Scalar Performance's electric GR86 is the first NASA-backed electric race car, ready for amateur touring car racing.
The Toyota GR86 and its older siblings are known for being light, nimble sports cars, and one's that are routinely turned into racecars. They even come with a one-year membership to NASA (National Auto Sport Association) track days so you can hone your skills in a safe environment. One of the criticisms leveled against the GR86 has always been 'not enough power,' which is something Toyota refuses to address with a turbo.
This hasn't stopped people from taking matters into their own hands, and this is exactly what Scalar Performance did when it created the first all-electric amateur touring race car based on the GR86.
Named the SCR1, the vehicle was engineered to have a similar weight balance to that of a mid-engined gas-powered car, but it also sees a mighty bump in power to 328 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque.
Scalar Performance is based out of Canada, and it partnered with Hypercraft and Ettractive to develop the race car, which is approved by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) for touring car road racing.
Anything alluding to the old 2.4-liter engine is gone because in its place is the new 800-volt electric motor that revs to 12,000 rpm and sends power to the rear wheels with the help of a Torsen limited-slip differential. The bespoke unit was created by Hypercraft and generates 100 hp and 161 lb-ft more than the stock FA24D H4 engine. 0-60 is estimated to take 3.9 seconds, and the vehicle will have a top speed of 165 mph. Maybe not as quick as Ken Block's Audi S1, but it'll get the job done.
Power to this unit is handled by a raced-prepped 65 kWh battery pack good for about 45 minutes of racing before needing more juice.
Once it's running low, Scalar says a full charge can be completed in less than 20 minutes from a 150 kW Level 3 DC fast charger, and the thermal management and runaway prevention systems make it one of the safest BEVs ever built.
The vehicle also looks like a proper racecar, with all the bits and bobs needed for you to take racing seriously. It sits on new 18-inch Enkei alloy wheels with custom suspension by Ohlins and a braking system comprising six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers in the back.
On the inside, we find an eight-point roll cage, an FIA-approved six-point racing harness, and racing net windows.
The GR 86 is known for being nimble, and the SCR1 isn't going to change that up. The vehicle has a curb weight of 3,040 lbs, which compared to the base model GR86's weight of 2,811 lbs, is only an increase of 229 lbs.
If you're at SEMA you'll be able to check this vehicle out till November 4, along with some of its distant wide-body cousins.
The vehicle has a planned launch in mid-2023, and the first 10 units, dubbed Founder Editions, will go on sale. The founders of Scalar Performance are both amateur racers, which means they've developed the cars with that experience in mind. "Both Joel [Fallaise] and myself are amateur racers, so it was natural for us to apply a user-centered design process in building the SCR1," says Brian Bourne, Scalar Performance co-founder. "We want a purist driving experience that requires minimal maintenance and allows the team to focus on course setup and driver development."
Don't get too excited, though, because the price tag on these cars is an eye-watering $210,000. Nobody said racing was cheap.