Toyota will be sending a 500hp Scion FR-S up 14,000-plus feet of Colorado mountainside tomorrow. ToMoCo’s youth brand seeks to snatch the Time Attack 1 Division title for production-based two- and four-wheel-drive vehicles at the 92nd running of the world-famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
While the sports coupe’s 200hp in street form has led some detractors to cry out for more power, the hillclimb version sports a Cosworth-built 2.5-liter flat-four spitting out 500hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. The prodigious output is helped by an intercooler-fed turbocharger courtesy of GReddy, the Japanese performance aftermarket giant.
Piloting the FR-S will be Scion’s factory drift racing veteran Ken Gushi, who took first in Pikes Peak’s Exhibition class last year in the Lexus ISF CCS-R. In fact, this same Scion FR-S served as Gushi’s car for the 2013 Formula D season, when it ran a larger turbo an intercooler for a whopping 540hp.
Gushi began competing at Pikes Peak in 2007 when he was just 20 years old. A fan favorite in the drift world, he was also the youngest drift racer to compete in both D1 and Formula D, having entered his first battles at the age of 16 before he even had a street license. Gushi began learning drifting at age 13 in a Toyota AE86 Corolla, a car referenced in the “86″ livery and fender badges.
The PPIHC course is 12.42 miles long, encompassing 156 guardrail-free turns. With nearly 5,000 feet in elevation changes depriving car and driver of oxygen, it is considered one of the world’s most challenging races. The checkered flag drops at 7:59 a.m. on June 29.