TTAC Track Days Episode 2: Scion FR-S Vs. Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T Vs. Mazda MX-5

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

In our second installment, we take the Scion FR-S to the track, along with the heavier, but more powerful Hyundai Genesis 2.0T and its spiritual antecedent, the Mazda MX-5. Oh, and there are special guests from Japan and America.

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  • Feds Feds on Aug 07, 2012

    So I'm way late to the party here, but that's my Delica, and that's me getting instructions from THE Jack Baruth. An amazingly fun day. Thanks Derek, Jack, and Colin (and the imaginary V McB) for the good times. Aside from starring in the video, I also got to ride shotgun with Jack in all 3 cars. Of course, the highlight for me was throwing the van into the first corner (at a whopping 50 kph), and hearing Jack curse as the doorhandles attempted to contact the pavement (12" of ground clearance FTW). Being told that I might actually be going too fast by an experienced racer is quite the ego stroke. As for the cars, I came out with a different opinion (and again, I was only in the passenger seat). Succinctly, the FRS felt the most "alive". It fizzed and buzzed and made wonderful noises. It also felt very much like my '85 RX-7. I have no idea what the interior looks or feels like, because it didn't call attention to itself. I liked it the most. The Genesis was definitely faster, but much quieter and smoother. You only knew that you were going faster as you set up for the corners, as the braking was much harder, and it felt like it was the moving around more on the suspension (likely a side effect of going faster). I was watching speedometers as best as I could, and the Genesis probably had 10 or 15 kph on the FRS at the end of the front straight. If the FRS was buzzing and fizzing and the Genesis was wobbling, the Miata was dancing. It didn't feel quite as direct as the FRS, but it did feel more composed and graceful. It felt very much like it knew what it was doing, compared to the FRS's playful puppy. The miata was down about 10 kms/h to the FRS at the end of the front straight. The FRS pulled noticeably once the miata got into fourth gear.

  • JohnTheDriver JohnTheDriver on Aug 07, 2012

    Great reviews, really professional video work. Now you just need to get Randy Pobst to hot shoe the cars and TTAC will be the REAL Top Gear!

    • Jack Baruth Jack Baruth on Aug 07, 2012

      Mr. Pobst's sterling qualities as a racer have nothing to do with lap time. His own "gentleman driver" frequently outlapped him during his recent Grand-Am seasons. Randy is a winning racer because he understands the dynamics of passing, because he conserves the car when it requires conservation, and because his understanding of most North American tracks and their grip levels off the racing line, where a lot of actual racing takes places, is encyclopedic. As a teammate of Randy's in 2009 I saw firsthand what a great RACER he is. As a one-lap driver, most of the field was of equal quality.

  • Wmba Wmba on Aug 07, 2012

    If you go to the top left corner of this very page, you'll see the link to Autoguide, presumably another Vertaliscope publication. Click on it and on the front page, there is a comparison review of what looks like the same FRS and Genesis Coupe at the same facility. The drivers are Colum and David Pratte, apparently a racer. He says the Genesis ran out of brakes in 3 laps, and the FRS did not. He said the FRS was so easy to 4 wheel drift, it was outlandish fun. So, despite this good 3 car review from our own Baruth, I am still left wondering. How can two reviews be so different? Opposite, really, on what looks like the exact same two cars. Makes no sense to me. Perhaps Jack can comment on the other test, since it's so easy to access. I'd like to point out that I commented here on TTAC on the FRS back in early June after a test drive. I hated it. Biggest car disappointment of my life. The FRS may have a nice sounding engine when it's winding out at 5 to 7 K rpm, but on a regular drive it sounds like marbles in a stainless steel colander, and is inert and lifeless. I did not like the engine at all. End of story for me.

  • Replica Replica on Aug 07, 2012

    I didn't expect Jack to sound like Nicholas Cage with a hint of Mr. Mackie from Southpark. Video turned out good.