Scion

Scion cars

For many people, the term “limited-slip differential,” or LSD, just means more grippy stuff and that’s that. However, there is actually a little science and physics behind understanding precisely what it does and how it does it. Toyota has done the less mechanically inclined auto buff the service of creating a video that gives the basic outline of what a limited-slip differential is and how it increases traction.

While the video is extremely simple and doesn’t really get into the inside of the LSD’s pumpkin to tell you precisely how it transfers power, it is still informative. Essentially, the Torsen LSD in the 2013 Scion FR-S senses when one wheel is spinning faster than the other (A.K.A. slipping) and transfers more power toward the opposite wheel. The Torsen system is unique in the fact that it can actually increase the power going to one wheel four times, if needed.

An LSD is good for two things. The most commonly understood benefit is in low traction situations, like snow, ice, and rain. When one wheel starts slipping, the LSD cuts power from the slipping wheel and transfers it to the one with the most traction, which is exactly the opposite of a posi-traction rear end. The Torson LSD also helps in handling, believe it or not, as when you take a corner at a high rate of speed, the inside wheel tends to lose traction and it also moves slower. The Torsen LSD transfers as much power as needed to the outside wheel, pushing the FR-S through the turn in a stable manner. This is all achieved through the binding and releasing of two gears placed about each side gear in the LSD.

For a clearer understanding, you can check out the above video.

Inventory turns are the bane of a car dealership sales manager’s existence, as the general manager will ride the sales manager like a rented mule if a unit stays on the lot past 30 days. In reality, the average car sits on a dealership’s lot for a little over 50 days – that’s a lot of gripe sessions from the GM. According to a report from Edmunds, via our pals at Auto Blog, the sales managers at Subaru and Scion dealerships can breathe easy every time a shipment of new BRZ or FR-S models comes rolling in on the back of a transporter.

Why would these managers be so happy to see a truckload full of these new sports cars? Well, because the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are No. 1 and 2 on the fastest selling vehicle list, respectively. There is barely enough time for the driver to unload the cars and for the service team to perform a safety check and get it detailed before a deal is being worked and the car is being driven off of the lot. Yup, the BRZ lasts a whopping four days in the dealership before turning into a sale and the FR-S lasts only five days.

This is all well and good, but another issue is starting to rear its head, and that is the fact that there just are not enough BRZ and FR-S models to go around. Toyota Toyota will only make about 10,000 FR-S models and Subaru is planning only 6,000 units, which at the current pace will be completely sold out well before the end of the model year.

We are willing to bet that neither Subaru nor Toyota will leave any money on the table, so we anticipate seeing production numbers ramped up in the coming months, if sales keep going the way they are. If Mazda is willing to increase the number of special edition RX-8s it is producing to keep up with demand, Subaru and Toyota likely will too.

Source: AutoBlog
Subaru BRZ

Oh boy… It seems like the FR-S and BRZ just hit dealerships – oh wait they did – and already they are showing up on the recall list. So, does this spell disaster for the Sciobaru twins, or is this just a rocky start to something special, a la the Ford Escort? Well, actually the recall has absolutely nothing to deal with the overall build of the vehicle, but rather a strange safety requirement by the NHTSA.

This recall is still hot off of the press, as it just hit the NHTSA’s site on June 8 at 2:49 a.m. – ah, someone couldn’t sleep – but there is still enough info to pass along. It looks like there was just a small bit of information left out of the owner’s manual regarding how the airbag system works. You know, one of the many sections of the owner’s manual that the average owner just bypasses.

From the reports we are reading, the missing information is almost unnoticeable. As described by Subaru officials, the missing information in question is that the manual not making a distinguished difference between a child and a small female when it is describing the way the BRZ and FR-S weigh its passengers for airbag deployment.

Per the NHTSA, this recall only affects a small number of the first FR-S and BRZ models to leave the production line. It is estimated that roughly 1,156 Scion FR-S models are in need of replacement owner’s manuals, but the number of BRZs needing replacement manuals is undisclosed yet, though some outlets are reporting 1,600 BRZs.

Fortunately, this recall is just something small and not a safety issue, which could be catastrophic for a new car in the market.

Toyota GT 86

Our friends over at Autocar are reporting a nice tidbit of tech news on the new Toyota GT 86. According to GT 86 project engineer, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota is working on a black-box system for the GT 86 that will monitor all of the car’s main functions (i.e. braking, accelerating, stability, acceleration, speed, etc.).

In short, the black-box system is nothing new, but what Toyota plans to do with it is. Engineers are working on installing software on the black box that is compatible with the PlayStation 3. At the same time, Toyota is hard at work mapping out all of the major tracks and raceways around the world and uploading them into the black box. All the driver has to do is take the GT 86 to a mapped track on the black box and drive the hell out of his car.

Once the driver has finished his track day, just hook up the black box to a PlayStation 3 and upload the data. After all of the data is uploaded, the driver can compare his data from the track with other GT 86 drivers that have run on the same track, making for some friendly racing, without the risks of swapping paint. This system will also provide pointers for performing better at the track and maximizing the GT 86’s potential.

Seems like a pretty cool idea on paper, but the issue becomes the fact that some street racers may find a way to upload public streets, then you have GT 86 drivers driving like maniacs on busy roads trying to beat their buddy’s time around the block. We hope that the engineers find a way to block this possibility prior to releasing it, if it ever becomes a reality.

For those that snag up GT 86s before this system debuts can easily retro-fit it onto older GT 86 models.

There is no word on whether this system will be offered for the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ .

Source: Autocar

A few weeks ago, we let you in on the conversation that Car and Driver had with executives from Subaru and Toyota about the possibility of a turbocharger on the BRZ, GT 86 , and FR-S . It was a flat out “No” on the FR-S and an “Eh, maybe, but not now” on the BRZ and GT 86. Well, first off we think that’s a load of corporate horse manure, as Subaru and Toyota Toyota would be out of their engine control modules not to force at least 8 psi into that new jointly built 2.0-liter engine.

Apparently, Subaru is taking a nibble of the bait that us turbo junkies are tossing in the water, as it has just completed development on a turbocharged version of the FA20 engine used in the BRZ , GT 86, and FR-S family. This engine is not an identical twin to the FA20, so don’t go getting your hopes up yet, but it is its fraternal twin at least. The only real difference is that Subaru scrapped the Toyota fuel injection system in favor of its own direct-injection system.

So what kind of power are we talking about? We are hearing that it cranks out a whopping 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque! Now for the bad news… As of now, this engine is only slated to be dropped into the JDM-spec Legacy . To make things worse, Subaru is linking this awesome engine to a CVT. What a gigantic waste.

Don’t go getting all sad on us now, this is a good start that Subaru is willing to slap some boost on this puppy and get nearly 300 ponies and 300 twisting power. Now just imagine that in a BRZ…

So we will reiterate what we said before. Regardless of what smoke and mirrors Subaru and Toyota throw up there, we will see boost in at least the BRZ and GT 86, and we would be willing to bet a penny that we see the FR-S whistling down the road one day too.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 4
Scion FR-S

The Scion FR-S may be the unfortunate love child created from the Subaru and Toyota sports car collaboration, but the American company still has ambitious plans for its latest sports coupe. It has revealed that it plans on shifting 20,000 units annually for the foreseeable future.

Scion’s vice president Jack Hollis stated that "We’re confident we can sell every one we get our hands on.” So it’s clear that Scion believes the FR-S can help give the brand that little boost of life it’s been looking for for many, many years. Not a great deal of reviews have been published about the Scion FR-S, but if it’s as similar to the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ as we’re led to believe, then it should be a true sports car which Scion should be proud to sell.

Just as a quick reminder, the Scion FR-S shares the same 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine as both the GT 86 and BRZ , and produces no less than 200HP. Sure that may not sound like a lot, but the FR-S tips the scales at around 2,500 pounds and when combined with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, the FR-S promises to be the perfect, affordable driver’s car.

Subaru BRZ

Ever since the Toyota-Subaru joint venture that netted three different models – Subaru BRZ , Toyota GT 86 , and Scion FR-S – there have been speculations, rumors, and whispers of potential forced induction for these triplets. Recently an unnamed “source” informed our colleagues over at Car and Driver that “for the time being” the BRZ and FR-S will remain naturally aspirated and pumping out 200 horsepower.

The report went on to say that a turbocharged BRZ is a possibility in the future, but there is no way the FR-S will ever receive forced induction. The source also mentioned that the GT 86 could potentially get some added PSI into the intake. The reason being, according to this “source,” is because the Scion is considered an entry-level sports car and a turbocharger would push its $24,930 base price to near $30,000. At that price, most Scion buyers may start dreaming of a BMW 1-series or something a little more upscale. The Subaru and Toyota, on the other hand, cater to higher-end customers.

Being the car buffs that we are and lovers of a little forced air, this is a depressing thing to hear. It also slightly confuses us a little, as we don’t quite see how adding a turbocharger can pump the base price up $6,000. Even if it did approach those higher cars, like the 1-Series, a boosted FR-S would certainly pump out more power than the base 1-Series and is definitely a more fun car to drive.

So here’s to hoping that the three automakers come together and find a way to make a turbocharged version of all three models. A boosted model would likely have a massive impact on Scion’s popularity too. Heck, it may even get that nasty taste out of people’s mouths that the xB and xD models left behind.

The Toyota GT 86 , Scion FR-S , and Subaru BRZ are inching closer to getting a release date, and the lucky dogs over at Edmunds managed to get their hands on an FR-S a little early. Being the true car buffs that they are, what’s the first thing they did with it? They threw it on the dyno, of course!

You may be alarmed wondering why they are dyno testing a car that we all know produces 200 horsepower. Well, that’s not always the case. See, 99.9 percent of the time, automakers release horsepower numbers based off of the engine’s power, not the entire car. On average, you can expect to lose 10 to 20 percent of the horsepower through the driveline – transmission, driveshaft, and differential.

So what was Edmunds’ final determination of its horsepower? It was nothing short of impressively consistent. It repeatedly produced 173 horsepower at roughly 7,000 rpm and 143 pound-feet of torque at about 2,800 rpm. Not only were the peaks identical, but the horsepower and torque curves were nearly identical on every run.

To have that kind of consistency in a car is a testament to just how much engineering went into it. This also proves that the 2.0-liter flat-four that Subaru and Toyota collaborated on is truly a work of art to crank out 173 wheel horsepower. There are not too many sub-$30K four-bangers hitting that kind of horsepower consistently without the use of some forced air.

There is one very odd thing in this engine that again shows how much engineering went into it. At about 4,000 rpm you will see a 14-percent drop in torque, which the Subaru and Toyota Toyota engineers intentionally did to allow greater torque on the lower rpm range. Our collective hats go off to the team of engineers that developed this car. Now, can we just get a hold of a turbocharged model, please?

Technically speaking, this car can be called the Scion FR-S Speedster with the only caveat being that this hot convertible wasn’t made by Scion .

The brains behind this vehicle are the folks from Cartel Customs, which took a standard FR-S sports coupe and took off the roof, as well as made a host of other aerodynamic modifications. In order to fully commit to the roadster look, Cartel Customs added a number of new components, including a custom hood, custom fenders, a 61" carbon fiber wing, a sporty rear deck lid, tinted headlights, a custom paint finish, a custom bespoke interior, and a new set of 18" wheels. Other enhancements done on the overall set-up of the FR-S include an upgraded clutch, a new exhaust system, Wilwood brakes, and an improved suspension set-up.

No word yet on what kind of performance enhancements the FR-S Speedster has under its hood, but we do expect it to retain its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Whether it has its standard 200-horsepower and 151 lb/ft of torque figures still remains to be seen.

The Scion FR-S Speedster will be making its public debut at the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 13, 2012 where it will drive parade laps leading up to the event’s opening ceremonies.

We know this much about SR Auto Group: they don’t discriminate with the kind of cars they work on. Whether it’s a bastion of supercar awesomeness like the Ferrari 458 Italia or something a little more down-to-earth like a BMW Z4 , the US-based tuning firm has made a reputation as one of the best tuners in the business no matter the kind of car they use.

Their latest project is nowhere near was powerful as the 458 Italia. Heck, it’s not even in the same ball park as the Z4. But for SR Auto Group, the Scion iQ is every bit as interesting as any other car they have worked on.

Called the Project Pryzm in reference to the car’s sharp and boxy interior, the iQ was fitted with a comprehensive aerodynamic package that drastically changed the way we look at the little, compact hatchback.

The first order of business was a subtle height adjustment and the addition of a new set of 17" Sparco wheels. After that, the business was turned to modifying the exterior with SR Auto Group using a body kit from Premier 4509 to fit into the iQ. The kit includes a new front bumper, a rear bumper, side skirts, front fenders, a new hood, and a roof spoiler. All told, it was pretty spectacular how SR Auto Group managed to change the iQ’s look, particularly the front, which you could actually pass of as a Dodge Charger.

From there, SR Auto Group went to work on the car’s interior, completely overhauling the cabin to make it sportier and far more aggressive looking than the standard model. The factory seats, for one, were modified to create an elevated side bolster for a sportier look. In addition, SR also added a red diamond stitched pattern over black suede on the center seats while the outer portions were wrapped with black leather and finished with red stitching on the seams. Rounding out the interior changes are newly dressed door panels, which also features the same black suede inserts with matching red stitching design on the seats.


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