By on June 23, 2012

As Jack mentioned, we’ll be at Toronto Motorsports Park on Monday to film episode deux of TTAC Track Days with Jack Baruth. Any of the B&B who wish to spend a day with myself and Jack are welcome to join us. Now that everything is set in stone, I’m happy to announce the lineup for the next installment.

We’ll be conducting a 3 +1 car shootout, with the Scion FR-S, Hyundai Genesis 2.0T R-Spec, Mazda MX-5 and our benchmark “Brand P” roadster. I took a brief drive in a privately owned FR-S and felt it didn’t live up to the hype. I agree with Motor Trend’s Randy Pobst when he says that the MX-5 is still the best affordable drivers car – Jack’s opinion may vary. The Genesis Coupe R-Spec and Brand P are heavier but more powerful. Aside from the subjective evaluations, we’ll also have timing gear on hand, provided it makes it from VIR to TMP on time.

Anyone who wants to come can drop us a note, for more info

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8 Comments on “TTAC Track Days Episode 2 Preview...”

  • avatar

    Derek, thanks for coming out about the over-hyped FR-S. The Truth About Cars might fulfill it’s name as the mag comparisons track times has it at the bottom of the pack.

    Will ttac support the trend?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Too bad you couldn’t sneak a Mustang 6 with a performance pack in the mix or a Camaro 6. They would fit in with that group and are priced bout the same. Lots of love for the FRS with the young guys I work worth with. I’ll get the popcorn ready and wait for the video.

  • avatar

    Will there be any events local to Columbus, OH area? I could actually make one of those. ;d

  • avatar

    Looking forward to the video as well. I drove an FR-S almost a month ago and was not impressed. Besides unusual choices in the interior for a possible DD, only the already deaf need apply. Or perhaps if you like the sound and feel of a Kubota 2 cylinder diesel golf links lawn mower, then this is just the ticket!

    • 0 avatar

      If you’re not a fan of the sound of an inline-four engine, the FR-S’s engine note isn’t going to be a pleasant surprise. I own an FR-S, and I personally love the engine note, since it’s an auditory homage to the AE86’s 4A-GE engine, but has a nice “thrum” to it, thanks to the boxer layout. It’s nowhere near as staggered an engine note as an unequal-length-headered EJ20 turbo.

      I think that half of the problem is that some people are walking into their first encounter with the FR-S expecting to hear something like a WRX STI engine note, or a V8, or flat six. Sorry, no; it has four cylinders, and the headers are equal-length; that’s what such an engine would sound like.

      My tastes for engine notes are a bit weird, though. I love the rawness of inline four engines, as well as the smooth singing buzz of inline six or boxer six, and the various different ranges of the V10, from BMW E60 M5 to Lamborghini Gallardo to my favorite, the Lexus LFA. I’m bored of V8 engine notes, aside from a couple of examples (Audi 4.2, BMW’s V8 in the M3, the 2UR-GSE that Max Orido dropped into his D1 86).

      • 0 avatar

        I love 4 cylinder engine sound. The noise I’m referring to in the FR-S is the purely mechanical racket the engine makes. It is disharmonious, coarse and rattly and very loud. In fact I never heard the exhaust at all over the mechanicals, and have to say it’s quite a bit worse than any other car I’ve been in or driven, bar my parent’s Vega 40 years ago. I was so disappointed during and after my test drive, I just sat there in the Toyota showroom, basically dumbstruck and bemused. They brought me bottled water, evaluated my Legacy, offered a great trade-in price, an Argento 6MT in 3 weeks. Just couldn’t do it.

        My current car is a 2008 Subaru Legacy GT, it is dead quiet and smooth by comparison, unequal length headers and all. Before that, my ’99 Impreza 2.2 had equal length headers and was reasonably quiet if a bit thrashy at high revs. I expected the latest Subaru boxer to be more mechanically harmonious than these engines, it’s 2012 after all!

        My 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD, which I sold only a few years ago, silly me, is (was) a far nicer car with a far nicer engine. My test drive on that car sold me instantly, remember it to this day. My boss’s VW Tdi Golf is far less thrashy, and it has a direct injection fuel pump working at even higher pressures than the one in the FR-S.

        Anyway, all I wanted to point out was that the FR-S engine is so mechanically noisy, I could not imagine owning the vehicle. And I didn’t even get around to mentioning that the power delivery is such that it feels as if the flywheel weighs 100 lbs. It doesn’t like revving, but will do so if forced, and you have to force it to get anywhere: the resulting noise, to me at least, is a cacophony of unpleasant sounds and intake boom. The new Focus illustrates to me what a modern 4 cylinder DI engine with 12:1 compression ratio should be like.

        The FR-S six speed manual is slick, the clutch ridiculous, steering fine, seats great. Now the car needs a real engine. A pal just bought a 2008 BMW M3 10 days ago, DI and all. No mechanical disharmony there, and I felt like a champ rowing that 6 speed, even though its clutch is supposed to be tricky. Not as tricky as the FR-S. This car needs to be sent back to finishing school, IMO.

        YMMV. By all means drive an FR-S or BRZ yourself, and see what you think. The experience I had was so far out of my norms that the time I’ve spent this past 8 months reading every post on FT86Club forums has left me musing over how easy it is to mass hoodwink an audience, myself included.

        As you can tell, I’m not over the experience yet. Darn it, on paper this car seemed made for me, but the execution is lacking any finesse in the engine department.

  • avatar

    I’m too old to be sure, but I think part of the reason for the FRS hype is it’s “built for tuners” or something like that. This grouping looks fantastic. I do wish I had the time/distance capability to head over. Really looking forward to seeing how Jack rates the MX-5 against brand P.

  • avatar

    Sounds like a blast. Will try to be there.
    Hope that your time in the FR-S at the track improves your perception.

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