The Factory Five 818 is an affordable two-seater, mid-engined car that is a modern original design rather than a vintage replica. The 818 has running gear that can be found anywhere on the planet and can be built in both right-hand and left-hand drive configurations.

Factory Five is famous for our strong and light chassis, and the 818 continues this tradition. Owing to the fact that this is a “world” car, (which means we are designing it to be built in countries all around the world), the running gear had to come from a vehicle that is available in most countries on the planet. This is one reason why the Subaru running gear makes sense. The Subaru engine is a longitudinal mid-mounted flat four with a transaxle attached. It gives fantastic balance, low center of gravity, and most importantly, a very low total vehicle weight. Subaru is known for making big power reliably, the aftermarket is enormous, and the customer base is strong and passionate.

The 818 is about handling and driving fun. The newest Factory Five has already become one of our most popular, and has attracted a whole new generation of car builders.


“It rips the tires loose in pit lane on a whisper of throttle.  Forget the WRX.  Forget every street car you’ve ever driven. This is something else.”

Jack Baruth | 
Road & Track

818 Frame & Chassis

The 818 Frame

Two Chassis/Three Models. Key to the 818 is its rigid but lightweight tubular steel chassis, completely designed and tested on the latest version of SolidWorks software and countless hours on the track. The 818S and 818C share the same street chassis (functional doors). The 818R frame (below) adds a full race cage and side impact tubing to the 818S frame.

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. The chassis comes finish-welded with all mounting brackets and tabs in place and is available with optional gloss-black powder coating.

unst0001Our welded parts are made in the USA with American labor.

PrintThe Factory Five 818 frame is computer designed on Solidworks™ software using Hewlett Packard workstations.

818 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.


“The kit costs $9,990, so even with an unreasonably cherry WRX donor, the bang for the buck is hard to beat: a Porsche 911 Turbo’s power-to-weight ratio for the price of a well-used Boxster.”

Ezra Dyer | Automobile Magazine

818 Suspension & Brakes


818 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 maintains a streetable ride quality. The 818 uses factory wheel and tire sizes. We offer upgraded performance shocks, Wilwood brakes, and affordable, high-performance wheel options.

818 Interior & Trim

The 818 is a small car with a large cockpit that accommodates 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.

818 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.

818 Specifications


  • 0-60: 3.8 seconds
  • 0-100: 9.9 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 12.5 seconds at 112 MPH
  • 60-0 braking: 114 feet
  • Skid pad lat G: 1.120
  • Curb weight: 2012 lbs.
  • Top speed: 145 MPH, gearing limited
  • Peak HP tested: 270 HP
  • Peak torque tested: 300 lb.-ft.
  • 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. 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

The Factory Five 818 earned the cover of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, and was the subject of a 10-part build story.  The car also earned GRM Editor’s Choice Award in 2013.


“We started with nothing more than a pile of parts, a wrecked Subaru, and an instruction manual, and we finished with a car that can attract drooling bystanders, beat a Porsche on a track, and take you to work every day.”


Tim Suddard
Grassroots Motorsports Magazine