Driving impressions – 2017 BRZ

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.

2017 Subaru BRZ review

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!

 

2016 Solo Nationals – Scion FRS

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!

2016 Spring Nationals in my FRS

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.

 

Sparco seat mount vs Buddy Club

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.

FRS racing – BMWCCA autocross

First BMWCCA autocross event of the year in 2016.

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.

Sparco EVO seat install

A Sparco EVO seat install into your FRS or BRZ has a number of benefits.

The Sparco EVO race seat saves weight over the stock seat and also provides additional support. For this video, I go over how to properly install the seat and mounting hardware in the car. For the hardware, I used a Sparco base mount, Sparco side mounts, and a Sparco seat slider. Overall, the Sparco EVO seat install process is pretty straightforward. However, there are some tricky parts of the process which require extra care. I also compare the weight savings between the stock Scion FRS seats and the Sparco seat and mount setup.

 

Winter season autocross in my FRS

Taking my Scion FRS out for the last winter season autocross event.

The last winter season autocross event is upon us. This also happens to be just the second race for my Scion FRS. The Scion FRS is a natural in the autocross format and it performed really good. The suspension upgrades on my Scion FRS made a world of difference. As I continue to make adjustments, the car starts feeling better and better. There is a long ways to go to get the car working as good as I would like. However, I think we are off to a good start and our results in the last winter season race supported that.

FRS first autocross event

My FRS first autocross event is finally here!

Certainly not the last, but it is time for my FRS first autocross event. After getting some of the initial upgrades in place, I can finally race it! This first event was more of a shakedown race. I really just wanted to see how the car would behave. Also, I wanted to make sure nothing broke on the car 🙂 We had a bit of a scare sliding on some loose gravel, however the day ended up great overall. The autocross course left something to be desired for testing purposes. But, it was valuable seat seat time in the FRS.

FRS horsepower post upgrades

Post upgrade FRS horsepower!

Now that I have all of my engine modifications installed, it is time to hit the dyno. Our goal on the dyno is to figure out the FRS horsepower after the upgrades. The addition of intake, headers, exhaust, and a tune should show decent improvements over the FRS stock dyno power numbers. Being that these are small boxer engines, I am not expecting miracles. Increasing horsepower and torque in the mid-range would be ideal. Turbocharging or supercharging would be the next step for even more power. However, for my autocrossing needs, these engine bolt-ons are sufficient. I also have to stay within the rules of the SCCA STX class with my upgrades.