2013 Scion FR-S: Stability Control Now a Must
August 27, 2013
As our acceleration testing indicated, the Advan Neova rubber on our 2013 Scion FR-S is sufficiently heat cycled to have lost much of its grip. Let me clarify: Those tires are fried. The tread isn't gone, but a little fingernail investigation reveals that they're rock hard, which doesn't make for good grip. In addition to slowing straight-line acceleration, lateral grip is compromised.
Combine the reduced lateral grip with a torque-abundant power delivery and the FR-S can be a little exciting in the most normal of situations. I find stability control to be a faithful partner now. Even routine low-speed moves, like turning through an intersection and making the 1-2 shift, regularly turn into a slide caught by stability control. Honestly, it's a little unnerving. Tires, it turns out, really matter.
Part of the issue is a throttle calibration that's not spot on, but I'd bet better grip will largely resolve the problem. Fortunately, I see some new BFG rubber under Jay Kavanagh's desk.
Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor