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Will the updated 2017 Scion FR-S get a power bump from a new electric turbocharger?

2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0
Image used with permission by copyright holder
A top Toyota executive has provided insight into what we can expect from the updated Scion FR-S that’s expected to land as a 2017 model.

Speaking with Australian website Motoring, Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada revealed that the update will cover every single part of the car. For starters, the coupe will be given a minor facelift that will bring a new front bumper with a revised air dam as well as new-look lights on both ends. Certain markets — including Japan — will be able to order a carbon fiber roof panel at an extra cost, though whether the option will be offered in the United States isn’t known at this point.

The current FR-S’ 2.0-liter flat-four engine will benefit from a slight increase in power that will be complemented by brake and suspension modifications. However, Tada again downplayed the possibility of introducing a turbocharged FR-S.

“I think turbo is a really easy solution. I always say that we try to show something new, always something challenging,” explained the engineer. He pointed out that fitting the coupe with the Subaru WRX’s turbocharged flat-four wouldn’t be good for fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

There is a catch: While a conventional, exhaust-driven turbocharger has been ruled out for packaging reasons, Tada is open to the idea of fitting the FR-S with an electric turbocharger. Sister company Subaru has recently hinted it’s also looking at fitting its STI-tuned models with an electric turbo.

The updated Scion FR-S will land in showrooms in time for the 2017 model year, meaning it will likely be introduced at a major auto show either later this year or early next year. It will be slightly more expensive than the outgoing model, a move that will make room for the production version of the S-FR concept that was previewed at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

What’s next?

Tada explained that the development of the FR-S is an on-going process. The facelifted model detailed above is currently undergoing shakedown testing, and his team has already started working on a brand new version of the coupe that’s expected to hit the market in about three years.

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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