ON November 23rd, SCION dropped off one of its two prototype FR-S vehicles to GReddy Performance Products for a tuning blitz. The goal would be to build a lightly-tuned version of the 2013 Scion FR-S for the US media unveiling taking place just a week later. With limited time, GReddy sought to address the most popular vehicle upgrades. Keeping it simple, wheels, tires, suspension, brakes and exhaust would be the goal for the less-than-a-week transformation. With no off-the-shelf parts available, the scramble was in full swing to complete the prototype development.
WHEELING AND DEALING
You would think that fitting the wheels and tires on the Scion FR-S would be among the easiest of upgrades. Unfortunately, Subaru designed the FR-S with the less popular 5x100mm bolt pattern, instead of the more popular 5x114.3mm bolt pattern. Rather than limit wheel choices to 5x100mm selections, GReddy opted to prototype a hub conversion to open the options to the more popular 5x114.3mm pattern. With this conversion in place, GReddy selected a staggered setup featuring 19x8.5-inch (+45mm) Volk Racing G12s in the front and 19x9.5-inch (+35mm) G12s in the rear. The wheels were fitted with 225/35ZR19 (front) and 245/35ZR19 (rear) Hankook Ventus V12 EVO tires.
S-DROPPED AND C-BALANCED
While the Scion FR-S already features an extremely low center-of-gravity, a properly setup coilover suspension system can drop the FR-S to levels below six-figure supercars while still providing the same ground clearance as these supercars. GReddy’s Type-S coilover system was chosen to lower the FR-S while allowing for proper corner balancing and damper tuning. Adjustable spring perches allow the four corners to be individually adjusted until the proper cross balance, F/R and L/R balances are set. In addition, the Type-S damper features 32-settings that provide balanced compression and rebound damper rates. A larger 46mm piston is centered in the monotube design. GReddy states that its Type-S coilover spring rates are optimized to provide additional travel and longer stroke for improved ride and road surface compliance.
While the factory FR-S brakes may be adequate for street and mild track use, a properly engineered big-brake kit offers substantially more thermal capacity. The large 330mm two-piece rotors of the GReddy brake system allow for extended periods of abuse. When asked to stop 2,900 pounds of car and driver on an FR-S application, these rotors should barely break a sweat. GReddy 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers ensure that the pads make an even contact with the rotor while providing the proper pedal effort and travel. Earl’s Teflon-lined, stainless-steel brake lines are included with the system to eliminate pedal squish.
GREDDY SPECTRUM ELITE SE
Considering that GReddy currently offers five different exhaust lineups, the first order of business was to select the proper series for a future FR-S tuner. Ultimately, GReddy chose the Spectrum Elite series based on its combination of sound, performance and looks. The Spectrum Elite series combines increased diameter tubing with free-flowing muffler(s). Sound control is below the 95dBA standard while the tips are sized to avoid unwanted attention. The system prototyped for the FR-S utilizes a single muffler with dual inlets and outlets. Piping diameter is 70mm.
THE END RESULT
Some simple touches definitely allowed this Scion FR-S to stand out from the crowd. While GReddy had just a week with the FR-S, we can only imagine what the future will bring. Air intake systems, strut tower braces and chassis reinforcements are likely to be among the first additional tuning offerings for the FR-S. Later, we expect to see the aftermarket offering off-road headers, straight pipes, camshafts and maybe even stroker kits. Will there be aftermarket turbo systems? Yes. However, they’ll have to be properly engineered to work with the high-compression engine and D-4S direct-plus-port fuel injection system. Needless to say, the FR-S is going to be a tuner choice for a number of years to come.