2013 Scion FR-S Track Test on Edmunds.com

2013 Scion FR-S: Track Tested

New Supercharger, New Attitude

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Our 2013 Scion FR-S finally has some power courtesy of an Innovate Motorsports supercharger kit. Before forced induction, it would be kind to simply say our Scion was underpowered. With 184 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque at the wheels, it was annoyingly slow. But then came the FR-S supercharger kit boost to wipe the boredom out.

With its new blower, our FR-S put down 224 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. What's 40 hp mean when moving the Scion instead of a set of metal rollers? We took it to the track to find out.

Before we get to the numbers, however, some quick notes: The baseline numbers (the left column below) were recorded when our Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tires were new and freshly broken in. After 15,000 miles, they've taken some wear and lost some grip, which explains why the FR-S actually had a slightly worse launch this time around. But as any drag racer knows, the ET is all about the launch, while the trap speed is where the power shows up and in our testing, as soon as the traction isn't an issue, the power takes over. By the time the quarter-mile clears, the supercharged FR-S has pulled out a half-second lead and is ahead by nearly 5 mph. Five!

Vehicle: Scion FR-S Scion FR-S Supercharged
0-30 (sec.): 2.3 2.5
0-45 (sec.): 4.2 4.1
0-60 (sec.): 6.5 6.3
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.): 6.2 6.0
0-75 (sec.): 9.6 8.7
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 14.8 @ 93.6 14.3 @ 98.5

Vehicle: 2013 Scion FR-S

Odometer: 19,761
Date: 7/16/2013
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $24,930 (before mods)

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Longitudinal, supercharged flat-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,998/122
Redline (rpm): 7,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 224 @ 6,700 (at the wheels)
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 191 @ 5,500 (at the wheels)
Brake Type (front): 11.7-inch vented discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.5-inch discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, lower control arms, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/40R17 (91W)
Tire Size (rear): 245/40R17 (91W)
Tire Brand: Yokohama
Tire Model: Advan Neova AD08
Wheel Size: 17-by-8.5 inches front and rear
Tire Type: Summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 2,766 (Previously 2,737)

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 2.5 (2.6 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.1 (4.5 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.3 (6.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.0 (6.5 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 8.7 (9.4 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.3 @ 98.5 (14.7 @ 98.5 w/ TC on)

Note: Handling results were not repeated and are the same as tested here.

30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 107

Slalom (mph): 70.3
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.0

Acceleration: It was nice not bogging or stalling the 2013 Scion FR-S since the supercharger gives it a welcome dose of torque from a stop. With traction control off, it launched best at a completely reasonable 2,750 (compared to 6K-ish). For different reasons, the result is a very similar time/accel curve to the top of 1st gear, but that's where everything changes. Sadly, the shift to 3rd still occurs at 57 mph, but the rest of the run was (dare I say it?) enthusiastically thrilling. No heat-soak observed and trap speed was maintained for four passes.

(Once again, handling and braking notes are repeated from a previous test.)

Braking: Definitely got a better result here. Solid, consistent pedal feel. I suspect additional grip would mean dead brakes sooner on a track.


Skid pad: At last, real grip! After several trial-and-error tire pressure experiments we settled at 38.5 psi when hot, which produced the best feedback, response and balance.

We started the tires at 37.5 psi warm (street driving plus one lap of the pad in each direction after entering the speedway) because that's roughly where the tire shop left them: 35 psi cold, I presume. However, after five or six slalom passes they apparently warmed up even more, to 40 psi. After establishing both slalom and skid pad numbers at that pressure we dropped it, significantly. Went down to 34.5 psi. Did this for two reasons. First, we wanted to make a big enough change so that we could feel it. Second, 40 seemed way too high at this point.

At 34.5 psi hot there was significantly less response to steering input and the balance suffered on the pad. Understeer was more prominent and the car felt sluggish to come back from an understeering condition. Slalom times didn't change much, but times around the pad slowed down measurably. It made the big change we were looking for, but it wasn't good. So we pumped them back up to 38.5 psi hot.

At 38.5 the skid pad times improved again and both response and feel were back. This seemed to be the sweet spot where both skid pad lap times and feel were the best, so that's where I left it. From there, we experienced immense grip without compromise: very impressive for a wheel/tire swap.

Slalom: Feels marginally less tail-happy compared to the stock trim. Confident in quick transitions and retains the excellent feedback of the stock setup. Predictable, quick and fairly easy to drive here. First run was quicker than stock.

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