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818S, 818R, & 818C - Design

Based on tough Subaru WRX running gear, Factory Five’s latest car was developed between 2010 and 2013.  The car was introduced at the 2012 SEMA Show and production began in June 2013. With a space-frame designed and tested on SolidWorks software, this single-donor kit will sell for $9,990. We have used our 15+ years of accumulated design and manufacturing skills to create a “world platform” car that can be COMPLETED for less than $15,000.

Design Goals Were:
• Single Donor Subaru Impreza/WRX Running Gear
• Factory Five Space Frame Chassis, 95″ Wheelbase
• Mid-Engine, Rear Wheel Drive Configuration
• Target weight – 1,800 lbs./818 kg.
• Two Seater Sports Car Design
• No Paint, Fiberglass UV-Resistant Gel-Coat Panels
• Target Kit Price: $9,990
• Target Vehicle Completion Cost Under $15,000
• Design Partners: SolidWorks Software, Hewlett-Packard, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, KONI Shocks, Wilwood Brakes, Toyo Tires, TheFactoryFiveForum.com

“Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stuffed a Subaru WRX motor into something that’s mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive, and weighs less than 2,000 lbs.? Because that’s the next Factory Five car – a two-seater built around inexpensive and indestructible Subaru running gear. The styling isn’t finalized, but I’m imaging something that looks like Lancia Stratos. And if you don’t break into a creepy serial-killer smile every time you imagine an affordable, WRX-based Stratos, then you are some kind of weirdo. The car’s new wheelbase is locked in at 95″ which is a little longer then an Exige.”

Ezra Dyer, Automobile Magazine, 2011

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    Frame / Chassis


    Key to the 818 is its rigid but lightweight tubular steel chassis, completely designed and tested on the latest version of SolidWorks software.

    Integrated into this space-frame chassis is rollover protection and side impact structure as well as front and rear crumple zones. The chassis is designed to be as rigid as possible while still maintaining a low overall weight and low center of gravity. It was designed and tested using Solidworks prior to being tested in our lab and then out in the field. The chassis comes finish-welded with all mounting brackets and tabs in place and is available with optional gloss-black powder coating.

    Click here to watch a brief chassis testing video

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    Composite Body


    The 818 is the first Factory Five car FULLY developed on the computer. The body shape began in a variety of ways, from CAD files and renderings to scans of existing shapes, and the final 818 body shape came from a full digital file, integrated with the chassis, and output to CNC-milled production tooling.

    This fully digitized shape is a true first for Factory Five and delivers tight tolerance parts that don’t need a lot of body work. Instead of a one-piece body, it is configured as a set of smaller panels that only require one-piece molds. This means that most 818 panels are free from mold parting lines commonly seen on other fiberglass bodies. This allows us to provide panels needing little-to-no paint or prep work. Body panels are produced in a UV resistant, gloss-red gelcoat that, with a small amount of buffing, looks just like a painted finish.

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    Suspension & Brakes


    The suspension on the 818 utilizes the spindles, brakes, and control arms from the Impreza/WRX donor car. We provide front upper A-arms and four corner KONI coil-over shocks. The muti-link rear suspension is standard, and the suspension geometry has been optimized for the wheelbase, center of gravity, and weight distribution of the chassis. The 818 suspension delivers exceptional handling yet still maintain a streetable ride quality. Factory wheel and tire sizes have been maintained. We offer upgraded performance shocks, Wilwood brakes, and affordable high-performance wheel options.

    Our development partner companies KONI Shocks and Wilwood Brakes have designed performance upgrades that are available through Factory Five.

    Click here to watch a brief video of suspension testing.

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    Running Gear


    As much of the donor car as possible was used in the design of the 818 in order to keep build cost low. The unique layout of the Impreza allows for the entire engine and transaxle unit to be moved to the rear of the car and used to drive the rear wheels with a simple locking collar installed in place of the center differential. This longitudinal mid-mounted flat four gives excellent balance from being both low-slung and mounted behind the driver’s compartment. In addition to the drivetrain, all of the steering, cooling and braking systems are retained from the Impreza donor vehicle.

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    The 818 is a small car with a large cockpit that accomodates drivers up to 6’4”. The seating position is low, and there is a good amount of leg room.

    The car uses the Subaru Impreza gauge pod and the kit includes OEM-styled ABS formed interior door panels, dash, and center console with shifter assembly, and e-brake adapter. Options include padded interior, upgraded shifter, seat choices, soft top, and removable hard top.

    The 818R does not have functional doors/door panels. Street windshield and surround is standard on the 818S and 818C. 818R includes a competition windshield. All 818 kits include lights, latches, and trim.

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    Performance Numbers, Road & Track Magazine
    The vehicle tested was powered by a 270 HP Subaru WRX engine with 5-speed transmission and was on Hoosier R6 tires with Wilwood 11.5″ front and 11.3″ rear brakes.

    0-60 in 3,8 seconds
    0-100 in 9.9 seconds
    1/4 mile in 12.5.3 seconds @ 112 MPH
    60-0 braking in 114 feet
    Skid pad lat G – 1.120
    Curb weight – 2012 lbs.
    Price as tested – $25,377

    Front suspension type – Upper and lowed A-arms
    Rear suspension type – Multilink
    Shock-springs – Koni coil-over with ride height adjustability
    Steering – Manual, 16.5:1
    Brakes – Vented 11.5/11.3 disc f/r
    Tires – Hoosier R6, 255/40ZR-17 Front and 255/35ZR-18 Rear

    Weight – 2,012 lb. (818R was tested and weighed.  818S weighs less)
    Weight distribution – F/R 43.7/56.3 (percent)
    Wheelbase – 96 inches
    Overall length – 155 inches
    Front track – 59.5 inches
    Rear track – 59.0 inches
    Overall height – 52.5 inches
    Overall width – 69.5 inches
    Fuel capacity – 18 gallons

    Layout – Mid, longitudinal
    Frame – Twin tube space frame with integral backbone
    Roll cage – 3 point, structurally mounted 2 inch DOM Tubing
    Sub-structure – Aluminum paneling riveted and bonded to frame
    Restraint system – 5 point Simpson Harness