Project Subaru BRZ Gets Wheels, Performance Upgrades

2
Project Subaru BRZ Gets Wheels, Performance Upgrades

Now that our project Subaru BRZ is handling and sitting properly, it’s time to give it wheels worthy of its good looks and a performance kick.

Before our staggered set of 18-inch Work Wheels VS-XX arrived from Japan, we took the Subaru BRZ, in stock form, to a local dyno in Southern California to gather baseline data. But in order to do that properly, we reached out to AEM Electronics for a Wideband Failsafe Gauge so that we could monitor our air-to-fuel ratio. Though we have no plans to try forced induction, the Wideband Failsafe Gauge is still an invaluable tool for determining how the modifications affect performance.

Playing it Safe on Engine Mods

Anyone planning to modify the engine in their FR-S or BRZ will appreciate the built-in “failsafe” found in the gauge.It serves as extra insurance toward protecting your motor. By constantly monitoring the air-to-fuel ratio on your vehicle, the gauge can activate a user-defined failsafe strategy if the vehicle runs too lean.

autoguide-project-subaru-brz-performance-1

An internal data logger also allows you to easily pull information from the easy-to-install gauge. We bought an angled gauge mount ring and simply cut a hole in the factory passenger dash piece for the gauge installation. The additional O2 sensor was installed on the factory overpipe to monitor the air-to-fuel ratio.

With the vehicle completely stock and with the air-to-fuel gauge installed, we drove to the dyno for those figures. After letting the car cool down, we let it rip on the dyno where it pulled 160.30 hp and 137.57 lb-ft of torque straight out of the box. Accounting for a roughly 20 percent loss in the drivetrain, the output is right within the expected range.

The BRZ was then taken apart for exhaust modifications. First, we swapped out the factory overpipe and front pipe for a Motiv Concepts overpipe and high-flow catalytic converter (HFC). Using 2.5-inch diameter stainless steel exhaust tubing, both the overpipe and HFC will increase power while giving the BRZ a deeper exhaust tone. After the installation, we strapped the car back down on the dyno to see 164.92 hp and 139.03 lb-ft of torque at its peak. Power gains were made throughout the RPM band.

Those looking to get some extra performance out of their FR-S or BRZ without making their vehicle louder should consider an aftermarket overpipe or HFC setup. By maintaining a catalytic converter, the vehicle isn’t as loud as it would be by removing it, and it will still be legal in most states. We do, however, suggest checking your state laws before any exhaust modifications.

Cat-Back Exhaust, You’re Up

Next up, we decided to bolt-on a cat-back exhaust system from Motiv Concepts to give the BRZ a new exhaust note, hoping for performance gains along the way. By removing the factory resonated midpipe and installing the 2.5-inch midpipe and muffler section, the BRZ picked up a few more horsepower – now at 167.82 hp at its peak and 142.27 lb-ft of torque. Overall, more than 7 hp was gained from the exhaust modifications, and torque improved throughout the powerband, which is a weak point for the BRZ.

Finally, to complete our bolt-on modifications, we removed the factory air intake and installed a unit from AEM. The electronically tuned intake (ETI) system eliminates the need to detune the intake tube because it crosses the mass air flow (MAF) sensor. As a result, the intake tube sports a slightly larger diameter than the factory equipment without the threat of check engine light being triggered. The system features a sealed air box that uses polypropylene to shield the AEM Dryflow filter from heat under the hood. The MAF sensor is also moved into the custom air box and uses stock, fresh air pathways to feed the filter with colder, outside air.

autoguide-project-subaru-brz-performance-2

The bolt-on system is easy to install and sports a factory fit and finish. Back on the dyno, we saw peak horsepower hit 172.79 hp while torque showed 140.27 lb-ft at its peak. It’s worth noting however that the dyno was missing data between 4,500 rpms to 5,000 rpms – we suspect that the intake increased torque at the peak, but unfortunately the dyno had a hiccup and missed the data. Just by looking at the graph, torque improved throughout the powerband, so we suspect a more accurate reading would be around 145 lb-ft of torque at the peak. Regardless, the intake made a vast improvement.

With the new AEM intake installed and the Motiv Concepts exhaust components, the BRZ sounds like a new machine. The large muffler design keeps the exhaust quiet in normal driving conditions, but on full throttle, it’s easy to hear the difference. The BRZ engine’s notorious torque dip is also noticeably improved, allowing the RPMs to climb faster under load.

Time for New Wheels and High-Performance Rubber

After our trip to the dyno, we were pleased to receive a phone call from Work Wheels USA to hear that our custom staggered set of 18-inch VS-XX wheels had arrived from Japan. While many 86 owners prefer lightweight 17-inch wheels, we opted for larger 18-inch wheels to give our BRZ a more aggressive stance without ruining the handling. The result was an 18×8.5-inch setup in the front with a +32 offset and a 18×9.5-inch setup in the rear with a +39 offset.

We decided to pair the matte bronze wheels to a set of Falken FK453 tires, 225/40/18 in the front and 255/40/18 in the rear. The FK453 is the latest in Falken’s generation of ultra-high performance tires and features a new silica compound for better dry and wet grip performance. The asymmetric tread design not only provides enhanced cornering performance for our BRZ but keeps tire noise at a minimal.autoguide-project-subaru-brz-performance-3

Having our new wheels and tires in hand, we returned to Wheel Warehouse in Anaheim, Calif. to have the factory tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) transferred from the factory wheels. Now, the BRZ not only looks the part, but handles better thanks to the upgraded rubber.

Up next for our daily driver, we’ll address the BRZ’s factory stereo system. Yes, yes, we know, the BRZ wasn’t meant to sound great inside the cabin – who wouldn’t rather hear the exhaust note as you rev through the gears? But let’s face it, any vehicle that’s a daily commuter needs to sound reasonable inside. So for our next installation, we’ll take a look at a budget build that will transform the audio to something more acceptable.

GALLERY: Project Subaru BRZ Part 3

autoguide-project-subaru-brz-10.jpgautoguide-project-subaru-brz-20.jpgautoguide-project-subaru-brz-aem-gauge-1.jpgautoguide-project-subaru-brz-dyno-1.jpgautoguide-project-subaru-brz-exhaust-1.jpgautoguide-project-subaru-brz-intake-3.jpg

Discuss this story at SubaruBRZForum.com

  • Robby G

    SIIICK!!!! Keep the mods coming!

  • Dillon Nasroodin

    Is this car lowered at all?

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked