The Scion FR-S is a pretty damn impressive little sports car, with a Porsche-worthy chassis and tenacious yet pitchable handling. But if the car has a weakness, it lies beneath that long, low hood. With only 200 horses and 151 lb-ft of torque, the 2.0 liter boxer four Subaru developed for the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ is adequate at best—but the car could handle so much more.
And pretty much everyone in the enthusiast community has assumed Toyota and/or Subaru would bring more power to their little sports car, at some point. Early rumors suggested the car makers might use turbocharging to boost output, which seemed reasonable, given Subaru’s love for turbo motors in performance cars. Then we heard the companies might go with supercharging instead. (Or both.) Then we heard they might even build a hybrid version. And now comes a report that Toyota is considering enlarging the boxer four to generate more power. At this point, the only method of increasing power it seems Toyota and Subaru aren’t considering is nitrous oxide.
Chief project engineer Tetsuya Tada was pleasantly honest with Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald on the subject of the GT 86/FR-S’s future power boost—more specifically, the company’s pursuit of the best method to accomplish it. “We [have] already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and [the other is a] special hybrid system…All possibilities are being considered.”
According to the Morning Herald’s “inside sources,” a displacement boost would likely involve bumping the engine from 2.0 to 2.5 liters, which would push power up to around 250 horses while sparing the car either the added drivetrain stress and peaky nature of a turbo or the added cost and complexity of a hybrid setup. But one way or another, a power bump at some point seems like a solid bet. “I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car,” Tada said.
Keep in mind, though, these are all things Toyota is working on—not necessarily Toyota and Subaru together. So it’s entirely possible we could see Toyota bring out a larger-displacement FR-S, while Subaru reveals a turbocharged BRZ (ideally one powered by that next-generation WRX motor that makes almost 300 horses and 300 pound-feet). We can hope. [via The Sydney Morning Herald]