So, you have been working hard, saved up and it’s finally time to treat yourself to a new ride, but what do you get?
The current market is flooded with an assortment of mighty hot hatchbacks that, well let’s face it, offer amazing value, efficiency, Star Trek-like technology, comfort and lip shifting performance. Yet, the biggest issue with all of these choices is that they are all still front wheel drive. There are options with clever four wheel drive, witchcraft, options, but let’s face it, your pockets aren’t deep enough for the Golf R and Audi S3’s of the world. Plus, that is the go-to option now a days, and we you would prefer to stand from the crowd.
So, from here, what are your options? You are probably looking at a catalogue of (no fun/understeering) hot hatchbacks that are actually turbo charged versions of what you currently drive. Ford Fiesta ST, Clio sport, Cooper S, Polo GTi. All great cars, yet all still front wheel drive.
WAIT A MINUTE… The land of the rising sun launched a rear wheel drive, limited slip differential, sports car that, hold the phone, oversteers at will and actually looks pretty darn good. Yes, that is car. I will throw my money towards a BRZ or GT86. At this point you start doing your research and although these rear wheel smile makers are fun to drive, they don’t really produce the power you want. The brochure counts 147kW, but we all know that on the Highveld, due to altitude, a naturally aspirated car loses a fair amount of power, and that ladies and gents, has become the “not so cool” part of buying a BRZ or GT86.
So, back to the front wheel drive hot hatchbacks then? NO.. We might have another idea for you that just might fit your wallet, although it might take a little more budgeting.
What if, just what if, you bought a second hand BRZ/GT86 and then supercharged it? YES.. SUPERCHARGE! Would that work?
Well luckily our motoring friend Matt Farah, from The Smoking Tire, has just driven a Subaru BRZ with a Vortech Centrifugal supercharger making about 325 hp (around 240kW). Additional to the supercharger, the BRZ has a suspension upgrade, bigger brakes (needed), wheels and tyre upgrades.
Now in South Africa, you might think this is a costly affair. Well, if you shop around for a decent, used BRZ or GT86 (probably the 86, it’s cheaper), and you find a good, reliable tuner and another R75 000 for the Vortech Supercharger, you might just find that the total cost of this little experiment might just add up to the same price as many of the little, front wheel (understeer nightmare) hot hatchbacks mentioned above. Hmmm… Not a bad idea…
How does a supercharged BRZ/GT86 perform? Check out this little run through the canyons.