Chief Engineer of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ Says No Turbo for You - Not in this Generation, Buddy
It’s been over five years since the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ hit the market, and if you’re still hoping to see turbocharged versions of each sports car anytime soon, you have a better chance of seeing Ferrari build a four-cylinder hatchback. It’s not happening. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever — at least not in this generation, anyway.
Subaru of America Teases BRZ tS
Subaru is gearing up to reveal two new performance machines, both of which are slated for U.S. consumption. Last week, we reported on the new WRX STI Type RA NBR Special, a dedicated racing machine that’ll attempt to conquer to Nurburgring later this year. Now, there’s a new iteration of the BRZ headed for stateside buyers, and it’s looking like we’ll get full details tomorrow.
That’s the latest news, as was teased in a post on the Subaru of America, Inc. Facebook page earlier today. Previously only offered in Japan, the BRZ tS is a tuned variant of the lightweight RWD coupe we all know and love, with go-faster bits provided by Subaru’s tuning outfit, Subaru Technica International, better known as STI. The latest tS is likely to get similar upgrades, including new chassis and suspension components, as well as bigger and badder aero and plus-sized Brembo brakes. In the cabin, look for nicer materials, a little contrast stitching, and some requisite badging. As far as the engine is concerned… well, don’t expect much. Maybe a throatier exhaust and more capable cold air intake are in the cards, but we would be surprised if the BRZ tS got more than 10 extra ponies added, if anything at all. Either way, look for more details to drop tomorrow. Stay tuned, as we’ll be posting as it happens.
Continue reading for the full story.
There’s a storm brewing over at Cosworth, the kind that can redefine the way we look at the Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86. The aftermarket company known for its engine forays in the world of Formula One prepared a new power package treatment for the FA-20 engine that powers all three.
After some teasing in early 2014, Cosworth has finally bared the details on this new power package and it has come at a perfect time for the trio of sports cars. It’s a performance upgrade that has turned the normally tame 200-horsepower sports cars into a fire-breathing bullets that are poised to dominate the automotive scene.
Finally, we can alleviate some of our issues with the BRZ/FR-S/GT86 trio with a healthy injection of power, courtesy of Cosworth. Now, if only we can get the automakers to finally add some of this power straight from the factory, instead of slapping on silly body kits and flashy wheels.
Cosworth’s program comes in three stages, with the details on Stage 1 being the only ones that are available as of June 2, 2014.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86 by Cosworth.
The Subaru BRZ has good bones for an every-man’s sports car. Front engine, rear-wheel drive, manual transmission, and a low starting price help make the BRZ a great bang-for-the-buck choice. But a general consensus among enthusiasts agrees that the little two-door coupe lacks power. And sadly, it seams Subaru isn’t currently doing anything about it; that is, except for Subaru Australia.
In an interview with Motoring.com, Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior says his local division has been lobbying for an STI version of the car. But in the mean time, Subaru Australia has done its own modifications with items from the STI parts bin. Even though the parts are the same, the car cannot be labeled an STI without being developed by the actual Subaru Tecnica International team.
Subaru Australia’s modified BRZ S Pack went on sale Down Under in 2013 with STI suspension components for better handling and a few sporty cosmetic bits for a unique look.
While it’s hard to blame the blokes for spicing up their own BRZs while begging for an STI version, it’s understandable why Subaru and Toyota haven’t done major modifications to the car. It’s only a few years old and its first refresh is scheduled for 2016. Several reports have confirmed the BRZ and its Toyo twin — the FR-S — will be getting drop-top version in their next life cycle.
Could it be then that an STI version will come along too? We already know the speculation about the 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer engine from the Forester is a no-go, as the engine simply won’t fit within the engine bay. Some other mode of increasing power would have to be used. While there’s no shortage of aftermarket turbo kits for the BRZ/FR-S, the STI team is quiet on the subject.
Surely Subaru will answer the outcry for a more powerful BRZ with a STI version while Toyota (Scion) could do the same mods but with a TRD badge slapped on. Here’s for hoping as the time draws nearer for official words about the upcoming 2016 refresh.
Click past the jump to read more. Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments!
Back in May, we reported about a tuned Subaru Impreza STi that lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife in record time, becoming the fastest Impreza to lap the world-famous racetrack. The team behind the record-breaking car, Revolution Motorstore, built it with utmost attention to detail and total commitment, with an aim to set a new lap record for a Subaru Impreza.
The folks behind this awesome, record-setting project now plan to sell the Subaru Impreza "Project STi". An advertisement was recently put up Revolution Motorstore official Facebook page. "Project STi" is now up for sale at £42,995 which is just over $70,000.
That’s a pretty steep price, sure, but keep in mind that this is no ordinary Impreza. The tuner went to great lengths in order to make it competitive. Major changes have been done to the interior and the exterior, including the removal of the rear doors. Not like the rear doors are needed anyways, as in place of the back seat is a custom-built half roll cage.
The tuner also replaced the stock 2.5-liter engine with a 2.0-liter, four-pot boxer engine from a JDM Impreza. Apart from the engine block itself, the rest of the parts have either been replaced or reworked for improved performance and durability. The net result is an engine that now puts out over 500 horsepower and upwards of 500 pound-feet of torque.
The suspension systems have been overhauled from ground up, so it can tackle any track you throw at it. Standard brakes would’ve never stood up to the punishment and hence had to be replaced with larger discs, new calipers, brakes lines, fluids, master cylinders, and more.
Click past the jump to read in detail about the 2003 Subaru Impreza Project STi
For all the love we give to the Subaru BRZ, there’s one unmistakable fact about the sports coupe that cannot be denied: it lacks power above 100 mph.
If the standard 200-horsepower output of the BRZ is short of some serious firepower, the options are wide open for how to address and improve the BRZ from stock.
Good to go with a tuner that is regularly hitting the max possible speeds in testing near autobahns and the ’Ring.
European tuner Litchfield understands this, and it has a program that will answer all our needs for the BRZ.
Known for its work on the Nissan GT-R, Litchfield set its sights on the BRZ and fitted it with a sick supercharger to drive up the output from the sports coupe’s 2.0-liter boxer engine to an impressive 280 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. That may not sound like a whole lot relative to other tuning packages we’ve seen, but considering the makeup of the BRZ, it definitely has our attention.
With the supercharger now in the equation, the BRZ is now capable of hitting 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds with a top speed that we imagine to be in the 155 mph range.
Well done, Litchfield Imports. That’s how you breath performance life into the BRZ.
Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru BRZ Spec-S program by Litchfield Imports
All this talk of gorgeous HD Point-of-View driving videos reminds me of a knockout drive to share here as part of a travel article.
The four videos show the high-def ascent of the Pikes Peak Toll Road outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Taken earlier this summer by none other than this grinning goon.
The car of choice for this adventure is the only car for the job, in my opinion. My cherished but battered 2005 SubaruSubaru Legacy GT manual Wagon.
This is the car that I mention in my bio as currently non-functional in garage ion the updated TopSpeed Team page...
It is still needing a big electronics overhaul to come back to life as spunky as it was when new.
But watching the clouds roll by while the upgraded turbo spins furiously and boost spikes as high as 19 PSI.
Climbing Pikes Peak takes about 45 minutes and costs about $12.00 per car. It is mostly tourists driving very slowly, with double yellow no-passing zones all the way to the top.
But on that rare sunny day, the only things slowing you down are fear of heights and the thin atmosphere at the 14,000-foot crest of the peak.
Click past the jump for the next four videos in this series, in order, going up and coming down the legendary Pikes Peak in all its high-definition glory.
American upgrades on Japanese sports cars aren’t exactly a new thing in the aftermarket auto scene these days. Doug Ross, the owner of Weapons Grade Performance in Wallingford, Connecticut, knows all too well about the formula of fitting an American engine into a Japanese sports car.
But unlike the rest of us, Ross has the capabilities to undertake such a project to see if a current Japanese sports car can handle the an American engine tucked inside it.
All of it was eventually answered with the development of the Subaru BRZ06.
It was a time-consuming project that Ross was determined to complete and with the help of his people from Weapons Grade Performance, he managed to install an LS2 V-8 engine inside the BRZ that was actually a mix-mash of parts from different LS V-8 engines.
After much work and some tedious labor in trying to fit the American engine into the engine bay of the Subaru, Weapons Grade Performance successfully worked around all of the kinks and complications in fitting the BR-Z with a re-tooled and re-modeled LS2 V-8 engine, giving the Subaru more than the 200 horsepower it has on the stock model. Weapons Grade Performance didn’t divulge the exact specifications of the new Chevy-powered BRZ, but we venture to say that since this engine was borrowed from the Corvette Z06, it is at least 500 horsepower.
Weapons Grade Performance is still tinkering with the idea of more modifications to come, including the possibility of dropping a supercharged LS9 engine into the BRZ, which could eventually lead to the BRZ packing close to 600 horsepower under its hood.
Click past the jump to read about the Subaru BRZ
Just recently, we brought you the announcement and video of Revolution Motorstore’s Subaru Impreza STi that it dubbed "Project STi" becoming the fastest Impreza to ever lap Nürburgring. Well, a car like this is never safe from the poking prodding of the folks here at Topspeed. After a quick email exchange, we were able to get the information needed on this super Impreza to pass on to you.
After getting all of the juicy details from the UK, we quickly realized that this is no simple tuner throw-it-together-and-pray-it-works kind of car. Nope, Revolution took to this Suby to task, stripping it of the majority of its tunable parts and either tweaked or outright replaced the ones that were not absolutely perfect for this run around the `Ring.
From the engine all the way to the discrete tailpipes, Revolution’s engineers and builders racked their brains to figure out how to squeeze every bit of power and knock off every ounce of weight while still keeping the car relatively streetable – and we emphasize the word “relatively.”
Click past the jump to read all about this insane build
Subaru BRZ is a nice sports car, but with quite a disappointing output for real car addicts out there. Luckily for us, where Subaru decided to stop at just 200 horsepower, Crawford Performance comes into focus and increases the output to more than double.
By adding a new turbo, replacing the standard exhaust system and doing some ECU upgrades the tuner obtained an output of 450 horsepower. There are no official detail on the peak torque, but it looks like it has been tripled, so we guess it is somewhere in the 450 pound-feet area. Now, this looks like a number more suitable for a sports car, no?
The guy over Drive took this car out for a test drive in an attempt to see how the updates improved the car’s performance and phenomenal dynamic features. According to them, this package managed to "add to the BRZ’s performance without taking away from it’s character."
Click past the jump to see Drive taking the Crawford-tuned BRZ to task and to read more on the base BRZ.
When a car is considered the fastest of its kind, people usually stand up and pay serious attention.
Well, that’s what folks are saying about this 2013 BRZ, which belongs to drag racing driver Ali Afshar. If beefed up is a description for this Japanese sports car, then consider that a massive understatement.
As an 18-time NHRA champion, Afshar knows full well the value of having a monster engine under the hood of his team’s racecars. That’s precisely why this BRZ comes with a staggering 1,400 horsepower, all packed in the car’s 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine. The usual amenities of a racecar have also been added, including the full-on roll cage, the enormous rear wing, the wheelie-bar, and the wide slick wheels.
But the real highlight of this BRZ is that engine that has been tuned to deliver some otherworldly output. All in all, that much power should bode well for the Afshar, as he attempts to race the BRZ down the strip of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway later this week in 7 seconds.
It’ll be interesting to see if Afshar is successful in his attempt, which will be a record, should he achieve it. Whatever happens, it’s going to make for an extremely entertaining show.
Click past the jump to read about the Subaru BRZ
If you thought the 2.0-liter boxer engine pumping out 200-horsepower wasn’t enough, Weapons Grade Performance has a solution.
With a company name as intimidating as the upgrade it’s carrying out on the Subaru BR-Z, Weapons Grade Performance is on the verge of making one of the most powerful BR-Zs to run the streets.
How does it does it pull off this task? Slap a good ol’ American V-8 in there, of course. Yup, W.G.P chose the old-school-but-still-awesome method of increasing horsepower by mounting an LS2 V-8 from a Pontiac GTO that produces 400-horsepower, twice more powerful than the stock 4-pot boxer engine.
While the idea of a V-8 powered BR-Z sounds good, it may not do wonders when it comes to weight distribution. A picture of your pot-bellied uncle is a good comparison to this build. Then again, this sort of uncle can be rather exciting to hangout.
Here’s to hoping that W.G.P will pull off this build, hassle free. We’ll update this review as more information rolls out, as this is a work in progress. And for those that think this is a Photoshop trick rather than the real deal, see the video after the jump for a live shot of the car. There’s no Photoshopping a video…
Image: Instagram pic from W.G.P.’s Facebook page
An aftermarket turning company often finds ways to make its programs stand out from the rest of the competition. In some cases, it’s for the better but there are those times when the result is just plain weird.
Bee Racing’s program for the Subaru BRZ is a combination of both.
The program is impressive because Bee Racing not only installed an aero kit, but then combined it with a modified interior, a new set of wheels, an DG5-built suspension, an aftermarket header, a custom-built muffler, and a Tomei limited-slip differential. More importantly, though, is that Bee Racing acknowledges that the project is still far from a finished product.
The body kit, which comes courtesy of Rocket Bunny, required the Bee Racing to tweak the BRZ’s front end to look more like a Toyota GT 86 just so it could install the aero kit. While doing that, Bee Racing also installed Bride racing seats and a Drift Works steering wheel.
Here’s where it gets weird, though. We get the part — to a certain degree — about giving the BRZ a facelift to make it look like a GT 86. What we don’t get are the Scion badges slapped into the BRZ. Did Bee Racing want to run the full gamut of all three sports cars sisters in one vehicle?
If you’re prepared to let that one go, you have to admit that this project car actually looks pretty amazing. We can’t wait to see Bee Racing add a little more performance to this package.
The 2012 Australian Motor Show has been a pleasant surprise to us, largely because of the number of models that made their debuts Down Under.
One vehicle that caught our eye comes from Subaru and what appears to be a partnership with New Zealand-based racing outfit Possum Bourne Motor Sport involving the BRZ.
The BRZ Race Car was customized to be a club-level race car and comes in three track-ready packages. For the entry-level package, the features include a number of carbon fiber parts, including the mirror caps and the door panels, a full-on roll cage kit with Recaro motorsport seats, Sabelt six-point harness, and fuel system modifications.
The second package comes with more added components. First, there’s the new set of 18" Enkei lightweight wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R motorsport tires. From there, PBMS also added driveline and suspension modifications, highlighted by a new Cusco height and damper adjustable coil over suspension system. There’s also a brake package that includes AP front and rear rotors and calipers and an STI handbrake, as well as an electrical kit that comes with wiring and circuit breakers. Last but not least, lightweight battery Recaro winged-HANS seats round out the upscale package for the BRZ race car.
Then there’s the third option, which includes a complete performance parts package, including engine and gearbox enhancements, all of which catered to the customer’s unique requirements.
Talking about the car, Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior, said: “We’re delighted to display the PBMS BRZ motorsport project car. This car will take the BRZ thrill to a whole new level for those that want some serious trackwork.”
“From day one we have always imagined the BRZ would appeal to the ‘weekend warriors’ - people who enjoy club level motorsport activities. PBMS has developed packages that will appeal to these enthusiasts.”
We cannot say that no one has boosted a Subaru BRZ up until now, as we really don’t know if someone may have already done it and just not plastered it all over the Interwebz yet. That said, we can at least now say that there is officially a turbocharged BRZ running the streets. Its builder is Toledo, Ohio-based Accelerated Performance.
These guys and gals fitted a custom-built turbo onto the intake of the 200-horsepower (161 wheel horsepower) 2.0-liter 4-banger and netted some decent results. After running it on a dyno, they found that the boost netted the BRZ a cool 54.5 horsepower.
Many of you are probably wondering why in the world only 54.5 horsepower, as a turbo is typically good for 100, or more, ponies. Well, the BRZ boasts a 12.5-to-1 compression ratio and Accelerated Performance calculated that with such high compression, they could only run about 4 psi of boost – roughly 5 psi less than most aftermarket turbo cars push out.
Soon enough someone will tune the ECU a little more and throw in a much-needed set of low compression rings on the FA20 engine. Get that compression ratio down to about 8.5-to-1 and you can safely run 9 to 12 psi of boost through the engine without issue. That would get the BRZ near the 250- to 300-wheel-horsepower mark.
Maybe once people really start throwing turbos on the BRZ and have relative success with it, Subaru will finally add a BRZ Turbo to the mix. There have been rumors of a factory-turbocharged BRZ in the works, but nothing confirmed yet. For now, we just have to rely on savvy modifiers.
UPDATE 09/08/2012: Accelerated Performance have taken their new Subaru BRZ Turbo Kit out for some testing, managing a world record quarter mile time of 11.3 seconds at a speed of 127.4 mph! Hit the jump for the video!
Hit the jump for a video of the Subaru BRZ by Accelerated Performance.
We firmly believe that the vast majority of cars only look good from certain angles, rather than every angle. In a similar vein, we believe that many cars look far better from the front than they do the rear and vice versa. Two of those cars just happen to be many previous generation Audi A4’s as well as the recently retired BMW 520.
Whether you prefer the front of either to the rear, it doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is the question of joining the two best angles of each together to create a superior looking car.
Well, we recently stumbled upon an interesting sale on eBay UK where a used 1993 Subaru Impreza WRX is being sold with an Impreza interior and custom wheels but most importantly, it’s borrowed the rear-end from the BMW 520 and the front fascia from the Audi A4.
Interestingly enough, the end result is nowhere near as horrible as one may assume. The owner has managed to combine the two ends in such a way that this interesting Impreza actually looks quite impressive.
With 110,124 miles on the clock, the car has received four bids thus far with the highest bid currently being £4,000.00 (at the time of writing). Also included in the package is a “performance exhaust” and “Predator brakes” and the unnamed owner has promised that it’s been “maintained to [a] high standard.”
With just over five days left of the sale, any prospecting buyers better get a hurry-on as this truly is a unique one-off piece of machinery.
We do our best to keep you in the loop when it comes to new and cool developments in the automotive world. One of the hottest topics going right now in the U.S. is automated driving. Though it is still several decades away from being a national reality, although some states are legalizing autonomous cars, we are still seeing some progress. The leader in this technology to date in the U.S. is the Google Prius, but other automakers - such as Cadillac and Ford - sniffing around the automated car sector.
In Japan, however, they are taking the bull by the horns and setting up an outline for national implementation of an autonomous driving system. According to a report from Tech-On, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) is starting to piece together how to make automated driving a reality in as little as eight years.
Starting immediately, the MLIT will start piecing together the problems related to automated driving and neatly package it in an interim report that is due for release in March of 2013. Some of the issues at hand have to include: driver attentiveness, driver override ability, handling of accidents, and infrastructure development.
The MLIT has already employed the help of Toyota, Nissan, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (A.K.A. Subaru), Honda, and Mazda in this project. Heading up the entire team is Yasuo Asakura, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
For now, this is all just talk and we will see if anything ever comes of it. If this is actually a serious deal, it could drastically accelerate the timeframe that we in the industry have set for automated cars. We will keep a close eye on this situation and update you if any new details come up. Until then, enjoy your steering wheel, while you still can.
Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was a spritely high school graduate heading into my first semester at college as a business administration – I know, my prospective career took a detour. In between Frat parties, sports, and chasing those of the opposite sex, I found myself in classes, some of which were about marketing correctly. The key to marketing is to get your viewers’ attention, flash your product, then leave the viewers with a lasting impression to remember you by.
Well, Hoonigan.com absolutely mastered the art of “gaining your viewers’ attention” with its latest attempt to peddle its online wares. Not only does this video contain some hooning awesomeness, but it is bursting at the seams with it. Pretty much every single awesome car video we have seen in the last five (or so) years has a several-second spot in this ad. Hell, there is even some Power Wheels hoonage at the 45-second mark and some bicycle hoonage going on at the 58-second mark.
All we can do is tip our collective hats to the folks that put together this video and the countless number of hours that must have been put in watching various videos. Just finding the videos alone must have taken hundreds of hours, but then editing them, dubbing Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” over it, and splicing it all together, Phew.
Some highlights are the Subaru WRX vs. Snowboarder downhill race at to 50-second mark, the Honda Civic passenger running for his life at the 38-second mark, and the worlds greatest drift pass at 1:23. If there is a single short car clip to watch so far this year, this is it!
The Subaru BRZ is so brand spanking new that prices have only just been announced, but that doesn’t mean that the sports car isn’t ripe for a tuning project. Australian aftermarket tuner, Tunehouse, has announced a preview of their program for the BRZ that involves a significant increase in its performance output. Unfortunately, we only have a rendering of the package for now.
The company is still working on the final specifications for their BRZ, but company founder, Jim Ghelis, said they are working on "offering a reliable yet significant lift in power with an emphasis on improving the car’s low-end torque.
The company is planning on taking out the BRZ’s standard 2.0-liter boxer engine in favor of a 2.6-liter Costworth crate engine that also comes with an HKS turbocharger, a front-mounted intercooler, a billet crankshaft, a billet flywheel, and a modified EcuTek ECU unit.
These additions will increase
power from the standard 200 HP to 330 HP, a 65% increase.
In addition to the increased output, the Tunehouse-tuned BRZ will also be fitted with Whiteline anti-roll bars, a limited slip differential, an adjustable KW coil-over suspension, a Cosworth braking system, and a new set of 18" Advan wheels wrapped in Federal RSR tires.