By on March 1, 2014

subaru-brz-of-crawford-performance

Six hundred and forty-two years from now, the artificial planet orbiting Betelguese will finally receive the electromagnetic emissions of today. On it, the four-dimensional hyperintelligence known only as “Ship” will parse trilions of communications before deciding what the primary concerns of the puny “humans”, and particularly of the males among the species, might be. The list will be, in order:

1. How to insert tab A into slot B without being forced to put ring C on finger D (or cash E into purse F);
2. The quarter-mile time of the “Toyobaru”.

It seems like just yesterday that our irascible E-I-C pro tem attempted to become one of the “First 86″ to own Subaru’s sporty coupe. In the two years since then, the relative pokiness of the BRZ/FR-S/whatever has become the stuff of legend, to the point where even the humor writers in this business are talking about it. “Scion FR-S… what’s the deal with it being so slow? Am I right? Wow, just wow! Here’s why that’s a problem!”

The defenders of the 86 have been forced to scale the walls of this confrontation and defend the car’s gutlessness. “You want an engine with no discernible powerband! It’s how you separate true drivers from people who merely want to scale Pikes Peak without a tow rope attached to the front bumper!” But everybody knows the car would be manifestly better with just a little more starch. It doesn’t need an LS1, although people are putting LS1s into them. It doesn’t need a monster-snail turbo, although that’s being done as well. It just needs an engine that matches the chassis. The 2.2L from the later Honda S2000 would have been a match made in heaven for it, but there are other options.

Today’s question isn’t about how the Subaru’s problems could be rectified, but rather how much it would take to do it. How much power does the car need to gain everyone’s respect and open the checkbooks? Does it need the same amount of power, just delivered more convincingly? Does it need more torque? A wider rev range? Six cylinders?

In my crate far below the VerticalScope headquarters, I’ve pondered the issue and decided that what the FR86 really needs is a Toyota engine. More specifically, the supercharged variant of the 2ZZ-GE found in the Lotus Exige 240R. It revs, it makes power, it thrills. I don’t care if they have to put a stupid whale nose on the thing to make it work. They did that with the Lexus IS-F and the results were worth it. I think that a price bump of $3000 would both cover the expense and represent fair value for money. But your opinion may differ…

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128 Comments on “QOTD: How Much Power Does The FR-86 Really Need?...”


  • avatar

    I own a BRZ, I’m quite happy about the civilian power it has. I enjoy the heck out of, it has a great feel. And I don’t think I’m being a menace on the road while doing so.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Seems about right. I think those who complain about it lacking power will never really be satisfied no matter what they put in it.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Needs a turbo-4…then tune it!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s also worth noting that high power cars don’t really come into their own until unwound >>70-80mph when the box hits an aero brick wall. Under that more power is still proportionately faster but the reality is 200hp in a <3000lb car is already pretty quick for sane applications within range of legal limits.

      As for pike's peak, the cars there not only have to overcome the usual drag but also the massive downforce elements that basically exchange power for corner speed, and I hear that place has a lot of corners.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    The power delivery of VW groups modern 2.0T petrol would be just perfect, to me.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Is there a way to futz with the torque and hp curves of the current motor? 200 hp is OK if it isn’t so peaky that there are only specific points in the rev range to make power. Does the boxer 4 have veritable valve timing?

    Mazda’s Skyactive (as an example) has been cited as having decent down low torque and being pleasant to drive in the real world despite only putting out 190hp or so.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    In all seriousness, why didn’t they just install the STi powerplant in this car right from the beginning?

    Is Toyota (with Subaru’s help) becoming GM, where they halfass a vehicle launch and try to fix it AFTER the damage has been done?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      It makes little business sense to kick off a cars release with the meatiest engine in it, plus the FRS is supposed to be cheap, practical, and sporty.

      However, it would be nice after a year or so that they’d offer an STi powered variant. I’d rather get a meaty car from the box then have to tune it.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Small turbo would help. The sad thing is the scion chick model Tc has more torque then the fr-s.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I always interpreted that much repeated GM pattern as marketing. Juice up sagging 2nd & 3rd year sales with better drivetrains.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      So Toyota is the bew GM? :)

      For this demographic Sti motor for sure. But not for $30K when aftermarket can can swap the turbo motor and piggy-back a ecu.

      Since this Toyota and they have the 2.5 V6 from the Lexus which would give nice weight to torque ratio would be neat. Bujt I think the engine is too tall.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      GM isn’t the only one halfassing vehicle launches apparently. If a car like this can be out dragged at the track by a Sonata turbo or W-body Chevy Impala 3.6 then something is wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I am not surprised to hear this comment from a guy with the name Ponchoman, but the fact that either of those cars is slightly faster 0-60 has nothing to do with anything. Once they hit a turn both of them will be left far behind.

        Why is it so difficult for people to understand that these cars are supposed to be light, fun, tossable, and economical sports cars?? We get it, these cars are not the fastest vehicles available today. We get it, you all wouldn’t buy one unless it was faster than cars with much more horsepower and much more weight. Dead horse beaten… repeatedly.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    About an extra 50hp would be nice, what the FRS really needs is more mid-range power and proper tires to cope with the added power.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I’m right there with you on this. 250HP in a light vehicle like this should make all the difference on the track and on the street. Breaking 300HP would be wonderful but then you’re back into a discussion of how much money are you putting into it to (factory side) to generate the added-umph unless they made it a factory order option though I suspect most dealers would order that model for the higher sale price.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I’d be fine with both turbo variants, what the FRSBRZ needs is options for those who want a supposed fun car but don’t want tohave the time to toss in their own turbos.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        “how much money are you putting into it to (factory side)”

        Depends how you do it. 250hp likely costs nothing (unless volume is down too low to justify all the regulatory hassle), just bore it out to 2.4l (not applicable in countries that tax the bejesus out of >2.0l). 300hp will cost *something*, but largely only if you don’t want to bump displacement or lose mileage. I’d expect toyboru to simply throw in a WRX (or STI) engine, and that would have a certain cost (especially in reliability). Another way to go would be the 2GR-FSE, which gets at least 300hp from displacement and would presumably cost less (in reality, I would assume they would bump a 3GR-FSE (RWD) to 3.5l instead of rotating the 2GR-FSE).

        Displacement is relatively free (although the extra cylinders are not) for consumer cars, and I am reasonably certain that AE86 drivers will eat the extra gas costs (unless it is as bad as the RX8).

        I’m sorry, but the “power costs” BS is tiring. It is like insisting that puting in a remotely decent audio system “is expensive” or a working GPS “is expensive”. The only reason they are expensive is that they are limiting them to higher end models (see the article here about how manual windows are more expensive than power). Smart car buyers might avoid overpowered (for them) cars to avoid nasty gas prices (someone claimed that Consumer Reports was claiming that the [large? V8?] trucks were costing $0.09/mile, i.e they would cost $100,000 by mile 111,111. I never found out their methodology).

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Exactly. 250 horsepower by boring/stroking to 2.5 liters. The block is designed for that displacement, and it would add torque. Perfect.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    200hp seems like enough, but the torque curve is wonky on the thing. I test drove one and liked it, but even though it is faster than my Abarth by the nunbers, it sure doesn’t have anything like the sense of drama. And that it ultimately the problem – it isn’t really that much fun. Seems like it just needs a small turbo. Maybe a bump to 220hp, but a much broader torque curve. More “area under the curve”.

    Add me to the list of those who don’t get why it wasn’t offered in turbo and non-turbo form like virtually EVERYTHING ELSE SUBARU MAKES right from the beginning. Utterly baffling.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      I think the key virtue of this car is its tossability and stability in curves. To make it go quick in a straight line, you really have to wind it out to the redline.
      Those accustomed to revvy low-displacement engines will know how to exploit this, where those used to broad, fat torque curves and powerbands may find it lacklustre.

      I think you have to take it to a curvy road to really appreciate it – merging onto busy city streets and straight, boring city roads will not give you the full picture.

      FWIW, the new WRX uses the same engine (FA20) but with the addition of the turbo – and it has been lauded for quick spooling and great driveability.

      • 0 avatar
        Demiurge

        So, why don’t at least the Subaru put the turboed FA20 in BRZ STi? I can only guess it’s too large? Also, maybe they have to consider if it competes with WRX?

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I’ve driven a couple 86′s, and at no point have I thought it was noticably lacking in power. I mean, I get the argument that its chassis is capable of handling quite a bit more, and I could see how that would be obvious on a track. But on the street, that 200hp is more than capable of getting it to extra-legal speed plenty quickly. Admittedly, my two vehicles only have like 120hp combined, so everything feels reasonably quick (and both vehicles are quick enough to not be dangerous).

    Mostly, I appreciate they kept the power down so they didn’t have to put in heavier, stronger components to handle the extra power. I mean, it’s marginally quicker than the Miata, and that’s not constantly tortured by a narrative about how “underpowered” it is. It comes up, but it’s not so overwhelmingly incessant like it is about the 86 twins.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      Mine is bone stock, but what I’ve read suggests that the FA20 is capable of handling a lot more power, as is the gearbox and differential.
      Not sure about the suspension bits though.

      It would make sense for the car to be “overbuilt” to handle tuning, since that’s (partially) what this car was meant to be anyway – a good clean slate for tuning.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        True, and I don’t expect if you bumped it up to 201hp, the components would immediately dissolve like wet paper mache. That said, outrageous power was never the goal, and I respect Toyota and Subaru for that.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          I suspect, reading some of the comments, that a good deal of the commentors here, were still in knickers when the ‘Mazda Speed’ Miata came out. It wasn’t a sales success, and had to be heavily discounted to sell the remaining inventory, long after the new model came out.

          People complained about the lack of power, Mazda provided it, and few stepped up to buy.

          And so it goes………

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            The Mazdaspeed MX-5 wasn’t particularly well executed. The 6 speed transmission was notch and geared too short to let the turbo spin up. I opened up the intake on mine and changed the really heavy 17 inch rims to some 15s with good rubber and while it was fun it would have been better with a 5 speed. Also, the ECU and tuning as delivered was like a 90 percent solution. It had some bog issues. They got the suspension right though. I always wanted that chassis under my 90. Also, when the mazdaspeed came out the aftermarket was very mature with turbo options and Miata owners interested in the Mazdaspeed were just as likely to go that route.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            @ Mkirk_ I completely agree about the 6-Speed and 17′s.

            The 6-speed didn’t make it any faster. Like most 6-speeds, it is there to satisfy the EPA and better the mpg numbers, and satisfy the market that has been fooled into thinking they need a 6-speed. This also applies to Mustangs, Camaro’s, even the GT500 with the typical as delivered, rear end ratios.

            With a much higher ratio(Lower geared), the extra 6th gear becomes viable in the performance mode and compensates with reduced cruise rpm.

            Big diameter wheels are another issue, that again is market driven. High Rotational mass leveraged by large diameter wheels, slows acceleration. Make that wheel and tire heavy, and you reduce performance, further.

            Miata’s do best with 15′s and a wheel that weighs about 12-13 pounds. UL’s are a good choice.

            Large diameter wheels and tires effect turn-in and numerous additional dynamics.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Click bait!

    After the last post on this subject, I revisited the FRS last week. Took one out Jump Off Joe and it made me want one, again.

    All the negative noise of the previous post and commentors, disappeared on exiting the tight and scary JOJ compounded and off camber curves. More Hp would have brought trouble with excesses negating nuanced delivery. And this was a stock FRS, my last visit with car and most of my time in an FRS, was with tweaked vehicles, having, suspension, tire and wheel, brake upgrades. I challenge anyone to use it the way it was intended and have a serious complaint, after.

    I have driven JOJ in vehicles with as little P/W as 3.2 pounds per Hp, scary, but not nearly the fun as the FRS or my 1.6 Miata.

    This car for me, is just fine they way it is. I have no complaints about the build quality inside or out, its dynamics, or the value for the money. Just wish a sunroof was available.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I suspect that a better interior would help more than more horsepower. It looks good for 1978, but it is certainly lacking for 2014.

    Most of the Americans who want more affordable grunt would buy a Mustang, anyway. Their complaints don’t mean much, as they’re not part of the target market, anyway.

    A lot of the rest of the world can’t afford to pay for the lower fuel economy in this class of car that would be the byproduct of a more powerful engine. The Japanese customers would have to pay more still if the engine crossed the 2,000 cc threshold.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      @ PCh101_

      “a better interior would help ” > Its a tuner car, not a G37. All of this ‘desired’ content adds weight and cost. One look at the front and center tach with its dial positioned for the shift point, tells you what the intention of this vehicle, is. My only comment about the interior, is that the cargo area and back of back seats surfacing material, doesn’t look like it would hold up to tires, jacks, and tool boxes.

      As a general comment… If you don’t understand what the car is all about, and are completely ignorant of what Toyota has wrought, quit bitching and move on. The FRS isn’t intended for you.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If the car is dedicated strictly to tuners, then it’s going to sell poorly. And guess what? It’s selling poorly.

        The 1980s ended back in, well, 1989. In 2014, drivers expect good interiors and some creature comforts. The fact that those niceties weigh something isn’t the point.

        “If you don’t understand what the car is all about…”

        The car needs to pay for itself. It has to be about that, or else it’s going to be cancelled.

        And if this car fails, then that increases the likelihood that there won’t be a Supra or the third sports car that Toyoda has been pushing for.

        So if you want to call yourself an “enthusiast,” then you had better hope that people buy more of these things in order to justify more sports cars from TMC.

        • 0 avatar
          daiheadjai

          To be fair, enthusiasts have always been a tiny minority in the sea of motorists.

          It wouldn’t be fair to expect Camry-esque sales figures, but being under 2,000 units shy of the 20,000 unit goal (Scion/Toyota) and being almost the same over the goal for Subaru suggests that numbers aren’t as bad in context of what this car is.

          That being said, most of the people who wanted one, already have one – and isn’t that a big part of the goal?

          One point on which I agree with you, PCH:
          While I don’t need the heated seats or the auto-climate control, the dials for HVAC in the FRS (and Premium BRZ) are pretty bad-looking. That’s probably the only thing (aside from my wife’s need for heated seats) that made me spring for the Limited instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “It wouldn’t be fair to expect Camry-esque sales figures, but being under 2,000 units shy of the 20,000 unit goal…”

            TMC is telling the press that sales are below expectations. That seems to be a genuine claim, as actions are following its claims — new variants such as a convertible won’t be coming to market.

            This is supposed to be a global sports car, and the sales problem appears to be greater elsewhere in the world than in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          Well, apparently you took some offense, unfortunate.

          ‘Tuners vehicles sell poorly’ Plenty of past and recent evidence of that, and yet, Toyota/Subaru went ahead and built the twins anyway. And there is the economy. It is not 89′ again when the MX-5 came out. And, I hardly think ToyoBaru is losing money on the twins, like Ford did on the SVO.

          “drivers expect good interiors and some creature comforts.” Jeez! Enough! What a spoiled comment. Pretty much explains all the sissy talk around this car. Again, if you want to be massaged and your sensibilities are so delicate that you can’t tolerate any discomfort, buy something else, and spend a bunch of money to mollify your lightweight loafers..

          Reg; ” The fact that those niceties weigh something isn’t the point.” It was the ‘point’ for the development team. Low mass vehicles are very susceptible to CG increases. Thicker glass, heavier finish materials, additional soundproofing, etc, all add to and increase in the Cg and reduce overall performance.

          “Enthusiast” …? Never called myself that. I’m just trying to support a great little sporty car we should all be glad was put into production. I may never buy one, but I’m sure glad we can. There is nothing new, available, for the price point, quite like the twins.

          As for ‘hoping’ the FRS sells, that would be good for those who want to by a used one and for ToyoBaru, but I hardly need another sporty car for the road or for the track. I do want a warrantied long distance trip car, and it could be one of the twins, but that decision will have to wait until the new Mustang and Camaro show us their stuff.

          We build performance vehicles, daily and sometimes into the night, and drive them to their or our limits. And I have been doing it for some 50+ years, now.

          Well, now in my frustration, I’m sure I offended, and you have my due apology for that.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I didn’t take offense. I’m just pointing out that your fanboy sensibilities are the very thing that puts companies out of business.

            You remind me of Saab fans. They expected the world to adapt to Saab, instead of Saab adapting to the world. But the world didn’t change in order to help Saab to be Saab, and consequently Saab no longer exists.

            While I’m confident that TMC was not expecting the 86 to provide enormous profits, it still has to pay the bills. And that means competing globally against cars such as the GTI, which I’m sure that you don’t believe are competition yet are.

            If the car doesn’t meet market demand, then the problem is with the car, not with demand. If you want purity, then go to church.

        • 0 avatar
          krayzie

          The 1980s actually ended in 1990, not 1989. There were always good interiors and creature comforts in the 80s with Japanese cars, only depend on how much you were willing to fork out which was basically the same as today. My BRZ interior is actually way better screwed together with better materials than my MkV GTI (I had the leather interior with MFD2 Sat-Nav and some orange stitching, rattled from day 1 but it is apparently a German car thing just like my friends’ Boxster and 335i).

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I like the interior. It reminds me of the simple, durable interiors of the 90′s Toyotas.

      The fact that it keeps the cost and weight down makes it all the better to me. I don’t know why people are so obsessed with soft touch plastic.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    I haven’t driven one … but I also have never owned ANY vehicle of ANY sort that had 200 horsepower, and most have had less than half that.

    In my view, the “lack of power” on that car has got to be a made-up issue, contrived by journalists who have to measure the car against something and judge it by the numbers.

    The Miata was intentionally NOT a fast car, and it has nowhere near 200 horsepower, and those are certainly fun (and I’ve driven those). Same idea here. It’s more fun to have to make use of not quite enough, than it is to get in trouble by having too much.

    Conversely, there are other cars out there with plenty more than 200 horsepower that are oversized, overweight, overassisted turds. They might finish the quarter mile faster but they won’t put a smile on my face.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      This is sort of like the 60s arguments about small block muscle cars vs big block muscle cars and muscle cars vs sports cars.

      The FR86 was not supposed to go stupid fast in a straight line it was supposed to handle like the second coming of the RX8 or the Miata. In that sense it succeeded.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        But apples and oranges are fun to compare!

        In the 60′s the SB vs BB argument was more magazine fodder than reality as the factory lists indicate the Small Block sold in far greater numbers (especially considering in most cases unless a I6 was offered the Small Block was standard).

        The FR-S was specifically designed to do just as you said, be a RX8 or Miata style vehicle which are in essence homages to the British light Sports Car and various kit-car makers that followed them. None of these cars were ever fast except for the AC Cobra which used Ford Power to win serious competition races and were never produced in the numbers that make them prevalent.

        The FR-S stands to use a horsepower bump though. It doesn’t need to chase down 911s but it should be able to pass a Boxster on the road.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          Pass a ‘Boxster’?! Well, just double the price and we have a Boxster fighter.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            0-60 Boxster 5.5s
            0-60 FR-S 6.2s
            0-60 Miata 6.8s (or 6.0 if in Club Edition)

            It isn’t unrealistic with a boost of 50 HP it could pass a Boxster. You don’t need to match the price tag to beat what is essentially the only other upmarket competition left on the road. A miata stickers for slightly lower but is definitely more of a tourer by design. An FR-S could get much closer to 30K and still blow the doors off of the more upmarket cars without getting into Lux territory.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I gotta ask, how did the Miata Club cut 0.8 seconds off the 0-60 time? Same engine and six speed as the GT trim.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Source?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Are you asking how I know small blocks outsold big blocks? Simple engine availability check and where you cut off the SB/BB debate level. Big Blocks generally are considered over 350. So if you look at pony cars the standard engine was usually under 350 until late in the 1960s and in Dodges that specifically favored the larger Big Block variants. If you have something to share that would correct me I’m all ears on the discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            @_’Xeranar’_

            The difference in Torque and Hp to move a vehicle from 6.2 seconds 0-60mph, to 5.5, is considerable, proportionately. And to get that 6.2 second 0-60 time in the FRS, you have to seriously abuse it. A more considerate launch, and its time, is on the order of 6.8-7.0 seconds.

            Your Hp number isn’t far off, but the required increase in torque would be on the order of 60-70 pds. That would require more displacement or turbo/super charging. Something very hard to do, safely, with an engine already running a 12.5-1 compression ratio. ToyoBaru would have to go back the parts bin for a different engine, one that would not be as nuanced as an NA engine

            The determination of a big block had to do with corporate engine architecture, not displacement size.

            The low sales of performance Big Blocks in compacts, intermediates, and Pony cars, had to do with a lot of things, but the big one was price. After that, insurance, economy(mpg), and drive-ability were contributing issues. Only a few big blocks were of limited production and, or required current licensed credentials from a racing organization.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Well I think the basic conversation about introducing more power inevitably leads to turbocharging. The engine does have an usually high compression ratio but it was also designed by Subaru and if it can handle a normal compression rate that high without turbo I suspect adjusting it down and adding PSI should net you a relatively large gain. I’m not familiar enough with the engine or design family to try and pull some power/psi curve out but I suspect you could squeeze atleast half the required torque to get you there.

            It isn’t necessarily about passing the Boxster (and to be honest, I was surprised when I checked at how fast the Boxster is now) but it was a good benchmark. There are certainly faster options out there that represent a similar design though not as balanced (370Z is apparently breaking 5s barrier in standard form). But I can imagine the FR-S is generally viewed as a more traditional sports car vs. the Miata’s tourer status. It doesn’t mean they both aren’t track competent but I just threw the Boxster out there as a good reference mark.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    While a turbo option would be obvious to anyone thinking about strategy, for me it needs insulation, refinement, and durability. I could live with the power. Not with maintenance surprises and I don’t like road and wind noise.

    This car is so close yet so far.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      as for the road noise issue, You can have a conversation at 65 mph, and listen to the sound system without great amounts of road noise intrusion.

      More insulation, adds weight and cost. This is a well equipped and capable ‘tuner’ car for the track and the road handling enthusiast.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      2 of your 3 wish items mean additional weight, which is the antithesis of this car.
      Durability: So far, I haven’t heard of any catastrophic failures from stock cars (not from the forums, where you would hear these things, either). CR has flagged it as “unreliable” but a closer look reveals this is for non-drivetrain, minor issues such as rattles, a less-than-stellar nav unit, and taillight condensation in early models (long-since fixed).

      It seems like this is simply not the car for your needs/preferences.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I’m partial to the terrible fuel efficiency of the 2.4L which is being phased out in favor of the much better 2AR-FE 2.5L used in the Camry. Both are larger displacements and would essentially be NA-Bound only engines but could offer the boost that is desired without resorting to fancy techniques. Perhaps a straight supercharger on the larger 2.5L would make a decent addition though realistically to keep the power up Turbocharging would be a better situation and since you’re already churning out the same principal engine for the Camry some fine tuning wouldn’t be a huge deal, mostly done in the ECU.

    • 0 avatar

      > Perhaps a straight supercharger on the larger 2.5L would make a decent addition though

      Despite what the article might desire, an inline or v engine simply isn’t going to happen in this car. Also, the inefficiency of supercharging generally relegates it to performance cars where fuel economy doesn’t matter. OTOH, a laggy turbo just doesn’t suit the characteristic of the car.

  • avatar
    jco

    turbo inline 4

    does Toyota have any of those lying around?

    there’s apparently a new one in the pipeline slated for a Lexus

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      An inline four would mess with the careful distribution of weight in regards to the CG. The flat four was chosen for a reason. To reduce body roll and balance the CG longitudinally.

  • avatar
    dwford

    There’s just no logical reason for there to not be an option for a 2.0T when Subaru already makes the motor. And 200hp isn’t what it used to be when many midsize sedans make close to that with their base motors.

    The real problem is that it is a hard riding, rear wheel drive car with a cheap interior. Most people really just want a sporty looking car that doesn’t entail any real sport.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      This is probably the source of the problem.
      In reality, not many people actually want a lightweight, sharp-handling RWD car (which means less refinement, and less-compliant ride).

      FWIW, this car amazes me with how it handles broken Toronto pavement.
      Yes, it bumps and crashes on the bigger holes (thank you winter), but it remains incredibly stable and planted (unlike my wife’s Elantra, and the in-laws’ Sienna)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    EASY FIX. Bore n stroke out the flat 4 to 2.5L. ~220-230 HP would be plenty, but more importantly it would have midrange. Or make the 3.6L F6 from the Legacy the upgrade option.

    I’m so sick of turbocharged 2.0L 4s. I hope Toyobaru won’t go that route. A 2.5L F4 with an overbore geometry would literally add no weight and solve the car’s powerband problem.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I agree with you. Building a cheap, sporty car is a balancing act, at least historically. Back when young people often had decent jobs, high insurance rates killed off the most desirable sports coupes. I’m not sure new car buyers around 20 years of age are a significant enough market to drive insurance rates these days, but history may have played a role in the FR-S only having 200 hp.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Well, to be fair, there are a lot of great driver’s cars with the FR-S’s specs. EVO actually did a comparo between the GT86 and many of those cars (E30 M3, DC2 ITR, Clio RS) and the GT86 was the least favorite.

        I think we are in a golden age of sporty cars now too.

        My guess as to why the FR-S has 200 HP was because Toyobaru figured they could (and did) use the small contrarian reflex against the HP wars and market the car as a pure driving experience. It worked. But the car could still be just as pure of a driving experience with about 500cc more displacement and commensurate HP & torque increases.

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      @sportyaccordy

      Mmmmm, displacement.

      Yeah, I think the biggest problem with the Toybaru twins is less power and torque than the perception of same. People complain about the power because they can’t articulate the real problem they have, the problems with power-delivery and how the Toybarus have a torque-curve that behaves like nothing else anyone in the automotive public typically has experience with.

      I think the weird torque-curve is probably down to the unique dual fuel-injection systems, deleting those might even bring the cost down.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I think the weird power curve is just a consequence of making 100HP/L and passing emissions on a super tight budget. If the FA20 had more tech like variable valve lift it could work. But I think the easiest fix is more displacement or more cylinders.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    250… Only because I’m perfectly happy with 200 and I’d get a 30k mile used one for $16k instead of the current asking of $20k for a used one if they bumped the power. If I absolutely needed more power, 240 at the wheels is available from a $3100 supercharger. Even more if I paid the extra $700 for the intercooler. My current 165hp MCS already gets me in extra legal speeds quickly.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    In my very humble B&B opinion, I don’t think it’s the power that’s the issue. It’s how the power is delivered. If it made the exact same amount of power, but delivered more like a Honda VTEC motor, there’d be fewer “underpowered” comments. I’ve only driven an FRS briefly, but I feel like even the ’99 Civic Si, with it’s very tiny 111 ft-lbs of torque at a ridiculous 7000 rpm, is more satisfying to wring out than the FA20 despite having far less power and torque.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    We’re spoiled now, is all. Nothing wrong with the FR. In the ’80s, 88 hp was totally bitchin’ in a sub 2,000 lbs with a 5 speed and low to the ground, sporty little car. CRX, MR2, Escort GT. It’s different now, so what? We want 300 HP Accords, Camrys, Atlimas and such.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    It’s should stay NA….
    I think it needs 250-275hp and 200-225tq……

    The motor in Jacks new accord would be perfect. I have seen an HPD S2000 converted to a 3.7 and it’s a beast.

    The SOHC layout of the J35 keeps the mass low and reciprocating mass minimal.

    I’ve said it a thousand times; in terms of simplicity, durability, revability, and CHARACTER no engine beats the J series of Honda V6 powerplants. They are just delicious to rev.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, Toyota will never make a boxer engine, so the question is entirely moot. An inline four is not going to fit without major assymetry – there’s simply not the height available.

    If Subaru decided to hang onto the BRZ, the FA16DI turbo would be ideal. How long would it take, or how difficult would it be to extend the exhaust pipes forward to get the turbo up out of the way from its position under the engine? There’s plenty of snout in the car. The FA16 would rev like crazy with its shorter stroke.

    I’m sure that Toyota wouldn’t agree, so we’re all wasting our time speculating. I’ve moved on.

    • 0 avatar
      jco

      Toyota did make a boxer motor. in the tiny S800, which is credited as some of the inspiration behind the 86.

      that was the 2U, as in flat twin. the 4U is the motor in the 86.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Yes, I pointed this out a few days ago. But let’s be serious, the S800 ended production in 1969, 45 years ago. Toyota only brought up that old underachiever as the “inspiration” for the new GT86, and my idea of inspiration differs markedly from some dreamer in today’s Toyota marketing department.

        Toyota is running the GT86 show, and is super-proud of their D4S dual fuel injection system. Subaru makes the car for them. If Toyota doesn’t want change, there won’t be any. If they finally give up, then Subaru can update it any way they want.

        Somebody brought up the the old Civic SI engine from a decade ago as having 100hp per liter. What they forget is that Honda can’t offer that engine today – it would never meet emissions.

        What I find more illuminating about the GT86 engine is that MotoIQ finds that with the 12.5 to 1 compression ratio, the engine knocks readily, the timing is pulled and it takes 10 minutes to regain its composure. The engine really needs 93 octane fuel. They started spiking the gas with off-road only MMT additive, and suddenly, the engine snaps to attention.

        So, dialing back the CR would help, as would something a bit more advanced than the Mark 1 intake manifold. There’s almost zero plenum volume. People at places like Ricardo Engineering must look at this design and laugh their heads off. Put in the most expensive fuel injection system extant, and an intake system from Roy’s Tuning and Service. Where’s the priority? An overall decent engine with CR appropriate to the market, or a mishmash of great and mediocre?

        Subaru probably grits its teeth as well. Their turbo version of this engine with their own DI works very well, byall accounts. Toyota just moans about poor global sales and sits on their hands saying unless you people out there buy more, we’re packing up and going home, forget updates.

        • 0 avatar
          juicy sushi

          MotoIQ also pointed out that other people in other states haven’t had their issues, which seem to be more about the quality of 91 octane in California…

  • avatar
    mkirk

    This with a rotary should be the next RX

  • avatar
    Atum

    The FR-S is mainly a looks car it seems. But for an inexpensive sports’ car, it gets the job done.

    After a while, that Premium fuel would start to add up. If Toyota/Subaru went on the cheap performance route, they should’ve at least designed the Boxer to run on regular.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    I wonder why TTAC never does an entry on the Miata being underpowered and what Mazda should do about it.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      It’s only slightly slower (with the 5MT and without the heavy PRHT option) in terms of acceleration, and it has a much older engine with thirty horses less. Also, it doesn’t have the mid-range torque dip others have been commenting about, so WYSIWYG.

      200 horsepower doesn’t tell the whole story with the BRZFRS86. It’s what the engine does before it gets to the 200 hp peak that’s the problem.

  • avatar
    Demiurge

    I own the fr-s, and I think it’s almost perfect, except for the rattles and torque dip. I had an rsx type-s and the curve in that car would be great. The dip is right in the middle, where I want to push it a bit more, but it actually feels weaker the it just was before I pressed it… So, perhaps +50hp would be “perfect”.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Can you imagine the hell JapanInc fanboi armchair CEO’s would have given GM if they built such a failure as the TRDbaru. Well maybe they can build a convertible version…………………..

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    IMHO, the FR-S and BRZ could use the following four things, without getting into turbo issues – -

    1) About 230-250 HP with only a reworking of the current flat-4 engine;
    2) Removal of the “M” shaped torque-curve valley with its 10% drop;
    3) Closer to a 50/50 weight distribution, away from its current 53/47 (Battery in back might help);
    4) Sports wheels and tires (maybe Michelin Pilot Sport’s?)

    These would not cost the Toyobaru folks a massive redesign or rebuild. Just some slight modifications. It would turn a good little sports car into an exceptional one.

    (I would be reluctant to go down the “turbo road” because of the added expense; the lag problem; the diminished engine/exhaust sound; the poorer blip response; the added weight; the greater complexity; and the larger under-hood heat generation.)

    —————–

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      I hate to respond to my own comment; it feels like narcism.

      But here goes: unlike what the Germans have been doing nowadays, with tiny turbo this, and tiny turbo that, — the turbo route is only one way to solve the power vs fuel-mileage dilemma. Just as Chevy blazed some trails with the new Corvette OHV engine that can get 460 HP and almost 30 mpg, so also larger engine displacement plus modifications is not a lost art by any means.

      Example: The 3-liter BMW in-line 6 in my 2007 Z4 3.0si roadster, with a valve adjustment and throttle remap, allows it to get 260 HP and 34 mpg. With the turbo (2011), that engine was originally rated for 303 HP and 34 mpg. Well, the weight of that car went up by ~300 lbs by 2013. Now, if 100 lbs of that instead were put into making the engine 3.6 liters (a 20% increase), then one could get 312 HP (a 20% increase) from it, all else equal. And if a Chevy-style of cylinder deactivation were used for cruising, the highway mileage would likely be around 36-37 mpg. And you’d still get all the instant response blipping and sound of a naturally aspirated engine, — at lower cost.

      So, there is more than one way to skin a cat (if one were ever inclined to do such a thing…)

      BTW: I don’t know if any of you have test-driven a 2012-2013 BMW 328i with the turbo 4 in “Eco-Pro” mode, but it’s literally junk! After that, many of my Club friends were pleading for the return of the simple, silky-smooth, in-line 6 with just some upgrades…

      ——————-

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Maybe I’m missing something but I believe Chevys 6.0 weighs marginally less than the 5.3. So it stands to reason you would actually lose a slight bit of weight by boring out the current block.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Enough power for it to escape from the all-consuming toilet vortex that is Scion.

    1) Call it a Celica.
    2) Offer more ‘luxuries’ for a commensurate price to those who want it.
    3) Job out ASC to convertible it.
    4) ???
    5) Profit.

    Scion already offers a dorky coupe to people who want a vroom-vroom ‘sports’ car but don’t have the money/credit. Its called the tC.

    Don’t screw the FR-S(great name, btw)’s pooch by saddling it with the moribund Scion badge any longer…

    Dump it MYyesterday and roll out a 2015 Celica. Young people will still buy it because #driftcar, middle-aged people will buy it because they’ll remember the Oh, What A Feeling! they had with their Celica, convertible buyers will buy it because it’ll be available as a convertible that isn’t as awkward-looking as the dead Solara, and even MORE young people will buy it because they ALSO remember the Celica name and Toyota doesn’t go by that stupid no-haggle pricing structure.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    200 HP is perfect. Sounds like this car needs a steeper rear end ratio. Easy part swap to get better acceleration.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    subaru werent involved in the original AE86 so why are they here? what do they bring to the table? who asked for the FA20? not me

    toyota should have went with the 3s-gte beams vvti but really, would it have sold better with a $5k+ premium and more power? i doubt it

    • 0 avatar
      Demiurge

      The entire car was engineered by Subaru, it is based in Impreza.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        except the Altezza Aisin gearboxes and the entire Altezza rear end…

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          And the Toyota D4-S direct injection.

          and it was also Toyota’s bank account that funded it, and it was their idea.

          • 0 avatar
            TonyJZX

            and where I am, Subaru DO NOT want to sell the BRZ

            its like the red headed step child in the AWD family

        • 0 avatar
          Demiurge

          and the plastics, and whatever other interchangeable component is in any car. Almost all rwd cars use that aisin transmission, including a modified version in S2000. It has little to do with the overall task of designing a car, chassis and picking of the components.

          You asked, “what do they bring to the table?”. The answer is, all of the actual engineering expertise in designing a great handling sports car.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            The car was designed by Toyota, and that so called “expertises in designing a great handling sports car” also came from Toyota, it was them who spec’d the tires and suspension and they have far more expertise in sports cars than Subaru.

            If Subaru is the one who engineered all of this, then you should have no problem blaming them for all the initial quality woes they’ve had with that boxer engine and crappy assembly build. Yeah, that’s Subaru’s expertise at work…

            If Subaru has so much power on this, then why is that Toyota can dictate how many of the BRZ they are able to sell?

          • 0 avatar
            Demiurge

            No, Toyota has little present day expertise in designing great handling cars. The division of labor between Toyota and Subaru on this project has been documented in numerous places. Toyota did a design concept, set goals, but Subaru did all the engineering work. There is not such thing as ‘specing tires’ and Toyota had nothing to do with ‘specing suspension’. The chassis is a shortened version of the Impreza and the suspension is uses same bits. Almost all parts have Subaru name on them, and the cars are assembled at the Subaru plant.

            I have no problem blaming them for the initial quality woes, nor do I have any problems giving them the credit for the great handling, lightness, and fun I’m having in the car.

            Subaru doesn’t have all the power in this. Implementing a design idea is not power, it has nothing to do with power or who pays for the work. I also have no problem giving credit to Toyota for concept and financing.

            Again, the question was, what did Subaru bring to the table, and the answer is that, all the engineering work.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            “No, Toyota has little present day expertise in designing great handling cars.”

            Lexus IS, CT, GS, LFA, IS-F. All engineered by Toyota Motor Corporation. And don’t act like cars like the MR2, Supra, and Celica somehow don’t count either just because they aren’t “present day”.

          • 0 avatar
            Demiurge

            No, Lexus is not Toyota. It’s a separate division, and having them engineering gt86 would have been just as an outsourced project as having Subaru do it.

            Why wouldn’t I say Supra and Celica do not count because they are not “present day”? It takes “present day” experience for it to be relevant in “present day”, for a “present day” car? Toyota doesn’t have it, unfortunately.

  • avatar
    jco

    1. the name Celica would never have worked because then Subaru is selling a rebadged Celica instead of a jointly-produced car

    2. it has a flat-4 for packaging reasons and also because Toyota shared r&d with Subaru who provided a lot of other mechanical bits and running gear

    3. it ends up having neither the sporting feel and dynamics of what we’d expect from a light RWD Toyota and also does not feel very much like the rest of Subaru’s more practical AWD sedans and wagons

    the irony is that had Toyota gone it alone and sunk more of their own budget into to creating the car for themselves, they’d have ended up with an actual Toyota car that was loyal to their core values and better representative of their brand. they hedged their risk by jointly developing an all-new car but at the same time have ended up getting what they paid for: something that’s not quite a Toyota and not quite a Subaru.

    it’s not the ideal solution but about all they can do at this point to shut us all up is to give us the turbo boxer. because an all-new motor is just seemingly implausible. and which I still think somehow takes this car away from it’s designed intent to be something you’re forced to push hard to get the most out of.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. This isn’t like the Nissan/Chevy compact van or the Escape/Tribute or the other innumerable badge-engineered co-developed cars that are merely there to fill in a missing link in another, less-rounded automaker’s portfolio.

      As someone else posted, what exactly did Subaru contribute to this car? The flat-4? Who cares? No one outside the Subaru/Porsche camp. Toyota has a wide range of powertrains at their fingertips that would’ve resulted in a more market-satiating vehicle. Also, what does Subaru get for that matter? An even less relevant, further out-of-place car in THEIR lineup. An intermediate-sized manufacturer renowned for vehicles that are utilitarian, overpowered, or all-wheel drive (pick any two or three) now has a car that is not a single one of those.

      And not being in bed with Subaru could’ve freed up Toyota to use a relevant nameplate with relevant marketing. Witness the level of promotion Toyota is doing right now with the Corolla’s “heritage.” Really? Corolla buyers care as much about their car’s historical roots as they do about the company that made their computer’s power strip.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Toyota doesn’t give a crap about the entire Scion brand and Subaru is launching the new line of WRX derived cars.

    I doubt that anything will be done about the FR-S/BRZ/FT86 Dureefto car, besides selling them to people who genuinely seem to like them, or are just too proud to admit that they drive a chick car.

    I’m guessing Subaru will pull the plug first, then so will Toyota.

    This is yet another car that automotive writers clamored for, elevated to a higher than Jesus status, and people with their own money to spend don’t want to buy because it’s underpowered and badly built (at least for a Toyota and maybe even a Subaru).

  • avatar
    05lgt

    The next BRZ needs an STI option with a 2.5 turbo. 300 x 300 stock with lots of room to tweak it sounds great in a lightweight, low CG 2+ a shelf RWD sports car. The FR-S may go away for all I care. The BRZ is selling above projection/hopes, so I don’t see why some say it should be canceled. The dead brand FR-S isn’t selling…

  • avatar
    Terry

    After reading all these comments I went out to the garage and patted my ’99 Miata on the deck lid.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      That’s always been the answer to “what’s wrong with the 86?” The Miata exists. If a car only has two usable seats, it needs to in some way offer something better than the Miata. I don’t see that from the 86.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I don’t think the FR-S or BRZ or 86GT as it is known here needs anything. It is meant to be a cheap and cheerful little car like the original Celica and it fulfills that role just fine. The flat four keeps a low COG. The first Celica had 62KW and the final turbo version had grown to 142KW which is about the same as the current car. Everyone I know who actually owns one, loves it.

  • avatar
    niky

    I think the car, for its intended purpose, is near-perfect. They could spruce up interior materials a bit, and make the design a bit more daring (don’t need more refinement, just better plastics), and they could give the Toyota version the same suspension setting as the Subie… or, hell, you could just buy the Subie… but the power isn’t a huge dealbreaker… unless you have the automatic, where it is.

    I could see the car easily accepting an overbore to 2.5 liters and maybe 225 hp (and more midrange torque). 250 hp would be nice, but again, it isn’t the top end that’s the problem.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I wonder what enthusiast new car launch calls* are. FR-S/BRZ/BOB, whatever had more hype than the renewed Camaro. The Encore was released in Hate City…
    *To clarify: call rates, sorry

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    The comments of this car remind me of the comments we get on the Honda CRZ… half the B&B whining about unrealistic dream specs that would have made this car “perfect”. And then I still bet none of them would actually buy it, because no car is perfect.

    I don’t find the quality of the cars to be any worse than any others in the general price range. The interior doesn’t feel any cheaper than a Corolla or Civic or Mazda. You won’t find a nicer interior unless you bump up the price level. And the price level is the main point. Ditto the power… for the most part 200hp is competitive in that price range. Dropping in a turbo or V6 would change the weight and handling and that’s why they chose the powertrain they did. I challenge you to find a car that offers better specs in ALL categories, not just picking and choosing the data points that are important to you.

    Now I can agree with some of the complaints. Subaru sells the WRX for basically the same price as the BRZ yet the WRX has 250hp turbo 2.5L engine and AWD, and the quality level is about the same. A comparable Impreza with the NA boxer is under $20k. So I know we need to pay a premium for the RWD chassis, but they should have at least offered a factory turbo model. It doesn’t even have to be the STI powerplant, a base WRX-level model would have been fine. Amortizing the cost of the WRX engine across both models surely would have kept the price down, my guess would be about $2k for a BRZ Turbo.

    And Scion pretty much ruined the FRS for Toyota. They should have offered it as a Toyota model, even if it wasn’t a Celica. The no-haggle pricing is annoying, the lack of option levels doesn’t fit with a car like this, the entire image and marketing of Scion turns off buyers at this level.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Agree on most points. Worst part is that they sell it as a Toyota everywhere outside the US, so the badging, any different parts , and brochures and even commercials are allready available.
      I still think the article answers it’s own question. It needs the F20C from the S2000 (not the boring F22 from the old ladies AP2 version)
      I can’t imagine the hoodline on the S2000 being significantly (if any) taller than the 86′s hood , so it would fit, allthough the handling would change almost enough for some professional test drivers to notice…

      • 0 avatar
        krayzie

        Even if it would fit, it cannot be pedestrian safety compliant without raising the hood due to the inline 4 being taller. The F22C1 has a longer stroke than the F20C, hence the lower redline but maintains the same piston speed. How does 9000rpm be necessarily more fun to drive than 8000rpm? Another Mustang driver I think we have here.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          How is 9000 rpm not more hardcore than 8000? I think we have an AP2 owner here ;)
          Making it pedestrian safety compliant would be easier than buying the engines from Honda anyway…
          And yeah, the 660something horses from the Shelby would be awesome, but even harder to fit under the hood. I’m not a fan of huge and heavy cars, especially to be used for anything sporty, so there aren’t many generations of the Mustang I would like to own tbh…

  • avatar

    The easiest way to get more power out of these is not a turbo stroke it a la boxster –> 911. Real estate under the hood is already a luxury as alluded to in the article and one of the main reasons why the WRX continues to have a turbo-4 is the “rally heritage” and perhaps the mid-range torque for a fast family sedan.

    Subaru can probably easily do this, esp for the american market where no 2L boundary exits, but frankly the people whining about power now are just going to find something else to complain about instead of buying it.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Lack of power isn’t its only problem. This market segment has to appeal to chicks, young and old, plus gay males. Without those, it’s a problem.

    It’s true cars in this segment have been wildly popular with young males and or, the drifter/tuner/street racer crowds. But as 2nd, or 3rd owners. Rarely new. Well past the new car warranty and full coverage insurance/comprehensive is a nonstarter. Cash purchases mostly. But without the initial new car buyers, there’s few cars to buy used.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Tardy to the party in the comments on this.

    I’ve always pondered the wails of “under powered” for the FR-S/BR-Z/FT-86 and that the idea that 0 to 60 in a 4-banger naturally aspirated car with four seats is some how “slow.”

    Look, I get a V6 Camry SE is, on paper, faster in a straight line and that can be a head scratcher for a performance car. I also won’t defend the really wonky torque curve on the Subbie derived engine parked under the hood. The engine choice and HP numbers were not in line with the hype machine that drove up the Messiah status of this car.

    But I don’t see this car as “slow” by any definition. If you didn’t learn to drive or lived through the malaise era of the 70′s and 80′s, you have this odd concept that anything that can’t hit 60 in five seconds is, “slow.” I learned to drive in a time when 60 in under ten seconds was darn respectable.

    Another thing to consider, and a tough lesson I learned after buying the G8 GT. There is a special kind of fun of driving a 200 HP car at 8/10th or 9/10ths. Having a car with 394 HP and 422 pound feet of torque (no, the car isn’t stock, and yes that was on a dyno, please don’t get pedantic on me) – there really isn’t anywhere I can drive at 8/10th or 9/10th. Sure, driving at 5/10th or 6/10th is “fun,” and the power is exhilarating – but it isn’t the same.

    There is something almost oddly special about driving a car perceived as “under powered” to the limits, because the limits are easier to find.

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    FWIW – the worst plastics on this car are on the dash.
    My hands are never on the dash though, so that doesn’t matter to me.

    The steering wheel feels perfect.
    The shifter is good (though I replaced mine with a weightier shift knob).
    Switchgear is all decent quality – you know you’re not in a Lexus, but it isn’t a penalty box either (feels better than the switchgear in a Camry IMHO, though mine is the digital climate control unit).
    The door handles…… OK, fine, you got me there. are cheap plastic (albeit solid cheap plastic)

    All this being said, I agree – Toyota should ditch Subaru and go it themselves with a good, variable-valve/Lift inline-4 or inline-6 (one can dream). I’m sure they could figure something out to lower the CoG even with the inline (I personally am not a fan of the way the FA20 sounds).

    As for this being a “chick car”, not very many “chick cars” will put you sideways in a corner, or rev to 7,400rpm. These tend to be tendencies which would run afoul of any “chick car” aspirations.

    This car encourages me to head back out on a snowy day, find my nearest empty parking lot, and turn off traction control for some fun.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Some perspective on performance. The FRS/BRZ/GT86 is faster then a 308 Ferrari and most of the Ferrari’s that came before it.

    Nearly as fast as some big block Corvettes and most 80′s Corvettes, and nearly as fast, as fast, or faster then 60′s, 70′s, 80′s & 90′s V-8 Camaro’s.

    Nearly as fast, as fast, or faster then a good deal of V-8 Mustangs, including GT’s Cobra’s and SVO’s.

    How about those Porsche’s
    1973 Porsche 911 S 0-60 mph 7.7 Quarter mile 15.1

    1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 0-60 mph 7.4 Quarter mile 14.9

    1981 Porsche 911 SC 0-60 mph 6.6 Quarter mile 15.0

    1983 Porsche 911 Cabriolet 0-60 mph 6.9 Quarter mile 15.3

    1983 Porsche 911 SC Cabrio 0-60 mph 6.9 Quarter mile 15.3

    1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 0-60 mph 6.1 Quarter mile 14.4

    1988 Porsche 944 S 0-60 mph 7.9 Quarter mile 16.0

    1988 Porsche 944 Turbo 0-60 mph 6.5 Quarter mile 14.9

    1997 Porsche Boxster 0-60 mph 6.5 Quarter mile 14.7

    1998 Porsche Boxster 0-60 mph 6.3 Quarter mile 14.8

    1999 Porsche Boxster 0-60 mph 6.3 Quarter mile 14.8

    • 0 avatar
      stanczyk

      ..man , you can’T do that kind of comparisions .. :) .. look around … there are some standards today .. :) ..

      Everybody knows that Toyota created(at least that’s what their PR people says..:) this car for ‘balance’ not for drag-race, but still , 200bhp from sporty 2-seater nowadays is not enough .. (slowest hot-hatches are faster than FRS..:)..


      Just look at that little Alfa 4C – it’s built with similar idea (light -sporty) .. and even it’s lighter, more exotic and expensive it can hit 0-60 in 4,5 sec ! having 1.75L(240bhp) engine ..
      FRS is very slow and they should do sth about it …(instead of complaining about ‘slow sales’, they should offer’faster car’)

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    @_Demurge and Others…

    The chief engineer for the GT86 was Toyota’s Tetsuya Tada.

    Subaru handled the basic chassis and drive train engineering for both cars, including the new low CG ‘FA’ engine. Toyota did the design and fine tuned the engine and suspension, though, both companies put their own spin on handling, design, material and content details.

    For those hoping for more “power, a turbo, awd, or electronics, Tada considers those to be boring’.

    “One of the most common calls I have had”, he says “is for a turbo, but I have been hesitant about increasing power and torque.”

    “He’s right to hesitate. The FR-S sells itself on low-cost thrills and extra power would start an upward spiral of weight and price. What’s more over the next two years, Toyota wants to introduce a couple more sports cars, which will bracket the FR-S in price and power. Increasing the engine power too much would bring FR-S into contention with what Tada-san admits will be a new Supra model.” R&T

    “In fact, a turbo would be difficult to engineer for the Subaru flat-four-cylinder engine without seriously raising the center of gravity and Tada-san’s team is investigating other options. These include a supercharger, boring the engine beyond its 2.0-liter capacity and a hybrid system completely redesigned from the Prius THS system, which could also be used by Toyota’s Lexus brand. A test model FR-S is running in Japan with such a system, which uses the high-torque electric motor output to boost the engine in a similar way to Formula-One kinetic energy recovery systems. Tada-san also wants to reduce the weight of the FR-S by at least 220 lbs., although he says that greater weight savings than that will require the use of exotic and expensive materials.”

    Read more: http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-reviews/first-drives/2014-scion-fr-s-coupe-engineering-prototype#ixzz2usAEMaj4

    “It is impossible to develop a sports car that appeals to everybody. If you try to please everybody, the car would be half-baked for everybody, and not particularly good for anybody. This car is not developed by a committee, or by consensus.”

    Regarding the ‘tuner’ aspect of the Twins.

    “We visited with car enthusiasts in Japan, America and Europe. The feedback we received was almost always the same. They said there are a lot of sports cars with high horsepower that are very fast, but these are not the sports cars that they want to have. They want small compact cars that are controllable, that they can tune themselves. However, that kind of sports car is not on the market. Therefore, these sports car enthusiasts are forced to continue to use older cars from a long time ago, because there is no new alternative on the market.”

    Apparently the ‘Dim & Dimmer’ mentality extends too the OEM board and corporate directors.

    “We also went to competitors and asked them: “Why do you focus on fast cars?” The response almost always was: ‘Actually, we really don’t want to develop these kinds of cars. But once we bring a plan to develop that car to our board, the first question the directors of the company would ask is: How much faster is that car compared to what the competition has? How many seconds faster around the Nürburgring? What about the acceleration? These questions always come up because numerical performance is the easiest to understand.”

    http://www.tune86.com/ft-86-news/16526-toyota-86-philosophy-interview-tetsuya-tada

  • avatar
    bodayguy

    FR-S owner here.
    There are, what?, like 6-8 aftermarket turbo or supercharger kits for these already? Seems like the only thing Toyota and Subie are giving up right now is the cash outta the enthusiasts’ pockets, cause a bunch of us would probably be enticed to trade for a 2015 model if it had a turbo version. (Geez, you mean Subie already makes the motor and puts it in the WRX, what the heeeeell?)

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    It needs enough power to steer with the throttle.

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    Toyobaru can be called twins by their ‘parents’(Toyota-Subaru) but they should have diferent character!(yes, and design too..!)
    They should do some trick: i.e : put Turbo on Subaru and Supercharger(or lighter turbo) on Toyota-Scion ..to make these cars diferent !(what’s the point of having 2 the same cars under 2 diferent brands ?!?)

    ..

    FRS looks like ’5sec. 0-60′ car, but it don’t deliver..
    2-seater-sports-car should be faster than the fastest hot-hatch !:)
    I belive 250bhp – 4-banger-japaneese-screamer is what it needs to be a really cool car ..
    (and everybody says that .. and Toyota is not listening !?! – bigggest auto-producer has no money for small-sporty car developement ?!? WTF ?:))
    [BTW: Honda is doing the same .. they have good looking 2-door CRZ , and they put hybrid(only!)power in their \'CRX successor\' .. WTF..]


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