I have spent a couple weekends of installing upgrades and modifications on my new 2017 BRZ. This weekend, I had the chance to get my BRZ first autocross event in! My 2017 Subaru BRZ has all of the suspension upgrades in place, as well as the various chassis upgrades. In addition to that, the BRZ has a fresh alignment and corner balancing from my race shop. I have been looking forward to how the new car compares to my old 2013 Scion FRS. Theoretically, the 2017 BRZ should outperform the older FRS. However, the cars are so close performance wise, it might be difficult to notice. Finally, check out how the event went and how the BRZ stacks up performance wise!
This particular install session was a mixed bag of various BRZ upgrades. I started off by upgrading the rear subframe and differential mounts with bushing inserts. I used Whiteline bushing inserts, which improve stability and car feedback when driving. These are a great upgrade at a very inexpensive price. In addition to the bushing inserts, we shed some weight on the front of the car by installing a Shorai lightweight battery. A lightweight battery easily saves ~25lbs from on the front of the car. Lastly, to improve stopping power, we installed Hawk HPS brake pads.
After the BRZ suspension install, my car is no longer stock!
Baseline power numbers for my 2017 Subaru BRZ have been acquired, so now it is time to get the BRZ suspension installed! As you might know, the heart and soul of a race car is the suspension and chassis. For this key component, I chose Racecomp Engineering Tarmac 2 coil-over suspension. The springs I am using are RCE 400lbs springs front and rear. Next, Raceseng camber plates manage the front alignment for camber and caster adjustment. Lastly, Whiteline provides added roll stiffness in the front of the car with a 20mm front sway bar. Also included with the front sway bar is adjustable end-links. These modifications will increase the stability and handling of my 2017 Subaru BRZ for better performance when racing. To complete the BRZ suspension modifications, the car will need a race alignment and corner balancing.
The Subaru BRZ is new and improved for the 2017 model year. In addition to other enhancements, power increases are at the top of the list. Subaru claims to have increased the BRZ stock power by 5 horsepower and 5 lb-ft of torque. This brings the total horsepower output to 205hp and total torque output to 156lb-ft. Are these new BRZ stock power claims true? Well, I took my 2017 Subaru BRZ to the dyno and had it compared against my old 2013 Scion FRS. Both cars were bone stock when they hit the dyno. Although, the timelines were different as the FRS was on the dyno a year prior. However, the numbers and dyno graph don’t lie, take a look!
The BRZ is new and improved for 2017, here are my driving impressions.
Driving impressions are the best way to judge a car. With a little over 400 miles on my new 2017 Subaru BRZ, I share some thoughts on how it drives. I have to say, this thing is a blast to drive, and a lot like my previous 2013 Scion FRS! A scenic drive through the foothills of Colorado makes for an enjoyable driving experience. While cruising through the mountains I am able to get a good feel for the car, sharing my thoughts as I drive. In addition, I compared the driving behavior of my 2017 BRZ versus my 2013 Scion FRS. There are a lot of new things in the 2017 Subaru BRZ, but it is also very much the same as previous model year cars.
In this video I will be bringing you my brand new 2017 Subaru BRZ review!
I traded in my 2013 Scion FRS for this beautiful world rally blue pearl BRZ. This 2017 BRZ is the updated model of the previous year BRZ/FRS (now Toyota 86) twins. Included in this model refresh is new exterior styling along with LED lights and a backup camera. Next, the interior has push button start as well as steering wheel controls on the leather wheel. In addition, the car boasts 5 more horsepower/5 lb-ft more of torque. Lastly, a revised final drive changes the gearing which results quicker acceleration. This 2017 Subaru BRZ review is the first of many in my new Project BRZ YouTube series! Make sure to stay tuned for more videos and I hope you enjoy!
The 2016 Solo Nationals Championship drew a record number of participants.
With over 1300 total drivers in the event, the competition was sure to be high. However, the 2016 Solo Nationals out in Lincoln, Nebraska did not go as planned for me and my Scion FRS 🙁 We had serious issues with traction and grip on day 1, making the FRS very difficult to drive. As a result, we were way behind for day 2 of competition. Fortunately, we were able to make some positive setup changes for day 2. Once the car was working good, however, we were very competitive with some of the faster drivers. Sadly, the 2016 SCCA Solo National Championship came to an end with not much to brag about. We came away with a good learning experience and hope to come out stronger in 2017!
The 2016 Spring Nationals event is a great opportunity to drive on the famed Lincoln Air Park concrete surface.
Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, the site also hosts the year end SCCA National Championships for autocross racing. For the 2016 Spring Nationals, I competed in both the SCCA ProSolo event, as well as the Championship Tour event. I attended the the event for the first time in my Scion FRS. The Pro Solo autocross format features an exciting head-to-head drag racing style start. Once you leave the tree, the course transitions into a full blown autocross course. This racing format was very exciting and something entirely new for me.
Does a Sparco seat mount weigh more than a Buddy Club seat mount?
In my quest to save more weight on my 2013 Scion FRS, I had to find a lightweight seat mount. The Sparco seat mount turns out to be very heavy. My Sparco EVO race seat with the Sparco mounting kit weighed just as much as my stock seat! I had to come up with a better solution. I searched around until I came up with another option. The Buddy Club seat mount appeared to be the best option when trying to save weight with a race seat setup. Once I had both products in hand, I set out to find out exactly how much weight savings was to be gained by switching from the Sparco seat mount to the Buddy club.
The first summer season autocross is in the bag for my 2013 Scion FRS. This event #1 of 2016 was with the local BMWCCA autocross club. The FRS worked good “out of the box” with the various upgrades and initial alignment. The autocross course was very fast in some sections, which made it a lot of fun. In addition to that, it had numerous technical sections that really made you think. I am looking forward to more seat time in my 2013 Scion FRS and getting quicker as the season moves along.