There was a lot of anticipation after it was announced last year that American-born Japanese Kenshiro Gushi would be drifting the Scion FR-S (otherwise known as the Toyota 86 in this part of the world) in this year’s Formula Drift USA Series. In partnership with GReddy USA, the objective of this project was simple and straightforward – to build the Scion FR-S and compete in Formula Drift!
The acronyms FR-S in the name means Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive Sports car. Its concept car made its debut last April at the New York International Auto Show and it was officially unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January early this year.
For those unaware, Scion is a North American automotive brand under Toyota Motor Corporation and the FR-S is basically the US-equivalent of the Toyota 86, making it the American sister car to the Subaru BRZ. Scion has been actively involved in racing from drag racing to road racing and even rallying. When asked, they admitted that drifting is probably where they have the most fun!
This is the first drift car for the people at GReddy USA and they faced all kinds of challenges – such as getting parts for the car since they started working on the car before it was released. Scion wanted to reveal this car at the Detroit Autoshow in January, hence GReddy had to build the car in stages and could only begin working on the real Formula Drift specifications after the show.
With limited time to prepare the car, the GReddy team worked really hard, especially the R&D staff, to make sure that the car was ready for testing in early March before the first round of Formula Drift at Long Beach the first week of April. Being their first drift project, they kept everything as simple as possible to ensure reliability and easy maintenance.
Technical partners such as Hankook, KW Suspension, Rays Wheels and Cosworth have been roped in for this project as well, so that the key components of the car are of highest performance and quality. With those taken care of, GReddy can then focus on overall development of the car.
The FR-S originally houses the 2-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru – Subaru’s horizontally opposed engine and Toyota’s D-4S injection system with direct and port injection. This D-4S system, paired with a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, gives 200bhp of power and 205Nm of torque.
GReddy has since taken that stock FA20 engine out for development, in hope of putting it back in the future. Meanwhile, the Cosworth CS600 high performance flat-4 engine has gone in and pushed output up several notches to 600bhp and 678Nm, while engine management is taken care of with the Cosworth ECPro.
Instead of the standard six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual transmission, Gushi shifts his car sideways with the four-speed G Force GSR transmission, along with the Sparco racing steering wheel to direct the car while planted in the Sparco EVO racing seat.
Well fed with GReddy goodies, the GReddy Performance X Scion Racing FR-S features the GReddy TD06SH-25G turbocharger with GReddy R-spec v-mount intercooler, GReddy custom exhaust and GReddy custom brakes for stopping power. The roll cage and chassis were both prepared in-house by GReddy too, along with the SCION Racing GReddy custom aerodynamics kit.
Choosing to install the 3-way KW Clubsport coilover suspension gives the car independent adjustability of compression and rebound damping, which is essential when tuning it for drift set-up. Sitting on Hankook Vetus R-S3 (245/40/ZR17 front and 255/35/ZR-18 rear) tyres, sunlight glint is caught in the Rays Gram Lights 57DR wheels (17×9 +38 on front and 18×9.5 +38 on rear).
On this steep learning curve, GReddy will be constantly developing the car as they go along the Formula Drift Pro Championship in North America. I was lucky enough to be at Long Beach to catch the official drifting debut of this car, watching the flash of white and purplish-blue go smoking past me.
Gushi will continue to help GReddy test and develop this drift project car, hopefully turning it into a winner sometime soon!
Gushi flew across the world to compete in Formula Drift Singapore at the end of June, but his Scion FR-S did not follow him unfortunately.Representing the G-Shock – Kumho Tires Drift Team in Asia, he faced a steering bracket problem and was unable to repeat his podium finish at last year’s Formula Drift Singapore.