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by Jay Traugott
The chief engineer on the Toyota GT86 is against forced induction, but hints that a racing-derived Kinetic Energy Recovery System could be in the cards.
There's been a lot of hype lately surrounding more powerful versions of the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, with TRD developing a supercharger and STI going the turbo route. Both are expected to arrive sometime next year, but the latest reports indicate another kind of boost could be in store for the jointly-developed sportscar in the near future. That boost, account to reports, could come from an F1-style KERS hybrid system.
In a new report coming from Top Gear, Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the Toyota GT-86/FR-S, stated that "I think 300 hp with a turbo and 200g/km of C02 would be tasteless in this day and age. And a turbo would mean the loss of the GT86's uniqueness." So what's his solution? "We're looking at a next-generation hybrid. More like the TS030 Le Mans Prototype." This prototype racer features a Kinetic Energy Recovery System that regenerates brakeforce otherwise lost and stores it in super-capacitors to deliver extra torque when it's needed. Tada confirmed to Top Gear that a prototype has been built, but stopped short of confirming its production.
The hybrid FR-S would likely retain its powertrain, but add the KERS system on top of it. The upshot would be the extra on-demand muscle, but such a system would inevitably carry more heft - something that could have unfortunate consequences for a car that relies on its low weight to deliver its performance. So what do you think, would a KERS system be a welcome addition to the GT86/FR-S, or detract from a winning formula?