The Scion FR-S Needs More Power Says Nissan Product Boss

The Scion FR-S Needs More Power Says Nissan Product Boss

What’s wrong with the Scion FR-S? According to one Nissan exec, it’s too slow.

Hardly the first person to make that statement, it’s always a surprise when an automaker criticizes the products of one of its rivals. In this case it may also shed some light on Nissan’s future sports car plans.

“Do you still think the FR-S is an old man car,” we asked Nissan North America VP of Product Planning Pierre Loing during an interview at the New York Auto Show. A reference to previous comments by the Japanese automaker’s executive vice president, Andy Palmer, who said the compact sports car was a “midlife crisis” car “designed for a 50-year-old,” Loing was frank in his response.

“It needs more power,” were his parting words before scooting off to another interview.

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Previous to that, Loing was less than open on the brand’s plans for its next-generation of sports cars, though he did provide some hints at the future. He described the two opposing sports car formulas, the first of being a car with a big engine and equally big horsepower ratings. This concept he referred to as “US centric,” commenting that such a car, “becomes almost unsellable in Europe and China because of CO2.” He even admitted that the appeal of such cars is dwindling in the US saying that, “it still sells in the US, but not in as big of numbers as it used to in the early 2000s.”

Commenting that the big horsepower, big engine philosophy is, “the current recipe of Z,” the alternative is a smaller vehicle with a lower displacement engine utilizing turbocharging. “We are still studying between those two,” said Loing, though it would appear the decision for the latter has already been made.

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The next-gen Z car can’t shrink too much, however, as Nissan has reportedly given the green-light to push its IDx concept into production. That car could make use of a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylidner making around 200 hp.

As for the FR-S, Scion has announced no plans to upgrade the 200 hp 4-cyllinder engine in the car, despite rumors of turbocharging and hybridizing, or even just swapping in a larger displacement 2.5-liter unit.

GALLERY: Nissan IDx Concepts

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Discuss this story at our Scion FR-S forum.

  • PheenoIVI

    I’m waiting to see what Nissan does with the next Z. I hope they put in a Turbo and bring back the ZX. And then shrink it down a few hundred pounds. A few hundred pounds more than an FRS and an extra 100hp and torque would be great

  • John

    Everyone thinks they have the answer: take car X, drop off N pounds and give it Y amount of horsepower. Duh. Ideally this is what every car maker wants to do. But emissions, safety, and cost are inhibiting these things from being done perfectly.

    Sure, everyone wants a 300 horsepower, 2,000 pound, 50/50 weight distributed RWD coupe for under $30K. IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN.

  • Terra

    And, not to mention, a 25/30 MPG LOL.

  • gnosez

    Easy to say when Nissan doesn’t have a real replacement for the current 370Z and the aftermarket is awash in parts for the BRZ.

    As to the Ain’t gonna happen – it’s in my garage right now. A 360hp NA straight six, 50/50 corner balanced, 2250 lb, quaife diff, 5-spd RWD for under $30k. Mileage? 8-24mpg depending on my right foot. Good classic look and great sound. A 1972 240Z.