Toyota’s lovely 86 will most likely lose boxer engine but gain overall power thanks to KERS.
It looks like Toyota is working hard given the limited amount of resources it has allocated to update the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S. According to our motoring friends in Australia on their piece they dropped earlier today (July 31, 2015) Toyota is enjoying their newfound partnership with Mazda to cater their Skyactiv 1.5 liter powerplant from the MX-5 Miata for use in the Scion FR-S. To add to the drama, it seems like Toyota’s current partner, Subaru, is throwing shade on the entire Toyota 86 project altogether. A few Subaru executives are upset that Toyota’s 86 has watered down Subaru’s image of boxer engines and all-wheel drive systems. We think they’d change their tune a bit if they were selling better (which they aren’t btw. Subaru only sold 550 units in the United States in June.)
It does look like Toyota does have its priorities in order when it comes to the next generation 86. Better fuel economy, performance, and cost are all things Toyota is looking to improve. Mazda’s Skyactiv technology should help with MPG’s. Currently, the Scion FR-S gets 25 City/34 Highway while Mazda’s 1.5 get’s 27 city/36 highway.
Performance wise, rumor is that Toyota’s next power unit in collaboration with Mazda puts out around 190 HP. That’s five percent less power than Subaru’s power unit, but Toyota plans to throw KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) technology into the mix. In Formula 1 during seasons past, KERS can provide a roughly 80 HP boost over 6.6 seconds. Volvo infamously was experimenting with KERS last year in their Volvo S60 and achieved a boost of 80 HP for up to ten seconds. Volvo’s system cut 0-60 times by more than 1.6 seconds and had a turbolike effect. According to Top Gear, “Hit the KERS button and it puts on speed with a head butt, like a turbo-era hot hatch that’s found some boost.”
Here’s what we predict power will be numbers-wise for the next generation Scion FR-S with KERS. We feel Toyota might bump up displacement to 1.6 liters and bring power to around 190 HP naturally aspirated. Look for Toyota’s KERS System to add a 30-40 HP boost for anywhere between five-10 seconds. This might be good enough to drop FR-S’s 0-60 mph time to somewhere in the mid-5 second range.