Project FR-S: More Power Everywhere with an Intercooler from Innovate Motorsports
With good handling and unbelievable brakes, our FR-S is really hurting for power. In one of our last stories we added an Innovate Motorsports supercharger and got a healthy boost of power across a really wide powerband, we gained power literally everywhere from idle all the way up to the redline.
As a bit of great news we were informed that the Innovate Supercharger has earned a CARB EO so in addition to making nice power, the Supercharger is now 100% smog legal!
We really loved the additional power we got from the Supercharger but we did notice that the power would drop rather quickly with consecutive applications of throttle or on long pulls even with the super efficient screw type compressor. We also saw a drop of around 10-15 hp on the dyno when the blower really got heat soaked. If anything needed an intercooler, this system sure could use one.
Before we could worry about it too much, we had a call from Innovate, they had one of their pre production intercooler kits ready for us to test!
Like the supercharger, the Innovate Motorsports Intercooler kit came very complete with every little bolt, clamp, bracket, hose and fitting needed. The kit also came with some very well written and easy to follow instructions. The completeness of the instructions and kit made the intercooler a very easy upgrade to install.
The heart of the intercooler kit is this highly efficient Laminova water-to-air heat exchanger. It is rated to 400 hp. Although the core encasement looks to be restrictive, extensive testing by Innovate Motorsports has proven it not to be. The intercooler drops right into the plenum of the supercharger intake manifold. The manifold was designed to have the intercooler as an upgrade from day one.
You can see the turbulators and the the intercooler element water passages here in this hole provided for the intercooler's water fittings.
The heat exchanger that cools the water for the intercooler is huge. It has the capacity for more than 400 hp. For instance it is just as big as the heat exchanger on our 504 hp supercharged Project Tundra. The heat exchanger is a dual pass. This generally improves the efficiency of a heat exchanger by around 15% with no added gain in size or weight. With a dual pass the end tanks are blocked in such a way that the water must pass through half of the heat exchanger twice before exiting.
The intercooler system uses a reliable OEM grade Bosch centrifugal electric water pump. These pumps are efficient and quiet in operation as well as reliable. This is the same pump our Project Tundra uses.