Toyota Considering High Performance Hybrid Engine For Scion FR-S

Toyota engineers are weighing the possibility of a hybrid engine, possibly a KERS type, to propel the company’s sporty FR-S – the top-of-the-range coupe in its price-conscious Scion line.

According to Motor Trend, Toyota Scion FR-S chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said the company is looking for a surprise, “something unique,” as the drivetrain to possibly power the next-generation FR-S.

“For example a hybrid motor,” said Tada.

In the quest to give the FR-S a serious boost in the engine room, Tada dismisses going the conventional route.

“I think 300 horsepower with a turbo would be tasteless in this day and age,” Tada said. “If we pursue power without regard to fuel consumption, the market won’t accept it. And a turbo would mean the loss of the GT86′s uniqueness.”

GT86 is the Euro badging for the FR-S – the car’s North American model name.

Tada cites the performance-oriented nature of the FR-S as reasoning for pursuing a different hybrid platform, like the one found in the TS030 Le Mans Prototype, rather the more traditional Atkinson Cycle hybrid found in the Prius. The Atkinson engines typically sacrifice high-revving power for fuel-sipping fuel economy.

The TS030 has a KERS system, with six-speed transmission and electric drive to the rear wheels in parallel with the gas engine.

Motor Trend doubts a KERS-type hybrid is in the production phase for the FR-S, but notes that Tada is a fan of the KERS powertrain, the likes of which is found in the pending Porsche 918 Spyder.

Toyota also has a joint venture in hybrid development with BMW, and the German automaker’s i8 uses a hybrid system with a KERS similar to that in the 918.

The article speculates a hybrid-powered FR-S would retail in the $30,000 range. The 2012 FR-S has a starting MSRP of $24,995.

Motor Trend

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  • Van

    Not sure if the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, KERS, refers to a storage battery system or a flywheel system.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    It looks like the Toyota Supra…


  • Eric B

    They’ll need to be pretty careful, though: that car is super lightweight, and that’s a HUGE part of its handling prowess and fun-to-drive factor. Hybrid and electric powertrains add a lot of weight to a car.