Drifter Ken Gushi To Pilot Scion FR-S At Pikes Peak
Scion is turning to someone familiar with both the car and course as it mounts a challenge on this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, drift star Ken Gushi.
Gushi won last year's Exhibition Auto Class at Pikes Peak driving a Lexus IS F CCS-R, and returns this year behind the wheel of a car he already knows well from his drifting competitions—the Scion FR-S. A specially prepared FR-S will be entered in the Time Attack 1 Division, a class featuring everything from the FR-S to Mitsubishi Evolutions, Porsche 911 GT3s, BMW M3s and even a Volkswagen Jetta.
“No race on earth is quite like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and I can’t wait to conquer it in a car I love: the Scion FR-S,” said Gushi of the challenge ahead. “Every turn of this course requires the best performance out of the driver and vehicle," he added, "...and racing fans will love what they see.”
Gushi's FR-S is prepared by GReddy Racing, and is a long way from stock. The car's suspension has been tuned specially for the unique challenges of racing up the mountain, and new performance and safety components have been added. The car produces 500 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque—though Gushi can expect a lot less by the time he reaches Pikes Peak's 14,115-ft summit, where the thin air leaves even powerful engines gasping for oxygen.
This year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the 92nd running of the event, takes place June 29.
Our spies caught on camera a Toyota GT 86 prototype featuring several lightweight body parts while testing in Germany at the Nürburgring.
It seems the mid-cycle refresh Toyota is planning for the GT 86 is more complex than originally believed as a prototype was seen testing on the 'Ring featuring what appears to be a carbon fiber hood with dual air intakes to increase engine cooling. The same lightweight material was also used for the roof and trunk where we also notice a large fixed wing.
For the moment it's not known whether these added parts will be available through a special edition GT 86 or will be offered as an optional package. GT 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada recently said the facelifted GT 86 could make use of a larger boxer engine along with improved exhaust and intake systems developed in collaboration with Gazoo Racing. Also expect to find a modified final drive ratio for more intense accelerations.
Following the 2015 GT 86's introduction, Toyota will start work on the second generation model which might end up being co-developed with BMW rather than Subaru. The model could be offered with some form of hybridization and will be out before the end of the decade.
Let’s face it – if you’ve driven a stock Toyota GT86, you know that it’s a really great car to be in on a twisty road. The speeds you achieve are never particularly high, but the fun factor is definitely there, especially when your only contact with the tarmac are a set of low-rolling resistance tires it borrowed from a Prius…
However, there are ways of getting more out of it, obviously, and Car Throttle tried out two of the most basic ones. For starters, the TRD version, Toyota’s idea of a more hardcore GT86 comes with a noticeable body kit, bigger wheels and brakes, plus a slightly noisier exhaust. Aside from that, it’s pretty much standard – the reviewer even suggests the TRD is actually slower to accelerate due to having wider, grippier tires.
The other version of the car they tried out had a full supercharger kit from HKS bolted on, which brought the power to just over 270 hp – a big boost from its 197 standard horses. It’s obviously the one to go for because it addresses the car’s biggest problem, while also not costing any more than the TRD body kit that doesn’t make the car go any faster in a straight line.
The upcoming Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0 was inspired by our own Scion TRD FR-S project car, which in turn was influenced by the Griffon Toyota 86 built by TRD's Japanese division.
In the first part of our three part series detailing the Scion TRD FR-S project car, we went overseas to hear about the philosophy of the Griffon 86 from the car's chief engineer, then explained some of the changes we made to that concept for the American market.
In creating the Scion TRD FR-S project car that inspired the upcoming the Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0, we collaborated with some of the biggest names across the automotive performance industry to flesh out our vision of what the car could be. In the second part of our three part series exploring the TRD FR-S project car build, we go behind the scenes with partners like KMA Productions and GReddy Racing to see how everything was revamped from the ground up to product a track-ready car that was still streetable and reliable.
Small, lightweight sports cars are unsafe, right? Not necessarily -- proving the right design can be safe whatever the size, the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S sports cars have just been awarded a 'Top Safety Pick' rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Tested in FR-S guise, both models -- largely identical save for the badge and detail changes to suspension and equipment levels -- achieved the maximum "good" ratings in front moderate overlap, side impact, roof crush and rear impact crash tests. Furthermore, each also received an "acceptable" rating in one of the toughest modern crash tests, the small frontal overlap.
This test in particular has caught out several otherwise-safe vehicles, exposing weaknesses in the structure caused by impacts that put maximum stress through only 25 percent of the body's frontal aspect. While the structure did give way and cause intrusion that raises the risk of lower leg injuries in such an accident, each car received "good" ratings for protection to the head, chest, and hip/thigh region.
Each car, and several others in the organization's small car test series, missed out on the full IIHS "Top Safety Pick+" rating through lack of frontal crash prevention systems. The BR-Z however joins a range of other Subaru models that have scored highly in testing. With four Top Safety Picks and three Top Safety Pick+ vehicles -- the Forester, Legacy sedan and Outback -- Subaru boasts more 2014 IIHS Top Safety Picks than any other brand.
^Impressive for a small car, but alas, my hope of the Toyobaru being the first Toyota ever to score a Good rating in the small overlap front crash test has been crushed. Subaru had such an amazing run of Good rating in this test so far, that I thought Toyota could've ridden on Subaru's run and scored its first Good rating.
Come on Toyota!! It's depressing to see ALL of your rivals--Nissan, Honda, VW, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo--all have at least one car in their lineup to prove that they CAN score a Good rating in this test. Why can't you? Step it up please!!
Scion Racing returned to the summit of Pikes Peak Mountain once again, this year with Ken Gushi at the helm of the GReddy Racing FR-S. This marked Scion’s fourth year competing in the international hill climb and resulted it the most successful running to date, with a 3rd place in the Time Attack Class and a time of 10:30.188.