Ever since the production version of the FT-Concept(s) came out in the form of the Toyota 86/GT 86, Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S trio of practically identical rear-wheel drive coupes, everyone has been asking whether a more powerful version, most likely with forced induction, was on the cards.
It made sense as Subaru, which has actually designed the all-new 2.0-liter normally aspirated flat-four with Toyota adding its unique fuel injection system, has a long history of using turbocharged boxer engines in its models.
The company’s engine design department project team manager, Nobuo Kyotoku, was asked the exact same question by WardsAuto, which named the 2.0L FA (the motor’s designation) one of its 10 best engines of the year. The answer was “yes” and “no”…
Yes, a turbocharged version of the all-aluminum FA is already in production: it's under the hood of the newly-introduced Forester crossover and puts out 250HP and 349.4 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque.
And no, because that engine will most definitely not be fitted in the BRZ or its two other siblings. May we ask why?
Because, according to Kyotoku, unlike the high-riding SUV, there’s insufficient space in the engine compartment of the low coupes to add the bottom-mounted turbocharger.
“Developing this high-technology, high-revving, lightweight engine was a difficult challenge and the development time was very short compared to other programs”, he said. “But the idea of the project was to please customers, and we feel very good about the customer feedback we have received.”
What about those customers who feel the chassis can certainly handle more than the 200HP and 204 Nm (151 lb-ft) of torque that’s currently on offer?
Kyotoku-san said that they could improve performance by other means, such as reducing friction and enhancing combustion, or using “electrically-driven accessories”.
By Andrew Tsaousis