Monthly Archives: September 2014

Ken Gushi Takes The D1 Drift FR-S to Pikes Peak

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is one of the coolest races in the world. An old school Point A to Point B race, drivers start at the bottom of Pike’s Peak and race to the top. Whoever gets there fastest wins. Sounds easy right? Well, up until recently, the entire trip was on dirt roads and even with a fully paved course, the 156 turns over 12.42 miles with only 600 feet of air to cushion your fall if you step off course mean that only the most confident drivers are willing to push their cars to the limit there.

Scion D1 drifter Ken Gushi took on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb this year and while the team had some setbacks with the 2013 D1 car they used (nothing serious, just blew the motor on the car and had to overnight the spare, then had oil pressure issues on the spare), they successfully completed the race with a final time of 10 minutes, 30 seconds. That time was good for third place, not a bad showing for a drift driver.

Last year, Scion sent an FR-S, a tC and an xD rally car to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The 2013 Hill Climb was a bit more exciting for the drivers, the race ended in a hail storm at the top of the mountain.

Dudes Use an FR-S for a Bunch of Baseball Trick Shots

Today you’re going to see something new. A baseball trick shot video using a Scion FR-S. There are a million basketball trick shot videos out there, including the most famous ones starring Michael Jordan and Larry bird. There are golf trick shot videos, beer pong trick shot videos, pool trick shot videos, but you really don’t see many baseball trick shot videos, particularly starring a sports car the the Scion FR-S.

The dudes at Dude Perfect released this video featuring a bunch of baseball trick shots using the Scion FR-S as a tool and a prop. There’s some drifting, some racing, a lot of ridiculous baseball tricks, and Scion Racing driver Ken Gushi even makes an appearance. The biggest star of the video is how psyched these guys are about every trick they pull off, I’m jealous of their trick shot abilities just because of how much they love pulling them off. It makes me want to develop a talent.

Innovate Motorsports Supercharger Dyno Tested

If you’re looking for useable street performance on the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, a supercharger kit is probably high on your list. Import Tuner recently got their hands on an Innovate Motorsports supercharger kit for their FR-S and did a full install themselves, complete with a before and after dyno comparison.


The FR-S this Innovate supercharger kit was installed on had an intake and exhaust already installed (as most cars getting forced induction probably will) and laid down 174 wheel horsepower. Factoring in a 20% drivetrain loss, that comes out to about 217 hp at the flywheel, which is a decent gain from a bolt on intake and cat back exhaust.


After the Innovate supercharger was installed, the FR-S made 226 wheel horsepower, 52 more than the naturally aspirated motor for a 30% gain.

2015 Scion FR-S Suspension Upgrades Track Tested

2015 brings the biggest changes to the Scion FR-S since the car launched in 2013. In addition to the FR-S Release Series 1.0, which went on sale recently, the 2015 FR-S gets an upgraded suspension. Changes have been made to recalibrate the FR-S’ springs, struts, shocks and bushings for a more tight feel.


Automobile Mag took the 2015 FR-S to a track to see how these suspension tweaks affected the sports car’s handling at the limits. The FR-S’ tendency to get sideways has been dialed back, and it seems as though Scion has split the difference between the original FR-S’ tail-happy suspension and the Subaru BRZ’s more conservative understeering setup. The end result seems to be the fastest option of the three, and as a bonus, it rides even better than the alternatives.

Scion Release Series 1.0 Now On Sale, Costs $29,990


The Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0 is now on sale with a no-haggle price of $29,990. The Release series 1.0 is the first special edition of the FR-S, and comes with a couple TRD performance upgrades in addition to the usual visual accoutrements.


FR-S Release Series 1.0 models will come with a bright yellow paint job called Yuzu, as well as a full lip kit and HID headlight with LED daytime runners.


Inside, the Release Series 1.0 FR-S has a TRD steering wheel, TRD shift knob, unique black seats, a TRD logo cargo mat and a Smart Key with push button start.


A TRD cat back exhaust will add about 15 horsepower while a set of TRD lowering springs will stance the FR-S Release Series 1.0 while giving the already sharp handling car a bit more edginess.

What’s surprising is that this is the first special edition of the FR-S. Scion has released 10 xB Series editions and eight tC Serieses, about one a year. With sports cars, special editions push interest long into a model’s life (just look at Aston Martin and Porsche) so expect to see more special edition and Release Series FR-S models over the next couple years.

Australia Gets Retro FR-S Special Edition


Australians get all the good stuff. Kangaroos, The Great Barrier Reef, video games that are somehow special enough to warrant a 300% price hike, Steve Irwin, Turbo Nissans/ Holdens/ Fords, and now a retro special edition Scion FR-S.


The limited edition BRZ, imaginatively named the 2015 Subaru BRZ Special Edition, will come with unique racing stripes, unique 17-inch wheels (remember when those were considered big? it was a simpler time), a black lip kit, an STI push button starter, a short shift kit, and a unique shift knob. Subaru Australia claims the 2015 BRZ Special Edition adds $9,000 worth of upgrades for a $3,500 premium. Only 125 of the BRZ Special Editions will be sold in Australia, so if you’re interested move quick.


HKS Supercharged FR-S vs TRD FR-S


A supercharger kit might be the first thing you dream about when you buy an FR-S, but with the entire world of tuning out there for you to choose from, is it the right choice for you? Would you rather build a slower but better handling car with suspension mods, bigger brakes and better wheels and tires? How about if Toyota would build it for you and throw in a body kit and cat back exhaust to sweeten the pot? That’s the question Car Throttle set about to answer with their comparison between the FR-S TRD package (in the U.K.) and an FR-S that had been built with an HKS Supercharger kit.


The TRD FR-S ditches the Prius spec tires that let it slide like Tara Lipinski and also allowed a 30-mpg highway rating. It also has bigger diameter wheels, more powerful brakes, a body kit for a snazzier look and a cat back exhaust for a little extra horsepower and a lot better sound.

The HKS supercharged FR-S has a starting price right around the same as the TRD FR-S, and while it doesn’t come with the nicer wheels, beefier tires, better brakes, meaner exhaust or prettier bodykit, it does come with a supercharger. The HKS supercharger here was tuned to 278-horsepower and 215-lb-ft of torque, which is good for a claimed 0-62 mph time of 5.5 seconds, down from 7.4. Top speed on the HKS superchaged FR-S is 150 mph, an increase of 10 over the stock car. The car tested also had a better suspension and better tires outfitted, so there’s no real 1-for-1 comparison of which gives a better driving experience for your money, but the the story seems to be pretty clear that the supercharger is the hero.

The Story Behind the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ


By now you already know the basics of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ’s genesis – it has a Subaru engine and chassis while the styling was done by Toyota.  That’s not the whole story though, and X Car just released a video detailing the whole story behind the joint venture sports car.

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The interesting part of the story is that it was Toyota that pushed for the car to be built.  Toyota decided they wanted to build a sports car with Subaru and went to the smaller company with the idea.  Subaru was hesitant about the project at first so Toyota took the initiative and built a prototype using an engine out of a Subaru Legacy.  The car came back to Toyota with bald tires and a resounding yes.

What followed was a bit of Romeo and Juliet style fighting over the details of the engine, but luckily Toyota and Subaru are not the Montagues and Capulets and nobody ended up stabbed or poisoned.


Image via Etsy

Dai Yoshiro’s 1,000 HP V8 Swapped Falken BRZ Drift Car


Dai Yoshiro is a D1 drifter who made a name for himself drifting an S13 Silvia. If the drifting world were Halo, the S13 would be the Battle Rifle, it’s the platform you usually start with and it works really well, but its ubiquity makes it a bit boring , so he has now switched to a Subaru BRZ. The Falken drift BRZ was chosen to replace the Silvia because of its style, popularity and size.


The BRZ beat out the 350z and Cadillac CTS-V as the drift car of choice for Yoshiro and his team. Yoshiro said the 350Z lost due to the BRZ’s popularity and marketability and the CTS-V was too long. This is a D1 drift car though, so unless you’re being paid by Scion to keep it, you’re probably going to need to drop the FA20 motor for something with a bit more power. Yoshiro went with a 7.0-liter Chevy LS7 engine swap with a Garrett GTX5008R turbo that makes 962-horsepower and 832 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm.


In addition to the V8 swap, the drift BRZ has a couple aesthetic improvements.  Yoshiro’s Falken BRZ drift car has a Rocket Bunny V2 body kit and KW coilovers sitting on Yoshihara Design Champion wheels.


Source: Super Street

Scion FR-S SEMA 2014 Cars Announced


Scion is tapping the well of tuner knowledge for the 2014 SEMA show. Scion handed three 2014 FR-S models over to Speedhunters, GT Channel and Super Street (the magazine of note for every car loving kid growing up in the 2000s that is remarkably still kicking and still putting out good content {I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about buying a Civic and pouring money into it because of their magazine} ) to build for SEMA 2014.

All three car enthusiast-centered media channels received a Scion FR-S and $15,000 to customize it with, and all three will have to present their results at SEMA 2014 (I’ll officially appoint the winner to anyone who shows up 3/4 dead to SEMA and lies in their booth as a performance piece sleeping off the $35,000 hangover they afforded thanks to selling the car and spending the customization money). The winner of the 2014 Scion Tuner Challenge will get $10,000 (which will itself buy an exceptional hangover, plus you probably get to keep the car).

So far the builders have been mum on the details of their plans for the 2014 Scion Tuner Challenge, except for GT Channel announcing that they’ll be working with MotoIQ’s Mike Kojima for the build.


Source: Scion Racing