2013 Scion FR-S: Track Tested

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited January 2015 in Scion
image2013 Scion FR-S: Track Tested

Our 2013 Scion FR-S is finally supercharged. How fast is it? Find out in our latest track test.

Read the full story here



  • empoweredbcempoweredbc Member Posts: 50
    Uhhhh......224HP minus 184HP is 40HP, not 30 HP. And you guys are gonna get killed for such weak numbers, You can't add almost 25% more power, and only net .2 in your 60. And rightfully so.
  • ayaoayao Member Posts: 27
    Next up - brakes...
  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11
    The gain in horsepower with this particular supercharger kit seems modest. Vortech claims that its supercharger kit for the BRZ/FRS will increase horsepower to 294 and torque to 210. The Vortech kit is not cheap, but if I were thinking about aftermarket forced induction for my BRZ/FRS, I would probably consider the Vortech kit first.
  • shatnershatner Member Posts: 176
    Well that was another waste of money...
  • pommahpommah Member Posts: 71
    Why not just wait for the Subaru BRZ STi? Probably cost less money than this, give more performance, and less risk of damaging your engine
  • desoto_finsdesoto_fins Member Posts: 6
    Completely underwhelming.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    If you guys read the article you'd see the part about the worn-out tires (if the slalom # of 0.76 isn't wrong, that's another confirmation). Edmunds would do well to spend yet more money on new tires and do the retest ;) The 5 mph trap speed does show that this engine is significantly more powerful (well... would probably be rated as 240-250hp at the crank), but the tires are writing cheques that the engine can't cash.
  • huisjhuisj Member Posts: 1
    Wait, which part of the car is writing what kind of checks?
  • saunupe1911saunupe1911 Member Posts: 9
    Ok guys, just buy some pilot super sports. Why do this test on crappy worn out tires. Geez!!!! Also it's time for the TRD brake kit made by StopTech. They don't fade at all...if your wheels clear them. It will be by far the best upgrade you purchase for the car. Trust me!!!
  • edriver2edriver2 Member Posts: 7
    224 Horsepower - 184 Horsepower = 40 Horsepower Difference

    NOT a "30 Horsepower difference"
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Time to finally use the otherwise pointless BRZ for it's intended purpose, to compare/contrast against the modified FR-S. Get out on the road and do some 5th gear roll on tests. I would be willing to bet that in a timed 5th gear 30-60 and 45-70 acceleration, which won't be effected by tires, is much stronger in the FR-S. It's also a far more usefull test that 0-60 since most people don't drag race but they do accelerate to take advantage of a hole in traffic.
  • jeffinohjeffinoh Member Posts: 156
    Two-tenths of a second??? Whoopee. On the street, launch is all that matters. Not good enough.
  • reminderreminder Member Posts: 383
    Looks to me like that supercharger project was a total dud. Supercharging generally increases output between 30-40% of stock. I wouldn't be happy about those results.
    How fast can you afford to go?
    Apparently, not very fast.
  • maxx18maxx18 Member Posts: 7
    Even if the outright acceleration numbers don't show it, I am sure the daily drivability of the car is greatly improved. Having an extra 52lb/ft of torque right in the middle of the powerband is huge.

    I'm guessing if they had tested the top gear roll-on performance of the car, the differences in acceleration times would have been enormous.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    So you spend 3600 for 40 hp? What did your Focus ST and Mazdaspeed 3 cost again? I do believe the MS3 is roughly the same 0-60 times and costs less consider you added 3600 for the supercharger and god knows what for tires, wheels and chamber kit...

    Seems money better spent on investments and waiting for the turbo BRZ STI? Which will likely make this FR-S looks like a joke when it's launched.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    Btw this is exactly why I don't like car mods. People spend tons on stuff that doesn't work as well as factory kit, while losing the warranty on their car at the same time making it less reliable. After all for 3600 a pop and limited number of buyers compared to what Subaru can move on a turbo BRZ, how much testing do you think the people who made this kit have done? And how much for a international car firm?
  • compressorcompressor Member Posts: 0
    IL explained the issue with lower grip, possibly reflecting the worse than expected 0-60 time.

    That said, % power gains will never equate to a certain amount of speed improvement. I can add 10% to a 100 hp car and not see much difference, or I can add 10% to a Z06 and see a huge improvement. The % matters to builders and reflects how good the system is, but overall power is what matters for accel.
  • compressorcompressor Member Posts: 0
    cotak wrote: "So you spend 3600 for 40 hp? What did your Focus ST and Mazdaspeed 3 cost again? "

    How much does one spend to get away from FWD?
  • bobert2013bobert2013 Member Posts: 4
    Why wouldn't they get new tires when they tested it with more power?
  • bedabibedabobedabibedabo Member Posts: 8
    In my mind, the non-intercooled supercharger on a FR-S/BRZ puts it kind of on par with the Focus ST's output, although the ST produces much more torque. But in Edmund's track test of the ST, the 1/4-mile result was just 15.0 @ 93.3 (http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/track-tests/track-tested-2013-ford-focus-st.html ). The stock FR-S' 1/4 time and trap speed matched that of the ST, yet you never read reviews complaining of the ST's lack of power. With the supercharger, the FR-S' trap speed is 5 mph faster. That's a considerable difference. In fact the new trap speed is on par with the Hyundai Genesis 3.8, 306 hp's 98.0 but behind the Mustang V6's 101.2 (http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/track-tests/track-tested-2011-ford-mustang-v6-vs-2010-hyundai-genesis-coupe-38.html ). As a BRZ owner myself, looking for some low maintenance HP down the road, this is a pretty realistic option. More power always means more mods, which in turn requires more mods....
  • jederinojederino Member Posts: 0
    This is an interesting upgrade, thanks Edmunds! I don't take much stock in 0-60 mph, so I don't get all the twisted panties here. More important is the driveability and fun and can you effectively pass on a straight at a track day, and I'm sure we will get more posts about that.
  • bedabibedabobedabibedabo Member Posts: 8
    As for the 0-60 time, the ECU reflash often allows one to raise the redline so that 60 mph can be reached in 2nd gear without having to shift into 3rd. Can this be tested? It'll also show how useless the 0-60 mph measure is...
  • akula1akula1 Member Posts: 0
    So you have shoddy rubber now and run an acceleration test. How about you put the stock wheel/tires back on if they have just been sitting around and then compare w/ the stock numbers?

    First you melt the stock caliper dust seals on a track w/ a brake kit and act surprised (dur...track calipers mostly have no dust boots for this very reason), now this? How are we supposed to make use of useless or partially correct data?

    Are you guys hiring? I think you guys need some help over there to sort things out.
  • akula1akula1 Member Posts: 0
    w/o* a brake kit.
  • 300zx_lover300zx_lover Member Posts: 7
    What a pathetic waste of money (the supercharger, too).
  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234
    Shouldn't older tires have more grip? More rubber to the road?
  • 1krider11krider1 Member Posts: 11
    Since a GM aluminum V8 has already been retrofitted to this car, any other modification is a waste of time and money.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @huisj: You never heard of that expression before or did I just say it wrong?
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    yellowbal, that's what tire rack says at least for handling " It is also important to note that your old tires probably had very little tread depth remaining when you felt it was time to replace them. As any autocrosser or racer who has tread rubber shaved off of his tires will tell you, low tread depth tires respond more quickly. Don't be surprised if your new tires are a little slower to respond (even if you use the exact same tire as before). Their new, full depth brings with it a little more tread squirm until they wear down."----- duck87, I think it is the engine writing checks the tires can't cash since they are the part that isn't following through with the power delivery.
  • speed12silspeed12sil Member Posts: 23

    "crappy worn out tires?" Have you even read comparison tests with lap time and slalom speed for the AD-08 and MPSS?? The AD-08 are quite a bit better than the MPSS on dry surfaces and on track where the MPSS gets greasy in short order. The only thing the MPSS is better at is in the rain, and when this is taken to the track, a second set of tires should be used anyway, instead of going with compromised ones like the MPSS.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    @compressor Apparently 3600 to get a RWD car on par in terms of acceleration. Might I add that the FR-S with better tires do no better than the Speed3 on various track tests. So what is your point? Spending more on a car that doesn't perform better? When
  • jammotorcarsjammotorcars Member Posts: 1
    This is just another in a string of epic fails by Scion/Subaru. No turbo on the horizon, and it turns out that rumors of an BRZ STI are nothing more than an aftermarket company trying to sell cosmetic items. Pitiful.
  • greg128greg128 Member Posts: 526
    My wife's Saturn Aura is faster...
  • snaab92snaab92 Member Posts: 8
    Still not enough power. It needs the new 2.0 turbo which would put out more at least 224 awhp stock and then with a few mods some really serious power! Shame on your Subaru/Toyota. What could have been a great car that I would have bought is a very good and under powered car. Even with a supecharger (~$5,000 in mods) this thing is slower than a Camry! Unacceptable!
  • snaab92snaab92 Member Posts: 8
    And no warranty!
  • DLuDLu Member Posts: 94
    Based on all the reviewes I see, especially this article on power and torque (or the lack thereof, which people also whine about when it comes to the RX-8) I'll be keeping my R3 and enjoy 9k RPM daily. Still not convinced that there's a reason to get out of the RX-8 yet.
  • iwant12iwant12 Member Posts: 269
    Though I'm sure it's fun to drive, I'm not impressed enough to buy.
  • siscnossiscnos Member Posts: 1
    Why is it so slow? A stock S2000 weighs about the same and typically dynos about 205rwhp. It conservatively runs high 13.9@100 (some have done 13.6 stock).

    Something doesn't add up.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    I think you used a general formula for horsepower losses from the flywheel to the wheels of 30%, so we're looking at approximately 320Hp, so the 40Hp difference is really nearly 140Hp increase. Am I mistaken that you are not comparing the figures correctly? Those numbers are really weak sauce compared to stock, even factoring the worn tires.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    Or is it 15% loss, which would be 263Hp. Sounds more like it.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    OK after looking it up; an unscientific 13-15% parasitic loss. So the numbers you are showing at the wheels makes sense, the comparison to the stock HP # at the flywheel does not make sense. For some reason this blog bothered me, maybe because I had a lot of eager anticipation about the results.

    so the formula should be 264 HP at the flywheel (new) vs 184 = 80HP improvement. Now it starts to make sense. You guys are really bad at math; get Josh to double check the #s, he is usually correct.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    "With its new blower, our FR-S put down 224 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. What's 40 hp mean when moving the Scion instead of a set of metal rollers? We took it to the track to find out." That was a hub dyno, which gives higher readings than a Dynojet or similar, so you were not moving "a set of metal rollers," and those figures are not "at the wheels." Also, you give before-and-after acceleration, before-and-after weight, but give only the "before" price, not what it has cost you to date. My informal tally is around $36,500, which does not include needed brake upgrades or indeed even the brake work needed to make the car safe to drive again. As for the acceleration times now...it's faster; not $36.5k fast, but I suspect in everyday driving it's vastly better. Still having a tough time with the concept of a non-intercooled FA car - four passes at the strip is not the same as a prolonged track session.
  • noflash1noflash1 Member Posts: 13
    $3200 for 2 tenths of a second quicker to 60?
  • typer_801typer_801 Member Posts: 29
    Yeah, these results are weak. With a blower, it's still slower than a '00-09 S2000. I'm sure mid-range is a little more satisfying, but this is still a real disappointment.

    Cross Innovate Motorsports supercharger of the list of potential mods. For the next wround wait and see what the Rotrex blower solution from Kraftwerks delivers, expected in a few months. Hopefully it puts up MUCH better numbers.
  • googoo24googoo24 Member Posts: 1
    "What a pathetic waste of money (the supercharger, too)."

    Really? Sans the pointless supercharger, how is this car a "pathetic waste of money"? It has decent speed, good gas mileage and handles exceptionally well.

    Could it be faster? Of course! I assume that's the basis of the pathetic comment, right? Where do you plan on displaying this speed? On crowded road ways, where the potential to get a ticket/have an accident is high? In stop-light duels facing 2001 Civics with fart canons? Track (doubtful a majority of the people buying performance cars have even seen a track)? That in itself is costly.

    How is a car that goes at decent speed (with decent maintenance) with good gas mileage that can double as a regular DD a negative; but driving conservatively (which you'll likely be doing) in faster car so it doesn't suck down fuel (and present possible maintenance issues) a good thing? Yes, the FRS can get beaten by a V6 Camry (or something equivalent, as long as it's straight-line), but who cross shops a Camry and the FRS?
  • ks55ks55 Member Posts: 8
    "With 184 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque at the wheels, it was annoyingly slow. But then came the FR-S supercharger kit boost to wipe the boredom out. With its new blower, our FR-S put down 224 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. What's 40 hp mean when moving the Scion instead of a set of metal rollers? We took it to the track to find out."..........As so often the writers at Little Eddie Edmunds don't have their facts correct. Stock FRS/ BRZ is 200 hp. and 151 torque (not 184/155 quoted)...On top of that the cost must be 3k at least ....for a 0.2 second gain .BFD and surely not worth the cost ....or for that matter reading this article
  • 335abuser335abuser Member Posts: 4
    Pretty weak considering the money. I remember spending 279$ for a JB+ from Burger Motorsports for my 335i 6mt coupe. Went from doing a 1/4 stock in 13.9@100 mph to [email protected] mph. And that was in extreme FL heat and pretty worn tires....
  • gtfrank1gtfrank1 Member Posts: 16
    Any Improvement is an improvement. It shows that they are making more hp. Like they explained with 93 octane it should do better. Not only that gas mileage has not been greatly affected and the kit has not self destructed (Yet).
  • gtfrank1gtfrank1 Member Posts: 16
    Like I have always said all the guys that say "if it only had 40 more hp I would get an FRS/BRZ" are all full of well bull. If you crave hp. buy a Camero or a Mustang please and leave us be with the wonderful inexpensive light weight RWD stock BRZ/FRS.
  • stockysnailstockysnail Member Posts: 1
    I have the Innovate kit with intercooler on my car with the smaller 70mm pulley running a conservative tune as it was daily driven. I get +80whp and I'm using 93oct gas from Costco. Add e85 or methanol injection and you can get it around +100-110whp. Add a full 3" exhaust and that will give you another 10-20. With my setup I was able to do the 1/4 mile in 13.932, using worn RE-11 tires. If you're like to see my build go to www.tinyurl.com/stockysnailsbrz
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