Last year, the women wept and the teeth were gnashed when we refused to award the Scion FR-S the title of Bestest New Car Spending Marketing Money And Flying People To Fun Places Of 2012. Although we enjoyed the little Subaru to no end — an impression your humble author has since had multiple chances to reinforce at various race tracks and fast roads around the Midwest — it just didn’t bring the heat from one corner to the next.
The good news is that this problem has now been fixed — at a cost of only eighty pounds and perhaps $15,000.
LSXtv has the story on the first LS-swapped Subarota.
For $3,000, Weapons Grade Performance will sell you a “basic” kit, which includes the motor mounts, transmission mounts, driveshaft, oil pan, and clutch master cylinder… This kit will get you started, but for $9,000 the Complete Kit will include all of the above, plus an exhaust system, cooling system, wiring harness, and everything else you need except for the actual engine and transmission… Ask if there were any plans to drop, say, a supercharged LS9 engine into the BRZ, Doug smiles. “Right now hood clearance is an issue,” he says. “But we’re working with a supplier to get a Z06-style hood that should allow us to run a supercharger.” A 638 horsepower Subaru coupe? Yes, please…
Seven thousand dollars will get you a 430hp crate LS3 engine. Figure another three grand for a Tremec TKO. The resulting combination weighs slightly under 2900 pounds. Building it out on top of a new BRZ would cost a total of about $40,000 assuming you needed a little help with the labor.
Thus equipped, the LS3-powered BRZ literally has no effective competition in the marketplace. Comparisons with the Miata or Genesis become ridiculous when you more than double the power under the hood. The Coyote-powered Mustang GT feels a little chunky and slow all of a sudden. The base Corvette Stingray C7 is twelve grand more and will weigh perhaps four hundred pounds above the LS-swapped Japanese coupe.
With that said, if you really want a V8-powered American coupe, you have forty thousand dollars to spend, and you aren’t too worried about a warranty… would the “Weapons Grade” BR-Z stand a chance against a $39,800 used Z06? In a straight line it might be close-ish, but around a racetrack the Vette would use its superior mechanical grip and power-to-weight ratio to walk that sucker. And every possible upgrade you could do to the Subaru’s new engine would be just as easy on the Corvette.
If nothing else, however, the guys at Weapons Grade should put a little fear into the hearts of overconfident Miata drivers at the local road course. Unless, of course, they’re packing as well…