Just over a year on sale, Toyota is already working on a mid-cycle update for the Scion FR-S, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada has confirmed. Having proven to the bean-counters that the car is a sound business case, Toyota is now also exploring a higher performance version that could include forced induction, or even a hybrid powertrain.
Speaking to AutoCar at the Geneva Motor Show this week, where Toyota foreshadowed a convertible FR-S with its FT-86 Open concept, Tada said that, “we are investigating both turbocharging and supercharging,” while admitting that, “an electric motor assistance solution is also possible, and would bring benefits that forced induction does not.”
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Commenting that his team must remain true to the purpose of the car rather than just throw more horsepower at it, the hybrid solution seems to fulfill those goals, with an electric motor assist system being proposed. Cheaper and much less complex than the hybrid technology currently used in the Prius it would allow for an electric boost of torque at low speeds with no negative effect to fuel economy, while properly placed electronics could also further reduce the car’s center of gravity.
Of course a weight gain would be certain, though Tada did also comment that it could, at least in part, be offset by further weight reduction of the already featherlight car. Toyota’s TRD division has already managed to cut up to 220 lbs out of a GT86 model, while its racing partner Gazoo Racing recently unveiled a concept car at the Tokyo Auto Salon with a dramatic weight reduction of 500 lbs.
Proof of just how many avenues Toyota is exploring, it also recently showed off the GRMN Sports FR Concept (above), boasting both a turbocharger and a supercharger and making 330 hp.
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