The 2013 Scion FR-S and its platform mates, the 2013 Subaru BRZ and overseas-only Toyota GT 86, haven’t even gone on sale yet. But already, we’re hearing murmurs of more powerful versions making it to production.
Subaru, the automaker that engineered the FR-S and BRZ, has denied the 2.0-liter flat-4 engine in all versions of the sports car would receive more than 197 horsepower. The automaker said the company is dedicated to keeping it a lightweight “pure handling delight” along the same lines as a Mazda Miata or Porsche Cayman.
However, Autocar has confirmed that Toyota is now working ways to bump horsepower numbers for the lightweight sports coupe. In the past, Subaru has typically relied on turbochargers to boost horsepower in cars like the 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX and Legacy GT models. But in this lightweight application, chief engineer Tetsuo Tada says a supercharger would provide better instant power. Additionally, we confirmed that a turbocharger simply will not fit under the diminutive car’s hood.
Toyota Racing Development has a long history of designing superchargers, such as with the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and Scion tC compact coupe. So this would be nothing new for the Toyota-Subaru collaboration. Early indications suggest the cars could get boosted to as much as 280 horsepower, which would give them a similar power-to-weight ratio as a 2012 Nissan 370Z.
Toyota and Subaru may also change the suspension to compensate for any added weight. It isn’t known yet whether any of these parts would come installed on the car from the factory or as dealer-installed kits, as is the case with most TRD performance parts.
As the car was optimized to be light weight and was the first Toyota or Subaru product to undergo performance testing for drifting during its development, it’s a given that balance is key with this car over raw power. Handling prowess will likely remain priority number one no matter how much power it gets.