It was recently reported that Subaru is looking into turbocharging its next BRZ to extract a total of 280-hp from the 2.0-litre boxer engine. New reports suggest that Toyota may be going down a different road and is considering a gasoline-electric hybrid system that will increase the Scion FR-S′s output.

2013 Scion FR-S
According to sources, Toyota engineers are weighing the possibility of a hybrid engine to propel the Scion FR-S. Toyota Scion FR-S chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said the company is looking for a surprise, “something unique,” as the drivetrain to possibly power the next-generation FR-S. “For example a hybrid motor,” said Tada. In the quest to give the FR-S a serious boost in the engine room, Tada dismisses going the conventional route.

“I think 300 horsepower with a turbo would be tasteless in this day and age,” Tada said. “If we pursue power without regard to fuel consumption, the market won’t accept it. And a turbo would mean the loss of the FR-S’s uniqueness.”

Tada cites the performance-oriented nature of the FR-S as reasoning for pursuing a different hybrid platform, like the one found in the TS030 Le Mans Prototype, rather the more traditional Atkinson Cycle hybrid found in the Prius. The Atkinson engines typically sacrifice high-revving power for fuel-sipping fuel economy. The TS030 has a KERS system, with six-speed transmission and electric drive to the rear wheels in parallel with the gas engine.

It is also worth noting that Toyota has a joint venture in hybrid development with BMW, and the German automaker’s i8 uses a hybrid system with a KERS similar to that in the Porsche 918 Spyder.

So will there be a KERS hybrid FR-S? It’s too soon to tell whether the technology will be viable in a car that costs less than $30,000, but Toyota does have the capability to make the technology available. We will just have to wait and see.

How should Toyota increase the output of the FR-S? What are your thoughts on the KERS hybrid vs. a turbocharger?