Video: Track-Spec S2000 Squares Off Against Supercharged Scion FR-S

Put two of the best modern Japanese FR track toys in the hands of two convivial Canadians with a penchant for oversteer on a challenging race course and you won’t be disappointed. Neither the Honda S2000 nor the Scion FR-S are powerhouses, but the platforms are among some of the most rewarding for casual track day events, autocross, and even club-level road racing.

The two cars share similar levels of modification, and the one control in this comparison is the tire. The Continental ExtremeContact Sport tire is a 340-treadwear, versatile summer tire that gives Pete and Dave the ability to push hard for several laps without fear of much dropoff. Considering way the relentless Toronto Motorsport Park (TMP) abuses tires, that’s something to consider. Both cars sport square setups with the same widths: 255-sections at all eight corners. That should simplify the comparison, but there are several other elements to consider.

Reasonably wide Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires on the front give these cars incisive turn-in.

The not-so-impressive FA20 motor sitting under the hood of the Scion has been upgraded with a Jackson Racing supercharger and a Tomei exhaust that brings power up to roughly 270 HP at the wheels. Unfortunately, the bulk of that power is only delivered at the top end of the rev range. As a result, the approximate 220-whp (wheel horsepower) S2000, admittedly sporting shorter gears, nearly keeps up in a straight-out drag race. However, there aren’t many long straights at TMP, so having a straightline advantage doesn’t mean the world, though usable torque and a broad powerband does.

Nor should it. These two are renowned for their remarkably accurate and informative steering and playful chassis. After all, they have to be fun without much horsepower. Therefore, the majority of the modification has been made to their suspension.

The Honda is modified with:

  • 17×9-inch Gram Light57Xtreme wheels
  • Eibach Multi-Pro R2 coilovers
  • Eibach swaybars
  • Stoptech Sport Brakes (including rotors, pads, lines, and fluid)
  • Buddy Club USA hardened suspension bushings
  • APR Performance GTC-300 rear wing
  • CR front lip
  • C3 Composites custom front splitter

The Scion benefits from:

  • KW Suspension
  • Raceseng adjustable top hats
  • Adjustable rear lower control arms
  • Advan Racing GT wheels
  • AP Racing big brakes
  • Driveway Labs splitter and diffuser
  • Voltex Swan Neck wing
These two are similarly modified, ride on the same width tire, and make similar low-end power. With enough power to spin the wheels, these two FR machines dance through the infield with lots of oversteer. The S2000 has just a slight edge in direction changes and breaks away much more progressively. Simply put, the Honda never gets too far out of shape.

Pete (FR-S) running wide. His over-driving allows Dave (S2000) to close the gap in the infield section.

It’s always hard to determine whether it’s driver skill or vehicle setup with such similar specs, but Dave, driving the S2000, is clearly not dialing in opposite lock like Pete is in the FR-S. The run from 6:29-6:40 demonstrates just how much better the Honda can apply its power without time-sapping wheelspin, and how Dave is a little more accurate with the placement of his car, with the exception of one off-track excursion (7:01). Don’t be fooled by his smooth driving, he’s getting after it.
While the Scion has a definite advantage in the braking and acceleration departments, it needs to be going reasonably fast to exploit. TMP isn’t chock-full of heavy braking zones or long straights, however, so the answer isn’t clear from these two lead-follow laps. Watch the footage above for the difference in lap times, and witness two friends pushing one another past their limits in great style.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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