Over the last 87 weeks, the slow, agonizing reveal of the Toyota FT-86 (show car)/Toyota 86 (JDM production model)/Toyota GT 86 (Europe)/Scion FR-S (U.S.)/Subaru BRZ (everywhere) has been dribbling a Chinese water torture of information on us. Today's drop, the official U.S. unveiling of the Scion FR-S version, revealed almost no new information. The only true surprise was the fact that we don't have to order the trick 86 boxer badge (above) from Japan. The FR-S will wear the badge even here.
We did get closer to the car than ever before, though, and we've learned a few things about the innards over the last few days, so here's the full MotoIQ brain dump:
First of all, it's the right size. Just a hair bigger than a Miata, but with more space inside. So stop comparing it to that behemoth from Hyundai!
Second, it's reasonably close to the right weight. Japanese versions are supposedly 2689 pounds, but the Japanese tend to weigh their cars dry, offer more stripped-to-the-bone versions (like no stereo, no A/C), and have lighter bumpers and door beams. All indications are that U.S. models will be about 100 pounds heavier.
Third, it was developed with the right attitude. Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada was quoted saying
“There is a Toyota standard for designing new cars. This standard was to a large extent ignored. Why did we do this? There are cars that are accepted by a lot of people. Practical cars that are easy to drive and that do not break easily. These are standard Toyota cars. The 86 is not a car like that. We had to change our design approach for this car. We may have to do this again for other cars.
It is impossible to develop a sports car that appeals to everybody. If you try to please everybody, the car would be half-baked for everybody, and not particularly good for anybody. This car is not developed by a committee, or by consensus.”
Do yourself a favor and go read the rest of that story at The Truth About Cars. We'll still be here when you're done…
Under the hood we know some interesting things.
1: There is no engine cover. You can see the engine when you open the hood! This Tada guy obviously gets it.
2: The engine is a unique mish-mash of Subaru and Toyota technology. The bottom (middle?) end is supposedly based on the new FB20, but the square 86 x 86mm bore and stroke (the standard FB is undersquare) calls that little factoid into question. When Toyota wants to make horsepower, they pick up their red phone and call Yamaha. Yamaha did the 2ZZGE head, the 3SGTE head, and if you go back far enough, they even did the engine in the 2000GT. Word is Yamaha is responsible for the heads on this one too.
Toyota's bizarrely complex but very effective direct and port injection system is in place, with fuel delivery split between two parallel sets of injectors, one in the intake ports and one in the cylinders.
Those Yamaha heads and direct injection are apparently pretty damn knock resistant. Compression is 12.5:1
You already know this, but just for the record, Scion is saying 200 hp at 7000 rpm, 151 lb-ft of torque at 6600 rpm, and redline is 7400 rpm. Those numbers are all very slightly different than we've seen before, but are close enough not to matter.
Other things we can tell from this picture of the engine bay:
The big hose teeing off the intake looks like it's piping sound to the interior. This is a relatively common thing these days. When the intake is placed way up in cold-air land forward of the radiator, the only way to get good intake honkus sounds to the guy making the payments is to pipe the sound in through a membrane (kinda like a rugged speaker cone with no driver) that lets sound pass through without letting unfiltered air slip by. Miatas use these, Mustangs use these, and they're quite common in Europe where drive-by noise regulations make it nearly impossible for a car to sound good without one.
The lack of a power steering pump indicates electric power steering. The fact that it's nearly 2012 also indicates electric power steering. Hope it doesn't suck.
There will never be an all-wheel-drive version. Never.
How can we tell? The front diff needs to be roughly in line with the front wheel centerline, and with a Subaru layout, the front diff sits behind the clutch. In this car, the middle of the engine sits on the front wheel centerline. The engine would have to move forward nearly a foot to make all-wheel drive possible, and that's just not going to happen.
And that's fine with us. The weight distribution is already 53/47. We don't need it any more front heavy.
We were planning to bring you fresh information on the exhaust manifold layout (will the primaries be paired Subaru-style for that off-beat sound, or will they be properly paired for good breathing?) and subframe clearance for future turbo models, but this undercover foiled that plan. At least the car will be slippery.
UPDATE: Tip of the hat to MotoIQ Nerd @Jamal, who pointed us to Hellafunctional, who stole this image from someone over at FT86Club who snapped this shot in the Subaru booth at the Tokyo Motor Show a few days ago . Looks like the engine uses a proper 4-2-1 header, which means it will sound like a proper 4-cylinder, not like a WRX. Love that fact or hate it (I'm on the fence) this manifold is surely a large part of why this engine is capable of 100 hp per liter.
MORE UPDATES: Jay Kavanagh over at InsideLine.com posted these pictures of the Subaru 1.6 turbo sitting right next to the BRZ/86/FT-S engine. Though there are no claims this will go in the 86, it doens't take much imagination to see it being done, either by them or by us. This turbo packaging is very friendly for the 86's FR layout, since there will be tons of room in front for a bigger turbo. This packaging makes a twin-scroll a no-brainer, since you could essentially have the same manifold as the non-turbo engine, but with a turbo flange right after the 4-2 collectors. It would also be much easier to simply put the intercooler in front, where it belongs, and connect to the already forward-facing throttle body.
It's not clear how Subaru is dealing with oil drainage, since the turbo's oil drain is down below the oil line in the pan, but the fact that Subaru already worked it out for us makes it much easier when we turbocharge one of these ourselves.
The dual direct/port injection system now makes perfect sense. It's easier for tuners to leave the direct injectors alone and add bigger port injectors for boosted fueling.