Subaru BRZ Might See Turbo Variant, Scion FR-S Will Not

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

If you’ve been holding your breath for a Scion FR-S turbo announcement, it’s best to exhale now. The Japanese automaker has confirmed that the FR-S won’t see a turbocharged variant from the factory, at least for the time being.

This really isn’t a huge surprise, but we all kept our fingers crossed hoping that Scion would eventually come out with a turbocharged model to pump even more performance into an already great sports car. Currently the FR-S is powered by a 2.0-liter with 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, and with a price tag of $24,930 with a manual transmission, it’s a great bang for the buck.

But the price tag is what is limiting Scion from developing a turbocharged variant. By offering a turbocharged model, pricing could near the $30,000 mark at which point consumers have a variety of options to choose from. Besides, Scion models were never meant to be that expensive. We still hope that TRD will release a supercharger option for the FR-S, similar to what it gives current Scion tC owners.

There’s still hope for the Japanese Toyota GT 86. As part of the Toyota moniker, the Japanese automaker could possibly offer a turbocharged variant of its sports car, but again, we wouldn’t hold our breath on that.

Subaru, on the other hand, has enjoyed success with its turbocharged WRX STi, so it’s possible that it would offer a turbocharged BRZ. Pricing isn’t as big of an issue for Subaru customers, with the STi well over the $30,000 mark.

In an interview with Auto Express UK however, Subaru global marketing manager Atoshi Atake said the BRZ will not be turbocharged due to the lack of room at the front of the engine bay for an intercooler. More importantly, he said that Subaru would “want to keep turbocharging separate. It is for models like the WRX STi.”

While that sounds like Subaru is throwing out a turbocharged model out the window as well, we have strong beliefs that market demand will ultimately bring a BRZ Turbo to consumers. Subaru rejected the idea of a supercharger in the same interview, saying it would make fuel efficiency an issue.

Regardless, it seems that both automakers are content with how the BRZ, FR-S, and GT 86 are performing from the factory. But who wouldn’t want to see a turbocharged version of any of them?

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[Source: Car & Driver and Auto Express UK]

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Lithium872 Lithium872 on Jun 26, 2012

    Looked at the BRZ for the first time. There is actually a TON of room in the front of a BRZ. Much much more than any WRX has ever had. Given that Subaru already has a turbo variant of this engine in its legacy (japan) it would be a waste not to offer a turbo version of the BRZ.

  • Jacob Jacob on Jun 29, 2012

    Guess I will just have to turbo it myself