Toyota will build a new Supra. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the new Supra will share a platform with the next generation BMW Z4 and the companies will work together to build the sports cars. Nikkei seems to think that BMW’s experience with carbon fiber bodies is a main contributor to the Supra Z4 plan, but the Supra was cut in 2002 because of its astronomical price, so Toyota will probably be very price conscious this time around. What makes more sense is for Toyota to make the Supra a Scion Supra and build it on the next generation FR-S platform. Here’s why:
BMW Already Has The Engine
The Supra came with a turbocharged inline six engine and was legendary for it. The BMW Z4 already has a turbocharged inline six engine and BMW inline sixes are legendary in their own rite. Of course the Supra would need a lot more power than the 300-horsepower the Z4 comes with right now to be competitive today, but that won’t be much of a problem for BMW (the E46 M3 had 333-hp without a turbo 15 years ago, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to get 400 or 450-hp for the Supra).
Toyota Already Has The Car
The Supra will need to be a rear or all-wheel drive sports car with the option of a convertible (there’s no way BMW is selling the Z4 without a drop top). We already know that the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ 2nd generation will probably use a more flexible chassis that would allow for things like a convertible and all-wheel drive. With that car under development not and Toyota moving towards more modular chassis, why wouldn’t it include room for a bigger inline-six Supra engine.
Scion Needs The Help
Scion is failing as a youth brand. The xA and xD were both boring duds that sold to older people cross shopping the Nissan Versa and Kia Rio. The xB ballooned into a midsized wagon and lost all of its charm with the second generation. The tC appeals to young girls, but absolutely not to young men, so that’s a success of sorts. The brand’s shining star of youthfulness is the FR-S, but Toyota still needed to bribe dealers with the promise of an FR-S Convertible to keep them from dropping the brand.
Of course, they could always just stuff a 2JZ under the hood of a current Z4 and call it a day, what do I know?
The Subaru BRZ is the Arya Stark of the Subaru Family. Light and nimble, much smaller than her older brother Rob, she’s the great hope for the family. Arya’s in no shape to take on the Lannisters now, but once she goes and studies with the Jaqen in Braavos she’ll come back ready to bury some lions. The BRZ isn’t going to beat any Evos in stock form, but with some tuning, it’s ready to take on the family’s fight.
This turbo BRZ raced a few Evos at Raceway park in New Jersey and didn’t do too badly for itself. The first race is against a 12 second Evo X and the Subaru gets smoked, running a 14.38, but it has a 136 trap speed, compared to the Evo’s 126. Next the turbo BRZ races an older Evo and sees tail lights once again, but only by a half second – 13.6 to 13.1. OK so the BRZ didn’t win, but if you’ve watched Game of Thrones or read A Song Of Fire And Ice, you know that means my metaphor was a good one.
If you’re building an FR-S and want power, you need a turbo kit. Swapping out stock parts like the intake and exhaust will get your FR-S moving, but if you want to start blowing the doors off of
Genesi Genesises Turbo Hyundais and new edge Mustangs, you have to go turbo.
TR3 performance claims that their bolt on stage 1 FR-S turbo kit makes 300-horsepower with a 60 trim turbo. The only major notification to the car is swapping the oil pan, but other than that the kit is bolt on. But while 300-horsepower is fun, 450-horsepower sounds like a lot more fun. When the owner brought back his FR-S turbo you see here, TR3 made it from a fun street car to an absolute monster.
This just proves that you don’t need an engine swap in your FR-S to make big power. The 2JZ swaps we’ve seen are impressive, but building the little 2.0-liter engine to insane power levels is even more remarkable.
The Scion FR-S needs more power. It’s been said a thousand times before and enthusiasts all over the globe start shopping for everything from a new air filter to a turbo kit as soon as they buy their FR-S, but Toyota has been insistent that the sports car remain pure and untouched by the devil of horsepower.
Toyota Europe VP Karl Schlicht spoke to Top Gear about the change in philosophy at Toyota spearheaded by the FR-S and the new FT-1 concept car. Schlicht says that Toyota will become an exciting car company again and will stop simply chasing sales volume. Toyota Boss Akio Toyoda “believes Toyotas should be drivers’ cars”.
But when asked about the prospect of a more powerful FR-S, like the 2.5-liter FR-S, a turbocharged FR-S or an FR-S Supra, Schlicht said “We want to keep that car pure,” he said. “You put a turbo on it, give it bigger tires, and you start turning it into a different category of car…”
The FR-S; competition is stiff, there are a lot of sporty cars in the $25,000 range that offer more horsepower or more practicality or a convertible. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ compete with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Hyundai Genesis, Honda Civic Si, Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, VW GTI, Dodge Challenger, Ford Focus ST and Fiat 500 Abarth. To name a few. So should Toyota really insist that enthusiasts love “fun to drive” more than speed? The FR-S might be at the front of that pack for fun, but it might not be when you start charting lap times.
It’s finally happened. Someone has cracked that magic number for the ultimate bragging rights on a Scion FR-S – 1,000 horsepower. Of course it was done with a Toyota Supra 2JZ engine swap, so that insane amount of horsepower isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility. It would be nice for someone to figure out how to put down insane horsepower like this out of the FA20 turbo, but an engine swapped FR-S is still an FR-S and the car is awesome. I guess we’ll have to be satisfied with the 400-hp to 450-horsepower out of turbo FR-S builds for now.
The car was built by Ekanoo racing out of Bahrain, so it’s actually a Toyota FT-86. The 2JZ 1khp FR-S put down a 9.5 second 1/4 mile time before something broke. The Ekanoo racing crew has a lot of experience building drag Supras so expect even faster times coming soon.
Listen to that FR-S Turbo whistle! It’s absolutely vulgar.
A turbo Scion FR-S is great, and there are off the shelf turbo kits that give over 300 hp right now.
There are built FR-S and BRZ turbo cars with over 400 hp.
That’s really cool.
But a turbo FR-S with over 500 wheel horsepower?
That’s freaking awesome.
This monster Scion FR-S resides in Antigua and was built using a GTX3076 turbo kit, a built motor, a Dynosty Haltech standalone fuel system, and tuning by Dynosty. On a dynojet dyno (that was outdoors in Antigua, no air conditioner feeding this FR-S cold air for a couple extra hp for bragging rights), the turbo FR-S put down 530 wheel horsepower and 439 ft lb of torque.
One of the major selling points of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ has been the pure sports car driving experience that isn’t complicated by unnecessary technology. That’s why it’s strange to hear that a turbocharged hybrid all-wheel drive version of the FR-S and BRZ might be on the way. The FR-S and BRZ Sedan project, which was hinted at in the past but believed dead, would use all-wheel drive, a hybrid system and, most excitingly of all, a turbocharger.
Toyota has discussed a hybrid system as the most likely power adder for a future higher performance version of the FR-S and BRZ (after the 2.5-liter FR-S and BRZ come out), claiming that a turbocharger would put too much strain on the drivetrain. Now it seems they have revised that line of thinking (possibly after coming up short in the power department with just the hybrid) and are planning on combining the hybrid system with a turbocharger for 300-horsepower in the FR-S sedan. That’s not all, Toyota is also planning to make the FR-S Sedan all-wheel drive using in wheel motors that would only activate when rear wheel traction was lost.
Motor Trend claims that a version of the GT86 sedan has already been built and is 187 inches long, 70 inches wide, 55.1 inches high and has a 108.2-inch wheelbase. That would put it close to the Subaru Legacy and Toyota Camry in terms of size. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Sedan’s super secret internal development code is 734A, so if you’re a hacker pouring through Toyota’s internal documents and run into that code, feel free to send us any information you get with it (note: do not hack into Toyota in order to attempt to glean some hints on the GT86 Sedan, it’s not worth the prison sentence).
Image via Motortrend.
Bill Caswell is famous for his beater E30 rally car that showed either how great a cheap performance platform the BMW E30 is or how amazing of a driver Caswell is when it started being legitimately competitive against sponsored rally cars. Now that Caswell is famous, he gets to drive real race cars.
Caswell got behind the wheel of the Crawford Turbocharged Subaru BRZ at the Redline Time Attack at Buttonwillow Raceway. Time Attack is a simple way to race: you go out and set the best lap you can, either alone on the track or (for non professionals) with other cars out there that start in stages. The best lap wins.
The Crawford turbo BRZ has 475 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque at the crank, well over double the factory 2.0-liter’s numbers. That power doesn’t come from just a bolt on turbo kit (although you can make very close to those numbers with one), new longer connecting rods, low compression JE pistons, and a front mount intercooler all work to make the turbo BRZ as powerful and reliable as possible.
That much power was too much for the BRZ’s stock suspension, making the car drift uncontrollably around the track, so Crawford worked the platform over to handle that power on the racetrack.
Caswell loved the car, and his gut instinct is pretty good – the Crawford turbo BRZ had the second place time in the rear wheel drive category and the best time for a Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S.
Tetsuya Tada, Toyota’s chief engineer on the Scion FR-S, has said that the FR-S and the Subaru BRZ will definitely get an engine performance upgrade when the cars are refreshed in 2015.
“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,” Tada told the Sydney Morning Herald. “All possibilities are being considered.”
Tada wouldn’t go on record about which performance upgrade the FR-S and BRZ will get, but the SMH claims inside sources are telling them the Scibaru twins will get a bigger 2.5-liter engine. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ 2.5 engine will supposedly have 255-horsepower, a 25% bump over the stock 200-hp to go with the 25% displacement bump and almost as much horsepower as the Subaru WRX.
Using a 2.5-liter engine in the FR-S and BRZ is preferable to a turbocharger because it is believed the forced induction route would result in too much extra stress on the drivetrain, according to the inside sources. The hybrid idea was scrapped because of the added weight and complexity that would take the cars away from their core purpose.
No word on whether the 2.5-liter will be standard or available only in special editions like the BRZ STI, but as it stands the Japanese-only BRZ tS by STI has no engine upgrades.
Image via Scion.