The Truth About Cars » boxer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:46:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » boxer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Do New Cars Burn Oil? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-do-new-cars-burn-oil/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-do-new-cars-burn-oil/#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=485806 Jim writes:

Dear Sajeev:

I hope you are well. I have a 2011 Subaru Forester (silver/5 speed) which has been great since purchase. I have travelled 19K to date and change oil every 6 months or 7,500 miles. I have one somewhat troubling matter, however: I’ve added a quart of synthetic oil prior to each 6 month/7,500 mile oil change.

Is this to be expected? My friendly local Subaru dealer says that “all cars” will use oil over a 6 month period. I’ve stopped in every 1200 miles the past 6 months and verified that it is using some oil.

However, my silver 1990 535i 5 speed with 250K did not use any oil when I drove it daily for many years. It is now in retirement. The local bmw guys tell me that the m30 engine was the best ever built by the Munich folks.

I keep my cars for a long time and would prefer to address this now, prior to the warranty expiration date.

Thanks and best wishes,

Sajeev answers:

Supposedly many (all?) late model vehicles come with a caveat about oil consumption in their owner’s manuals.  Just for fun, I looked at my only late model vehicle’s owner’s manual and the 2011 Ford Ranger (modern Duratec or ancient Cologne V6) doesn’t have a penchant for oil consumption. So anyway…

We’ve discussed Subaru’s oil concerns several times before in this series, but I doubt they have relevance here.  So I’m not surprised to read your problem. Do I know any details off hand? Nope. Luckily, we have Google searches and the NASIOC. Do more searches there and you’ll see my point.

Odds are your dealer isn’t lying: the Subaru Boxer engine (especially the turbocharged ones) can burn oil, so be okay with it.  Kinda like Mazda RX-8 owners! Ditto the V-10 powered BMW M5 and M6. These whips prove that certain engines are designed for performance, consequences be damned.

Unhappy with my answer? Sell the Subie and buy a normal car with owners that’d call for blood if their machines started sucking down oil…and they’d get that blood, too. To wit, a quote from an interesting article I Googled:

“Do cars today consume more oil than in the past? Not according to John Ryder, a master automotive technician and Philadelphia-area manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Approved Auto Repair Network.

Ryder agrees that manufacturers now commonly insist it’s normal for a vehicle to use up to a quart of oil per 1,000 miles. But in real-world experience, he says, such consumption is rare. “You see it in a super small percentage of cars,” Ryder says.”

 

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-do-new-cars-burn-oil/feed/ 106
Pre-Production Review: 2013 Scion FR-S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/pre-production-review-2013-scion-fr-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/pre-production-review-2013-scion-fr-s/#comments Wed, 09 May 2012 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=443221

Scion has had a sordid past. Originally, Scion was Toyota’s solution to a lack of 18-25 year old shoppers. Over the past 9 years however Scion has lost their way and lost their youth. Their median buyer just turned 42. The tC coupe, which started out as a car for college kids, now has a median buyer of around 30. Scion claims the FR-S is a halo car – to me, that means the FR-S will be bought by older drivers (who can actually afford it), attracting younger buyers to their showrooms. Despite being out of the target demographic, Scion flew me to Vegas to sample the FR-S’s sexy lines to find out.

The rear-drive layout, boxer engine and low center of gravity all play out in the car’s distinctive exterior. Toyota claims it was meant to pay homage to classic Toyotas of the past, but if Porsche and Lotus were charged with penning a Scion, this is what it would look like. Our time with the FR-S was limited to a 100 mile drive and about 6 hours of SCCA style autocross and road course track time in a pre-production FR-S. Jack will be flogging a production FR-S on track sometime this summer, assuming the stars align.

Inside, Scion opted for snazzy faux-suede instead of the coarse fabric of the base Subaru BRZ (the BRZ is available with  leather/faux-suede seating in the Limited model). Scion also swapped out the silver dash trim for something that looks like it might be imitating carbon fiber but is actually a motif based on the letter “T.”

Click here to view the embedded video.

Like all Scion models, the standard radio is a Pioneer unit with standard Bluetooth and iPod/USB interfaces. Instead of bringing Toyota’s Entune system to the Scion brand, Pioneer was engaged to bring their “App Radio” into what appears to be its first OEM use. Unlike traditional nav systems, the “BeSpoke” system (as Scion is calling it) is essentially just an iPhone app. The app runs solely on your phone and the head unit merely controls the app and displays the video generated by the phone. This means an iPhone is required for it work (Android phones are not supported.) It also means navigating eats up your data plan and you must be in a cellular service area for it to work. The system is expected to cost under $90 and since it’s an App on your phone, it’s never out of date. Much like iDrive, BeSpoke will also offer Facebook, Twitter and internet radio integration.

Under the lies the fruit of the Subaru/Toyota marriage: a 2.0L direct-injection boxer engine. Although it’s based on Subaru’s Impreza engine, it has been re-engineered to incorporate Toyota’s “D4S” direct-injection tech. The addition of GDI boosts power by 52HP to 200HP. Since the engine is naturally aspirated, the torque improvement is a more modest 6lb-ft bringing the total 151 at a lofty 6,600 RPM, while peak horsepower comes in at seven grand. Despite the online rumors, Scion Vice President Jack Hollis indicated there will be no turbo FR-S.

Since the FR-S is intended to be “baby’s first track car,” Scion’s event was held at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort in Pahrump, Nevada. Out on the track, the FR-S isn’t as slow as an early Miata, but it’s not especially quick either. However, the low center of gravity and light curb weight make the FR-S fairly adept in the corners, whether you’re on track or on an autocross course. The lack of torque is the one major blight, whether on or off track. This deficiency was made more obvious by my trip landing in the middle of a week with Hyundai’s 2013 Genesis 2.0T which delivers more power at far more accessible RPMs, despite its porkier stature.

Unlike most “sporty” RWD cars, the FR-S is tuned toward neutral/oversteer characteristics. When combined with the standard Michelin Primacy HP tires, the FR-S is far more tail happy on the track than the V6 Mustang or Genesis 2.0T. The lively handling is undoubtedly more fun, but inexperienced drivers beware:  getting sideways can be hazardous to your health, not to mention your insurance premiums. Without empirical numbers, I cannot say if the FR-S will out-handle the Genesis 2.0T on the track, however the Genesis feels more composed and less likely to kill you, thanks to a chassis tuned towards understeer and staggered 225/245 series tires (front/rear.) Contrary to the web-rumors, the FR-S is not shod with “Prius tires” as we would know them. The Primacy HP is a “grand touring summer tire” with “lower rolling resistance” tech added. The tire is used on certain Lexus GS, Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 models and a JDM market only Prius “with performance pack.” Still, the tire isn’t as “grippy” as the FR-S deserves, so buyers should plan on swapping them for stickier rubber ASAP.

Scion’s “single-price with dealer installed options” philosophy continues. Starting at $24,930, the only options are: $1,100 for the automatic transmission, around $900 for the BeSpoke radio and a variety of wheels, spoilers and other appearance accessories. That’s about $1,295 less than the BRZ, although the gap narrows to almost nothing when you add the BRZ’s standard navigation system and HID headlamps. The nicer standard upholstery, more controlled pricing and a plethora of manufacturer supported (and warrantied) accessories make the FR-S a compelling choice vs the BRZ, but speed daemons will want to drive past the Scion dealer and test drive the Genesis 2.oT. If you want an FR-S, be prepared to wait as Scion expects supplies to be somewhat limited starting June 1st.

 Scion flew me out to Vegas, put me up in a smoky casino and provided the vehicle, insurance, gasoline, track time and admission to the state park for the photography.

 Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.6 Seconds

0-60: 6.7 Seconds

Fuel Economy: 22MPG average over mixed roads (track time not included)

 

2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, side, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, side 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Rear, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front grille, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, rear 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Scion logo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, FR-S logo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Exterior, Boxer Engine Logo, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, on the track, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, dashboard, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, seats and dash, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, center console, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, Interior, seats, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors 2013 Scion FR-S, 2.0L boxer engine, Photography Courtesy of Toyota Motors Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

 

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/pre-production-review-2013-scion-fr-s/feed/ 140
Subaru FA20 Turbo Engine Debuts. Start Dreaming About A Boosted BRZ. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/subaru-fa20-turbo-engine-debuts-start-dreaming-about-a-boosted-brz/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/subaru-fa20-turbo-engine-debuts-start-dreaming-about-a-boosted-brz/#comments Tue, 08 May 2012 17:42:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=443499

Even with vehement denials of a boosted Subaru BRZ, Subaru has still managed to debut a turbocharged version of the 2.0L Boxer engine.  And just because the BRZ won’t get it doesn’t mean other products won’t.

Set to debut first in the Legacy, the new engine makes 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft but comes mated to a joyless CVT gearbox. Womp womp!

The FA20 Turbo motor does away with the Toyota D4-S system and gets a true DI system instead. Expect this engine to appear, with a manual gearbox, in the next generation WRX, and perhaps in a higher state of tune for the WRX STI. And who knows…maybe it will end up in a turbocharged BRZ, or Scion FR-S.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/subaru-fa20-turbo-engine-debuts-start-dreaming-about-a-boosted-brz/feed/ 29