At the 2012 SEMA Show, we got a look at a few Scion (Toyota) sponsored FR-S models featuring superchargers strapped to the tops of their 200-horsepower boxer engines. With that, we began wondering if Toyota was planning to add a supercharger to the FR-S mix and if this was a way to see how the FR-S would respond to it. Sure, Toyota played the denial game in terms of a turbocharged model, but nothing was ever said about a supercharger.
A new report from Car and Driver, following a sit down with TRD at SEMA, is showing that there is interest in adding a supercharger to the line of manufacturer-backed performance upgrades. While there is still no official confirmation, the pure fact that TRD would confirm that there is interest pretty much locks it in. Manufacturers will rarely offer up information on unconfirmed products, let alone let loose that there is an interest.
There, of course, are no specifications to release yet, as TRD is obviously still in R&D mode with this experiment. Given Toyota has to strap a warranty to this package; we wouldn’t expect to see much more than about 6 pounds of boost. While there are too many variables to be accurate on estimate output, this would likely equate out to a 60 to 70-horsepower gain from a supercharger on top of the Scion’s engine.
For now, we are simply speculating, but a 270-horsepower, supercharged FR-S sure does sound like load of fun to us! We’ll keep a very close eye on this situation and get you updates as soon as they come out.
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.
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 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.