagine the praise Subaru/Toyota would get from enthusiasts and car reviewers (Toyota has been making appliances for years now and could really use some credibility/a good name when it comes to performance)? It would be an amazing car. I would love an BRZ or FRZ but the engine is a deal breaker. I don't want every V6 sedan made inte past 10 years showing me its tail lights and I want to smile when I put my right foot down. Why do car manufactures have to settle for mediocrity?

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    hooninaround They have well over 30k into this car now, so it should be able to have a decent 0-60 time as you can now get an Infinity G37 or other such cars for the low to mid 30's. More drivability is great, but this car still is not a real performance star.

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    I would like to see 30-50, 40-60 and 50-70 times in 5th and and 6th gears, you know, like real people drive 95% of the time. I'll bet that really shows the benefit of the blower. ______________________________________ What? Those first two would likely be done in 3rd. 50-70 would likely be done in 5th.

  • gtfrank1 gtfrank1 Posts:

    So you can learn how to drive the stock car properly or spend a few thousand dollars to compensate for your lack of driving skill. Wonderful well done kit. I think I will wait for Subaru to up the power and trade my car in. You will give up 2/10ths of a second to 60 but a 4800 rpm clutch drop seems to be far less stressful for the drive-train. That is enough to defeat the Civic SI, and run with the manual GTI or the Focus St as long as it is from a dead stop. Not bad for a "painfully slow car"

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