Category: Tuning Tips

The HKS Centrifugal Supercharger for the Scion FR-S.

The HKS Centrifugal Supercharger for the Scion FR-S.

We get a lot of questions regarding a Turbo or a Supercharger for the Scion FR-S and it’s availability from Toyota or Subaru, as well as the after market turbo and supercharger kits and their effects on the warranty. I would like to answer some of the questions we get and maybe shed some light on this topic. This is being written as of Monday February 18, 2012, so we will try and update this as more kits become available, factory or aftermarket. Hopefully this page will help you evaluate more clearly if a Turbo or Supercharger is something that is applicable to your particular situation.

Question: What exactly is a Turbo or Supercharger and what can this do for my Scion FR-S?

Answer: A supercharger or turbo are engine components, also called ‘forced induction’, cause more air to be forced into the engine and mixed with fuel which results in greater engine horsepower. The stock Scion FR-S utilizes a 200 4 cylinder engine, by installing a forced induction unit, horsepower can be greatly increased by 20-30%.

The Griffon TRD Project Scion FR-S uses an naturally aspirated engine instead of a turbo, and can outperform a Ferrari 458.

The Griffon TRD Project Scion FR-S uses an naturally aspirated engine instead of a turbo, and can outperform a Ferrari 458.

Question: Does Scion, Toyota or Subaru have a turbo kit in the works for the Scion FR-S, Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ?

Answer: There has been much speculation that Subaru would release a Subaru BRZ STI equipped with a turbo, or one would be released from TRD (Toyota Racing Devlopment’s in house tuning department). As of now, nothing has been confirmed and there is nothing more than a rumor. In fact, the latest update from Subaru indicates that the forth coming Subaru BRZ will not be turbo or supercharged but have a lighter weight and stronger engine. It is unlikely that we will see a factory turbo our supercharger in the near future, if at all.

Question: If I install an aftermarket turbo or supercharger to my car, will it void the warranty?

Answer: Yes, it will void the factory power train and engine warranty.


Question: What aftermarket Scion FR-S Turbo and Superchargers are currently available?

Answer: At the Tokyo Auto Salon there were several vehicles (Toyota 86) fitted with custom turbochargers. As of right now there are no commercially available Scion FR-S turbo kits however Greddy is in development of the Scion FR-S Tuner Turbo Kit. A prototyped version with intercooler has been custom built for Ken Gushi’s Scion Racing/Greddy FR-S. There are currently at least 3 supercharger kits on the market specifically built for the Scion FR-S from HKS, Innovative and Vortech.

Question: What kind of investment in my vehicle would it take to move to a forced induction system?

Answer: At this time it is difficult to determine the cost of Turbo since there are no readily available Scion FR-S Turbo kits. Custom applications can be excessive but again it is difficult to estimate costs on this type of a project. As for the 3 available Scion FR-S superchargers, kits run from $3500-6600. Installation ranges depending on shop rates and skill levels, plus custom intake and exhausts for higher air flow, and tuning/dyno runs. The total cost for a supercharger installation could easily start at around $5500 and easily reach $10,000.

The Vortech Supercharger, installed on the Scion FR-S, blends well with the stock engine components.

The Vortech Supercharger, installed on the Scion FR-S, blends well with the stock engine components.

Question: Of the forced induction systems available on the market for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, which do you recommend and why?

Answer: The Scion FR-S Vortech Supercharger seems to be the weapon of choice for domestically tuned Scion FR-S show cars that we have seen, such as the Daniel Song Scion FR-S GT that took 3rd place in the Scion Tuners Challenge. This product demonstrates the high quality craftsmanship we have come to know from the industry leader in superchargers. We are also optimistic about the Greddy Turbo, coming from an established company that has years of track dominance under its belt. For hard core tuners, the HKS may be a great option but there is no longer a US HKS distributor so you will have to work with an importer to acquire one.

Greddy's T518Z Tuner Turbo Kit

Greddy’s T518Z Tuner Turbo Kit

Question: What other options would you recommend for Scion FR-S tuners looking for a significant increase in power without having to resort to the excessive costs of installing a supercharger or custom turbo system?

Answer: There are many options for tuners to increase performance of their Scion FR-S without having to dedicate large sums of money. Installing a supercharger or turbo is an ‘all-in’ type of investment that requires an extremely large amount of money, rather than a car being built up in segments to achieve the goals of the individual tuner. For a sponsored racer or a tuner with a vast amount of money to invest, a forced induction option might be attainable. But for the vast majority of enthusiasts with budget constraints, not to mention concerns about a factory warranty, other options must be available.

The Toyota Griffon TRD 86 that we reviewed a few months back is the perfect example of the potential of the naturally aspirated Scion FR-S. The Griffon TRD utilized extensive carbon fiber to reduce the weight of the vehicle, while adding performance modifications such as exhaust and intake. In the end, this vehicle was able to outperform a Ferrari 458 lap time at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan. This shows that the importance of power to weight ratio has a great impact on the overall performance of the car.

A Scion FR-S exhaust system is a basic bolt on modification that will add horsepower and reduce some weight.

A Scion FR-S exhaust system is a basic bolt on modification that will add horsepower and reduce some weight.

Basic Bolt On Performance: We would recommend starting out by the most basic bolt on performance accessories that will give you the most dollar per horsepower, these two upgrades are the most common, least expensive and easy to install. A Scion FR-S exhaust system will reduce weight and free up additional horsepower by increasing the size of the piping that allows exhaust to flow out of the vehicles engine. And just as an exhaust helps to be less restrictive on exhaust leaving the vehicle, a Scion FR-S air intake will help to get more air into the engine itself (the concept behind a turbo is forced air induction, while an air intake will just help to maximize free flowing air, thus more horsepower).

Carbon Fiber Parts can help to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle.

Carbon Fiber Parts can help to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle.

Lighten Up the Vehicle: To lighten the vehicle up, carbon fiber can be used to replace the stock panels. Typically a carbon fiber hood is one of the first products used because of the ease of install and the substantial weight difference between a metal and carbon hood. The Scion FR-S carbon fiber hoods on the market do not provide quite the weight advantage of some of the older tuning vehicles because of the use of an aluminum hood, however there are also styling and air induction benefits (for vented hoods) that can be taken into consideration, as well as ‘dry’ carbon fiber for those seeking to maximize power to weight. Dry carbon is expensive to manufacture and therefore purchase, however when trying to offset weight, all options are on the table due to the much higher costs of force induction set ups. The Scion FR-S carbon fiber trunk does shave a noticeable amount of weight from the rear of the vehicle, and for people looking to maximize weight savings, other parts such as Fenders and Roof Panels can be removed and replaced with carbon variants. Again, dry carbon will maximize weight savings but are more expensive parts than the ‘wet laid’ counter parts. Lastly, many of the tuning wheels on the market are designed to be much lighter weight than stock, and due to the rotational properties of wheels, a lb saved off the wheels equals two pounds off the car when acceleration is considered. Also, FRP (fiberglass) bumper replacement kits will typically be slightly lighter than stock urethane bumpers, but careful consideration should be made as FRP parts are less durable than stock bumpers.

Modifying your Scion FR-S for more power can be a fun and gradual project for any tuner. Turbo applications are great but also think of the alternatives and what will suit your needs best.


Tuning Tip for Overheated Braking System on Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ Track Cars APR Performance has taken point on a solution to the high temperatures of the braking system of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. These pre-pregnated carbon fiber pieces attach to the backing plate of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ brake systems. A tube allows cool air from the front of the bumper to route cool air to the brake backing plate to help reduce high braking temperatures.



The photo above shows how this setup works, heat resistant hose is directed through the front bumper and funnels cool air to the carbon fiber brake track connectors. This allows for cool air to increasingly be dispersed to the brake rotor surface under high speeds. You can also see how these hoses are specifically designed to work in conjunction with APR’s carbon fiber brake ducts, which can be used as a styling element with or without the cooling unit.


The photo above shows the under side of the vehicle with both the wheel and wheel well cover removed. You can see how the high temperature hosing is routed from the front bumper and connects with the carbon fiber connection pieces. The photo below shows the carbon fiber brake ducts with the high temp hose connected behind it.


This new component is extremely light weight, heat resistant and will compliment the complete line of APR Performance products that help to bring the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S to its highest potential on the track. This brake cooling unit is designed to work with stock brake setups or with an aftermarket big brake kit. APR is a leading manufacturer of track racing products made out of carbon fiber for many of today’s high performance vehicles. APR Performance has a complete line of carbon fiber parts for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.

APR Performance Lineup for Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ:

More details

Related Items


  • Scion FR-S Big Brake Kits


Rocket Bunny Wide Body Kit for Scion FR-S

Rocket Bunny Wide Body Kit for Scion FR-S

There is no doubt that the Scion FR-S and its sister vehicles (Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ) are remarkable vehicles with an unprecedented variety of aftermarket accessories available. The 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas and the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon allowed for a peak into what will be coming out for this vehicle in the way of body kits and exterior styling. Two distinct styles were presented in each show, at the SEMA show the styling was more of a ‘tuner’ look with track and drift relevance, while the Tokyo Auto Salon wowed the crowd with less functional and more aesthetically pleasing designs, many of which took on the VIP and Executive look of giving the vehicle the high end look. What is great is that each show displayed the versatility of this vehicle in tuning to your particular taste.

The many factors to consider when purchasing a Scion FR-S body kit. Many tuning enthusiasts only consider one or two elements when purchasing a body kit. It can be a time and financial investment so there are many factors to look into and must be evaluated before your purchase. Some of these factors include:

  • Price
  • Material (carbon fiber, FRP (fiberglass), ABS plastic, urethane
  • Ease of installation
  • Type of body kit (lip kit, diffuser kit, full bumper replacement kit)
  • Purpose (show, track, drift, street, aesthetics and general use, mixed use)
  • Availability of installers near you
  • Look of the kit

Lets look at each of these factors a little more closely and take each into consideration when purchasing a body kit for your Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ.

Price -

This is the most common determining factor in purchasing a body kit but often can be the most misleading. Body kit development and manufacturing has come a long way since the old Fast and Furious days of cheap fiberglass kits that were paper thin and required an enormous amount of work. Some FRP kits still do require quite a bit of work, even more so when considering a wide body kit that takes many hours to put on. Often you can find an inexpensive kit that will cost a large sum to finish, paint and install. We’ll go over that later in the materials section, but for now just keep in mind that price is not the end all-be all. A full bumper kit may require many extra hours of work as opposed to a lip kit, and both will require paint. On the other hand, a carbon fiber lip kit can be installed without paint and mounted to the existing bumpers which saves on both materials and installation rate. Lastly you will want to consider the durability of the part, is it a FRP part that can easily get damaged or something that will last a lot longer.

An FRP Wide Body Kit has a very desirable look, but cost of installation must be considered.

An FRP Wide Body Kit has a very desirable look, but cost of installation must be considered.

Material –

Body kits are made of several different types of materials and it is important to get a grasp of the pros and cons of each type of material for your Scion FR-S body kit.

FRP – FRP stands for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic, which is the engineering term for what most people call fiberglass. So when you hear FRP or Fiberglass or Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic you are typically talking about the same thing. FRP is the least costly to manufacturer and the easiest to repair if damaged. The cost and easy ability to replicate designs make FRP the most common material used in body kits, upwards of 95% of the market is FRP. FRP also holds paint better than other types of materials.

While there are many very good FRP body kits on the market, there are also many poor quality kits as well. The explosion of the tuning industry made many cheap replicas come out on the market and has given the industry a bad reputation. Often people are weary to buy an FRP body kit because of this. There are many good FRP kits out there but be weary on very cheap kits as often you will get what you pay for (or less) if you get something that costs $350 but $1000 to install and lasts only a couple of years. This is a one way ticket to frustration and expense.

Polyurethane – also just called urethane is a flexible and rubberish material that is used on most stock bumpers and some body kits. Polyurethane has excellent fitment properties making it easier to install. The downside of urethane is it costs more to manufacturer and therefore less available and more expensive compared to FRP. If your vehicle has a polyurethane option available for it, it is most definitely worth considering purchasing for the ease of installation and durability factors.

ABS Plastic – ABS as it is called is similar to polyurethane but a bit more rigid. ABS is not used in very many body kits on the market but you do see it from time to time. As of this writing I do not know of any body kits made of ABS plastic for the Scion FR-S. ABS typically fits great but might be a bit fragile in extreme cold (becoming more brittle) so typically it is used for lip kits where there is less of a chance of it flexing and breaking.

Carbon Fiber – Carbon fiber (also called CFRP, carbon fiber reinforced plastic) is typically what is used for most carbon fiber hoods, kits, trunks and other parts in the automotive industry, also called ‘wet laid’ carbon fiber. This type of product is a carbon fiber fabric laid over a FRP mold and then the resins are injected and hardened, then the product is finished with a clear coat. The other type of carbon fiber used mostly on very expensive race cars is called ‘dry’ carbon and is the same type of carbon used in the aerospace industry. The cost of “dry” carbon is typically 3-4 times that of the cost of wet laid carbon. Most items you will find are wet laid unless otherwise specified, and you will know it judging by the price.

Carbon fiber typically is meant to be installed as is, a finished product, and can potentially save cost over a similar item that has to be painted. For example, a lip kit that costs $1299 and a carbon fiber lip kit that costs $1599 you may see a price difference of $300 but when the standard lip kit requires paint and prep, you may spend more on that than the carbon fiber version.

Ease of Installation -

APR Performance Track Series Body Kit for Scion FR-S

APR Performance Track Series Body Kit for Scion FR-S

The easiest type of kit that can be installed would be a ‘diffuser’ style body kit that uses diffusers and/or splitters that mount to the underside of the vehicles bumpers and rocker panels. A good example of this would be the APR Performance Track Series Body Kit. As you can see in this example, the parts do not need to replace existing parts and basically bolt to the bumpers and rockers, furthermore this kit is made of carbon fiber, therefore no prep (sanding, shaving, filling) or paint is required.

The next easiest kit would be a carbon fiber lip kit, this of course will also not require shaving or filling but you will have to remove the bumpers and mount the lip pieces to the bumpers and rockers. This is not much more difficult to install than the diffuser kit mentioned above.

Paintable lip kits would be next in line, with polyurethane being a bit easier to install than an FRP part which would likely involve a little bit more prep work. Full bumper replacement kits would be the next hardest and just like in the case of lip kits, polyurethane would be a preferable material from an installation perspective to FRP. Lastly a wide body kit would be the most difficult to install because this would require additional body work to mount the fender flares.

Type of Body Kit, Desired Look and Desired Use -

The next determining factor is what you plan on using the body kit for. Are you using it to add some style to your vehicle, or will it be used on the track and require the most amount of down force? Or something in between?

Nearly all body kits will give your vehicle a stylish upgrade so it is important to find one that you like the look of. Also most body kits will give your vehicle some sort of functional down force under higher speeds. A wide body kit will also help vehicles that are destined for track use utilize wider tires/wheels for optional traction while shielding the additional width from the wind.

Summary - 

Make sure to take all of these factors into consideration when choosing a body kit. Take your time to explore all the details, don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer and ask details. It is also a good idea to research installers, every shop has different materials rates and experience levels (time to completion). A body kit will change the look of your vehicle, most of the time for the better but if not done right it could be time and money consuming.

Our Picks for Best Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ Body Kits -

Best Overall Scion FR-S Body Kit would have to go to Five Axis for the Scion FR-S Five:AD Body Kit. This body kit is a relatively low cost kit at $1299 and even comes with a pre painted option of $799. Most body kits on the market do not allow for pre-painting (typically they must be color matched and dry fit first). Also this kit is made of a flexible polyurethane material and is easy to install. Lastly the kit looks amazing! Good enough for the Five:AD edition to be sold in dealerships and good enough to be used on the #2 place for the Scion FR-S SEMA Tuners Challenge!

Best down force kit for track use would have to go to APR Performance for the Scion FR-S Track Series Carbon Fiber Body Kit. APR is no stranger to downforce, in fact they specialize in it. All parts from APR are functional to say the least and tested in real world applications. APR Products are used by track racers around the world and it is a dominant brand in the market.

Best Wide Body Kit will go to the Rocket Bunny Wide Body by Greddy. This kit was designed by TRA Kyoto designs in Japan and is featured on the Fatlace Scion FR-S. The price for the Rocket Bunny is $2700 and includes the fender flares and full down force body kit package.




The Scion FR-S or Toyota 86 as it is known outside of the USA market, recieved a thorough reworking in the name of the Griffon TRD Concept that sheds 500lbs off the wieght of the vehicle and allows this naturally aspirated sports car the ability to dish out top end speed at a fraction of the cost of some of the vehicles it can surpass. One of those vehicles is the Ferarri 458 Italia that ran a 1:02.24 lap time at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, while the Griffon TRD beat it by a slight margin at 1:01:872 on a naturally aspirated engine.

Scion FR-S, Toyota 86 Griffon Concept TRD

The Griffon TRD vehicle utilizes extensive carbon fiber to significantly increase power to weight ratio. This project car illustrates the functionality of carbon fiber products to replace stock parts and allow the vehicle to become more agile around the corners as well as getting up to speed at a quicker pace. It is suprising to hear that this vehicle can perform so well and do it without a turbo or supercharger. One thing to keep in mind, many of the carbon parts such as the hood, doors, fenders and trunk remove weight from the top and outsides of the vehicle which changes the balance of weight, shifting it to the lower portion of the vehicle and therefore allowing for better agility and traction.

Scion FR-S, Toyota 86 Griffon Concept TRD

In addition to utilizing carbon fiber, graphite bumpers and polycarbon windows replace the stock urethane bumpers and glass. Below is a list of exterior upgrades for the Griffon TRD Concept that have allowed such a significant weight reduction.

Scion FR-S Tuning Tip -

Many new tuners neglect to understand the importance of weight reduction as opposed to power increase via forced induction. Forced induction such as turbo and superchargers give a big boost in power, but the cost can be excessive as does the installation work, maintainance and warranty issues that must be addressed. For tuners who are seeking the most ‘bang for the buck’, look to bolt on modifications that enhance the vehicles power without voiding the warranty, things like intakes, exhausts and pair it with weight reducing parts such as carbon fiber hoods, trunks, fenders and spoilers such as the parts listed for this vehicle. The Grifton TRD Concept is an amazing performance machine built on a naturally aspirated platform, you could say the ultimate sleeper.

Available aftermarket exterior products:

Custom exterior products

  • Custom GFRP front bumper
  • Custom GFRP rear bumper
  • Custom carbon fiber doors
  • Custom polycarbonate windows