A Scion FR-S Hybrid is ready to be put into production with little engineering work. Koei Saga, Toyota senior manager of drivetrain engineering, has said that development of a hybrid version of the Toyota GT86 along with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ is close enough to production, thanks to work with racing cars and Toyota’s work towards making its hybrid systems modular, that whenever the greenlight is given a production version will shortly follow.
Saga told Autocar “We are quite prepared because we do have a hybrid system that we can use for that kind of vehicle, utilizing the production passenger car hybrid system, and we also have the pure race-oriented hybrid system. The development work is quite advanced now, so if the green light is given, we are ready to do it. So I think it won’t be very far in the future that the green light will come.”
The Toyota Synergy Drive has been used on the rear-wheel drive Lexus GS450h in addition to the company’s front-drive hybrids, so adapting it to the FR-S won’t be a problem. A manual transmission has also been used with the hybrid system in racing cars, so the FR-S Hybrid could be the first stick shift hybrid made by Toyota.
Saga was asked if the FR-S could deal with the added weight of a hybrid system and still maintain its sporty feel and he said “Yes, with a good layout design, we think that even if may be a bit heavier, it can be a fun car to drive.”
The batteries could also be mounted low in the car’s chassis to lower the center of gravity and underbody aerodynamic tweaking could help alter the car’s balance in turns to maintain the feel of the FR-S. Weight savings could also be added on to the cost of the hybrid system to offset some of the FR-S Hybrid’s weight gain.