Toyota is showing its conceptual version of its sporty Scion FR-S at Geneva presently, and its chief engineer says a mild hybrid system is in consideration to augment its already strong powertrain.
The popular car has been on sale for only a year now, but according to Autocar, Toyota’s Tetsuya Tada said instead of turbocharging it, they may utilize a motor helper system akin to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), as it “would bring benefits that forced induction does not.”
Namely, electric assistance adds no emissions and produces low rpm torque to add to the power pulses of the internal combustion engine. It’s a formula the big supercar makers are all working on, and is not a surprise to hear of it being considered for more everyday sports cars.
The system, if used, would not be as comprehensive as the Hybrid Synergy Drive used in Toyota’s full hybrids, but Toyota’s management has given the greenlight to update the car after initial concerns that it would sell well at all.
“The management considered the GT86 very risky,” Tada said of the car as it is known in Europe under Toyota badging. “They wanted proof that the ’86 coupe would hit its sales targets before they would sign off on a convertible.
“Now that they have that proof, we can begin to think about other development ideas for the car. But we must guard against compromising any of the key virtues of the standard GT86 in the pursuit of more power.”
A reduction in curb weight in the neighborhood of 220 pounds or more to offset the extra weight of an electric power boost system has been shown possible by Toyota’s TRD tuning department. Also, body fins and plates for the car including underneath have been made to improve aerodynamic profile and make a “pronounced effect” on handling dynamics.