We have a confession to make... At last year's SEMA Show, we debuted our Project Garage FR-S without a key ingredient—boost! Because the FR-S and its FA20 boxer engine were so new, most tuners were still working out the kinks on forced induction kits. With time against us, our Rocket Bunny-equipped Scion showed up to the Las Vegas Convention Center without a major power adder and the hood closed. But with the big show out of the way and more time to work with, we finally finished what we set out to do—install the HKS GT Supercharger Kit.
Shipped overnight from Japan, we were like six year-olds on Christmas morning opening the boxes holding goodes like the centrifugal blower, front-mount intercooler and F-CON iS piggyback fuel and ignition controller. The shipment also came with all the plumbing, silicone couplers, pulley and other good stuff for a complete install.
With the help of good 'ol Project Car Gary Narusawa, we spent a full day installing the blower. The whole process was a bit involved and it helped to have more than one person around as it required the removal of the bumper reinforcement, intake system, core support and factory accessory serpentine belt. After a couple hours carefully removing everything, the rest of the day was spent bolting the blower on along with all the necessary brackets, plumbing, traction fluid cooler, new belt, blow-off valve and intercooler. The final piece of the puzzle was the piggyback system which was tucked away behind the glove box next to the factory ECU. A nifty jumper harness links everything together.
As the sun began to set, we fired up our FR-S without any problems. Right away we could hear the whine of the blower and noticed the exhaust note was bolder. While we could drive the car as-is with the basic tune supplied by HKS Japan, we wanted maximum power so enlisted the help of an expert. And what better expert than someone from HKS themselves, engineer Keisuke Morita.
We caught up with Morita-san while he was visiting Evasive Motorsports just down the street from us. With the rumors of him in town, we invaded Evasive with our FR-S and held him hostage until we had what we wanted. Well, we really didn't hold him hostage but Morita-san was happy to help us achive the most powerful tune while still keeping the motor reliable and safe for daily driving.
With our FR-S strapped down on the Mustang dyno rollers at Evasive, Morita-san crunched numbers until he had a tune he was happy to show us—201whp and 176 lb-ft. The biggest jump in horsepower comes from 5400-6250rpm, a gain of 50hp over stock. The same went for the torque curve with roughly 50 lb-ft more between 5100-6360rpm.
Now you're probably telling yourself "that ain't shit." But the supercharger gave us 28% more power over stock and it's noticeable throughout the rev range. You also have to remember that we're running shitty Californian 91-octane, so the numbers might be a little lower compared to other FR-S projects out there.
Our car isn't going to win any light-to-light street races, nor was it ever meant to. But with the superb chassis and sticky Nitto tires we have, plus the extra boost we picked up, it'll be balanced and a frickin' blast on the road course. And if you still hatin' and think it's slow... Well, you can blow us!