Under the skin of the Scion FR-S, Toyota 86, Toyota GT-86, or Subaru BRZ

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:

Under the skin of the Scion FR-S, Toyota 86, Toyota GT-86, or Subaru BRZ

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 skin of the Scion FR-S, Toyota 86, Toyota GT-86, or Subaru BRZ

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. 

Scion FR-S underbody

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.

FR-S, GT86, 86, BRZ exhaust manifold

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.

Subaru BRZ Turbo, toyota 86 turbo, scion fr-s turbo

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. 

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Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:57 AM
This is the only new car I'm the least bit excited about! Looks like Toyota/Subaru are heading in the right direction with it. Toughest decision is which version to get.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:33 AM
Hey, did you guys use my grey Mustang in that infographic? :-P

I really WANT to like this car, but it needs more power. I really hope a turbocharged variant is in the works.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:08 AM
does anyone else wish it had a single exhaust?
Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:25 AM
I've been waiting for this kind of article on the car. I'm pretty excited for it, and may replace my civic with one when the time comes.

It's interesting (although not too surprising) to see how much of the car is Subaru. I would have thought mostly just the engine would be from Subaru and the chassis would be from Toyota/Lexus. To see basically Impreza suspension under it is a real surprise.

As for the power rating, I think it's perfect given the target demographic and the size/weight. The last thing Toyota wants is legions of young people driving small overpowered cars that are hard to control due to short wheelbase and low weight. Around where I live many BMW 335i's are being wrapped around trees because of this.

Plus I think there is enough tuning potential in this engine that it could make a decent high RPM screamer or a nice turbo build with lower comp pistons. Having the intake manifold facing the front is sure to be a relief for the turbo guys.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:07 AM
MotoIQ linking to The Truth about cars? What next Dave Coleman and Murilee Martin co authoring an article? (Not that either of these things is a bad thing ;-)

The quote from Tetsuya Tada is classic Toyota doing something out of the norm just to see what happens mentality.
The past attempts at breaking the mold have been a HUGE success for Toyota. The Lexus brand and the Prius, love it or hate it, was born from this mentality at Toyota. If you've never read the Toyota way I highly recommend it. This culture at Toyota is what drives them when they create awesome cars.

Also don't forget that the 4A-GE heads were designed by Yamaha as well
Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:13 AM
Nice, pretty excited to see this car in person, and test drive it. I think I might be looking at the car that replaces my RX8.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:32 AM
If the Toyota version uses a Toyota ECU, and the Subaru uses a relatively standards Subaru ECU,I'd go for the Subaru BRZ. Why? Subaru ecus have been hacked and easy to reflash with freeware. Toyota ECUs? I don't think anyone has hacked one. Well, probably a lot of that has to do with Toyota not having anything worth hacking up to this point.....
Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:44 AM
press releases have been saying both will have a tunable ecu for a long time now...
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:00 AM
@spdracerut I read some where that the first gen will be the EXACT car across the board with the exception of badges and front and rear cosmetics. The second gen would be more diverse.

Back in the 90's they had the General motors GEO/Corrolla shared platforms with the 4A and the 7A they used the Toyota ECU. So I think it's safe to say that the first gens will have the same ecu. I'd be willing to bet that it would be a Subaru style ECU if I had to guess. (Heck, both are probably manufactured buy Nippon Denso.)
John N. Frink
John N. Frinklink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:03 AM
Everything but the front bumper and 86 badge seems to be common between the two cars, so I'd expect them to share an ECU. The little plastic badge/cover on the intake manifold plenum even has both Toyota and Subaru on it. They didn't even make unique parts for that! No way they'll have separate ECUs.

The fact that it runs Toyota's dual-injector system strongly suggests a Toyota system.

Also, I've heard plenty of talk about trying to make the car easy to tune, but none specifically saying it will have a tunable ECU. @warmmilk, if you have a link to Toyota or Subaru saying that, share it with us and I'll update the story.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:06 AM
pk386, i'm giving Murilee a ride to the airport on Sunday, so we'll see what I can do!
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:09 AM
^^^ Like ^^^
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:13 AM
I first saw the piped sound to the interior on a ford focus and it took me a while to figure out what the hell it was.
Turbo Shangbanger
Turbo Shangbangerlink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:14 AM
I hope they bring it to China and I hope that they don't make it 3x the actual price. That would be NICE... I think this car is totally sweet! Bet that flat 4 would sound spectacularrrrrr with an equal length header and some ITBs.
Turbo Shangbanger
Turbo Shangbangerlink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:21 AM
"They want small compact cars that are controllable, that they can tune themselves. However, that kind of sports car is not on the market. Therefore, these sports car enthusiasts are forced to continue to use older cars from a long time ago, because there is no new alterative on the market.”

That is the absolute truth in the matter...
Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:23 AM
@ Dave Coleman Are you driving the Mazda variant of it? :)
A guy from the NW
A guy from the NWlink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:04 AM
Those front calipers look a hell of a lot like the 2005 Legact GT front calipers I just put on my WRX....
Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:35 AM
that rear end looks very much like the one in my altezza. 7.5" i would bet its a 4:10 when it comes out. lots of ratios available
Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:45 AM
exhaust manifold is equal length like every n/a subaru since 06, although shaped a little differently since the oil pan doesn't have to be so far forward to clear a steering rack and stuff:


as for front camber adjustment, it's hard to tell if that's an eccentric bolt or not from the picture of the back of it. On a Subaru, the thread pitch of a camber bolt is the same as the standard bolts and they use the same size wrench on both ends. If we could see the head of the bolt it would be a little more clear. Front control arms look a lot like current impreza as well. sti aluminum upgrade which widens the track and adds camber? Front calipers look 03+ wrx ish.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:46 AM
There's a 100+ page thread on supraforums on the car and there are a few links in there about the ecu.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 11:10 AM
@warmmilk, can you post up the cliffnotes on the ECU?

So this thing is looking like a Subaru chassis and engine, Toyota fuel injection/ecu and drivetrain. Lexus has the 6-speed manual out of the IS250.... and GCMBob says the rear looks like that of an Altezza. Hmmm...
Thursday, December 01, 2011 11:42 AM
oh and the axle-back looks just like the 08+ sti hatch. Probably how greddy already has an exhaust on one.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 12:37 PM
The differential is without a doubt a Toyota unit, straight from the IS250 and similar to ones used in moderately-powered Toyota RWD cars for a while... IS300, Supra non-turbo, etc.

Here's an IS250 diff (upside down):

Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:36 PM
Yep, looks like the IS250 diff, right down to the dimple in the diff cover by the "11.7.14" stamp.

The propaganda machine is doing an excellent job of making me want one. I want one.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:53 PM
OS Giken makes a diff upgrade for the IS250, so that takes care of that. I know a big brake kit is already in the works if not already completed. If the suspension looks like Impreza parts, hopefully existing coilovers setups will bolt in just requiring revalving and 86/BRZ specific spring rates.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:01 PM
At quick glance the differential looks similar to the one on my IS300....
Chris H
Chris Hlink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:08 PM
At first i was unsure about this car, but damn i may have to buy the Subaru version and tune the suspension and install some unequal length headers if possible??
Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:12 PM
I'm a little angry about the wheel PCD. I was looking forward to being a completely mood driven 5x114.3 wheel whore.
Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:04 PM
@Chris H, unequal length headers are a terrible idea. In fact jdm sti's haven't used them for many years, but of course the usdm gets stuck with it:(
Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:11 PM
Can anyone comment on the Toyota 6-speed? If in fact that is who made the transmission. I would have thought a Subaru unit would have been a better choice, given the high reliability of their 6-speed.

Maybe they don't know how to make out without a front diff in it :)
abunai s13.5
abunai s13.5link
Thursday, December 01, 2011 8:44 PM
the diff looks like a R200 am i rite do i get a cookie
Thursday, December 01, 2011 8:55 PM
abunai s13.5, sorry, we already determined it's from the IS250. Read the comments above.
John N. Frink
John N. Frinklink
Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:34 PM
No cookie for you! Story has been updated. Mystery mostly solved.
Mark F
Mark Flink
Friday, December 02, 2011 4:32 AM
"Also don't forget that the 4A-GE heads were designed by Yamaha as well"

Don't forget the true roots of that engine.
Friday, December 02, 2011 8:24 AM
The turbo on the 1.6L appears to have an oil scavenge system similar to the Porshce 911 turbo. That silver thing under the turbo basically looks like an oil drain pan for the turbo which can then be scavenged.
Friday, December 02, 2011 10:10 AM
Agreed. There would be no other intuitive purpose for having a small sub-tank right there.
Friday, December 02, 2011 2:31 PM
the low mount turbo Legacy GT has a little oil pan for the turbo and a cam driven scavenge pump.
Friday, December 02, 2011 3:33 PM
Equal length headers...finally.
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Friday, December 02, 2011 5:29 PM
There's a press launch video on YT somewhere that says the transmission is an Altezza unit, but with so many changes it's basically all new.

I'm interested to learn the details of the intake honkus. It looks like there's a vacuum canister on it (open the sound-good valve when the throttle is open...). However, the placement on the outside of the elbow going to the TB has to mess with flow. Will people give up some good engine sound for another 5 hp (just a guess)? And not to mention, that's a really tight 90 bend.

Also, I really want to see what happens with better headers/front cat and eliminating the point where the cat-back is flattened like road kill as it passes under the inboard CV joint.

This will be fun!
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:03 PM
I've already been getting blown up about his and some other GDI engines on the market. So I did lots of talking, digging, poking and prodding at PRI and before the last year. So I'll be getting to guinea pig some parts and EM platforms. I need to bug the guys at Cobb too to see what they have planned. As an 'industry insider' I already know the hurdles that 'could' come with upgrading GDI injectors (which I would hands down do over port injection)so, I'm trying to get the EM guys to the table with the injector guys so were can work out trim issues and make then uniform.
Regardless, I'm excited about it and looking forward to digging in.
A good solution may finally be on the way for the N54/55 engine, 997.2 Porsches, numerous D4-S (stupid system) base engines, VW/Audis, and various other GDI cars!!

As for this car, seeing the sum of parts, I'm not surprised. I have the feeling they took the engineers, gave a small budget and the engine being the goal and said use what we already have between Subaru and Toyota. I hope it turned out well and will certainly be on the waiting list for some NA and FI development.
Sunday, December 04, 2011 7:31 PM
I'm not surprised at all about the bolt pattern of the wheels. With the WRX and Legacy still running on 5x100, there is no chance that the car would have 5x114. Also have to consider the fact that most if not all of Toyota's small cars also run 5x100 (Corolla, Matrix, tC)

That 1.6L turbo may or may not make it into the BRZ because that's supposed to be there new engine. If anyone paid attention to their "Concept Sports Tourer" or something to that name, they are putting in a 1.6L turbo hybrid drivetrain. Its a good dream to hold on though.

I remember a time where 200 was a big power number. Now its slow even at 300hp. I don't even think I can handle a properly tuned 200hp car, let alone 300. Yeah its a bit of a bummer compared to other cars, but everyone needs to wake up and realized the closest competitor to the 86/BRZ is the Miata, and the Miata only has 155hp. Its not a 300hp Mustang or Genesis Coupe.
John N. Frink
John N. Frinklink
Sunday, December 04, 2011 9:22 PM
Miatas are 167 hp these days, but that doesn't really chance your point. I totally agree, most people don't even know how to REALLY use 200 hp, especially in a reasonably light car.

Oh, and to be clear, I don't think the 1.6 turbo will go in the BRZ either, but if a 2.0 turbo does find its way in there, expect the layout to look like this. Even if it doesn't, this is a handy hint for how we should do it ourselves...
Monday, December 05, 2011 7:33 AM
I suspect the 1.6L will be reserved for the next STI. Hear me out for why...

The current WRC rules only allow 1.6L turbo engines, and are based on smaller chassis than before. Subaru has mentioned recently that the next STI will be based on a separate platform from the Impreza. This plus the development of a 1.6L turbo engine leads me to believe that Subaru is planning on relaunching the STI as a smaller hatch or coupe for purposes of racing in the WRC again.

The only issue with that plan of course is that I am pretty sure WRC requires the engines be transverse. That will make for an interesting installation of a boxer engine unless I am incorrect on that rule.

Monday, December 05, 2011 7:40 AM
That's a really good point about the new rules Erik..
Monday, December 05, 2011 8:04 AM
Meanwhile, Subaru has already the race car prepared for the japanese championship, well worth taking a look.
Gentlemen, teh Subaru BRZ GT300:
Monday, December 05, 2011 10:40 AM
Hmm.. interesting point about the 1.6L engine. Though I don't see Subaru going to WRC, but I'm pretty sure 1.6L is the displacement of the Global Race Engine used heavily in touring car racing. So BMW basically uses the same 1.6L engine based on the Mini engine for its WRC cars and its touring cars. Ford uses the 1.6L Ecoboost for touring cars.
But I also know that Subaru is coming out with 2.0L turbo engines for its newer models, downsizing from the current 2.5L.
Friday, December 09, 2011 11:02 PM
Recently, I read a Motor Trend article explaining the technical features of the Toyota D-4S fuel injection system. At low and medium engine loads, the system utilizes direct and port fuel injection. At high engine loads, the system utilizes direct fuel injection only. Presumably, at high engine loads, it's possible to significantly increase fuel supply by simply switching the port fuel injection on. For modest power level increases (e.g., low-pressure forced induction), it may not require any fuel system upgrades. The port fuel injectors are probably small though, given that they exist primarily for high fuel economy, low emissions and drivability. If that's the case, there may be problems operating at high load (e.g., duty cycle, etc.) Does anyone have additional information about the system? Is anybody tuning these systems yet?
Friday, December 09, 2011 11:28 PM
The EMS will be flash programmable, correct?
Saturday, December 10, 2011 7:46 AM
I believe Toyota developed the port and direct injection system due to some issues with running direct only. I want to say that with DI only, at the lower engine speeds and loads, the spray pattern of the DI and air flow characteristics at those lower loads would cause deposits to build up in the intake valve seating surface. So by running port injection at the same time, the fuel coming through the ports cleans off the intake valves preventing deposits.

As for the ECU, I just got word that Toyota had absolutely nothing to do with it, purely Fuji Heavy, i.e. Subaru. So that's a great sign towards the ecu being easier to crack once it's out.
Saturday, December 10, 2011 8:55 AM
Thanks spdracerut. I believe the MT article mentioned the carbon deposit issue, but other manufacturers are building GDI-only engines. Perhaps they are using other methods to address the same issue (e.g., different materials or coatings)? I'm glad to hear that they're using a Subaru ECU. It seems like the aftermarket has a good handle on them.
Friday, December 16, 2011 8:00 PM
I don't believe the buildup is an issue till high mileage rears it's head (over 150K, maybe over 200K). Our 07' Mazdaspeed3 is at 100K and hasn't had any motor related problems at all, other than an EGR tube that clogged (that's not GDI related).

I do believe I've read that Mazda has a solution they implemented on the new Skyactiv engines though to prevent the buildup from ever accumulating.
Valters Boze
Valters Bozelink
Friday, December 23, 2011 12:41 AM
pop the ecu for aftermarket unit, use the secondary injectors for meth, LOL, it would wash away all the deposits :D
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