With the wrenching done, it was time to let Sasha work his magic with the Ecutek software. He’s tuned a lot of FR-S’s over the last couple of years, including a number we’ve brought him for testing various bolt-on goodies, so it didn’t take long (a couple hours) to get the tune fully dialled. This, of course, involves fine-tuning the ignition and fuel maps for our chosen fuel (91 octane), but Sasha also spent quite a lot of time playing with the intake and exhaust cam timing since the FA20 generally responds well to tuning changes in this area, especially as it relates to that infamous torque dip in the mid-range.
In the end, Sasha tickled his laptop keyboard to the tune of 181-whp and 150-wtq, with big gains from 4500 RPM all the way to redline. The results Sasha delivered far exceeded our expectations going into the dyno day, given the low-ish compression test numbers and 91 pump gas in use. The sound the engine made with the JDL parts bolted up was also pretty amazing. At wide open throttle in the upper half of the rev range is sounds like a proper race car, but we have to admit that it’s got a lot of drone on the highway. In fact, we had our buddy Aaron Weir from Vibrant Performance fab up a custom silencer prior to shipping the car to Newfoundland so our eardrums wouldn’t bleed during the transit stages. A long-term solution would be a bigger muffler with a lot more sound-deadening in it than in the HKS straight-thru single muffler that’s on the car now, which may be what we have to do for 2015. If there is a 2015 with this car. Stay tuned for more on that!