Automobile Magazine’s iPad app (free download) previews the 818S at Virginia International Raceway. Click here for more.
There’s plenty to report on our newest Factory Five. The team continues to follow the development and launch plan closely, and I’m super proud of everyone. While August saw the 818R (race version) join the 818S in production, September recorded the milestone of the first right-hand-drive 818, and production passed the first 50 units. On November 1st, we will have reached our production ramp up goal of 5 cars per week in an effort to reduce lead times.
The team successfully tested the STi 6-speed transmission and qualified the optional Wilwood brakes. SEMA will see the unveil of our new soft top, our right-hand-drive model, and a customer-built 818 with a 6-cylinder Subaru engine (I’m looking forward to hearing that!).
The right-hand-drive 818S entered production in September and is sure to make export customers happy… but Dave can’t figure out how to drive it.
The newest Factory Five continues to earn quite a bit of press, and the track times just keep getting faster and faster. On behalf of everyone at Factory Five, I would like to thank you for your continued support of this exciting new design.
All-New 818 Soft Top Design!
After about a month of design and testing at our partners, Rod Tops in Michigan, the final version of the 818S soft top is ready for our evalutation here in New England. The guys at Rod Tops have designed two previous tops for us – the Mk4 Roadster and the ’33 Hot Rod. Those designs have received rave reviews and are truely weather capable. The 818S soft top design goals were to be a bit more affordable while maintaining the quality and all-weather capabilities of the other Rod Tops designs.
Rod Tops’ Dave Draper sits in the 818S with prototype soft top fitted. We will unveil the final soft top design at SEMA 2013.
818 Colors at SEMA 2013
We will be showing four all-new 818’s at the 2013 SEMA Show and we are using some radical new colors! Above is customer Wayne P.’s metallic orange 818S (with a 6-cylinder engine!) trunk panel. Wayne’s car will be at SEMA. Click here to follow his build thread on the forum.
Customer Henry R. Picks-up 818S!
Factory Five customer Henry R. has built some award-winning Factory Fives over the years. Two weeks ago, he picked up his new 818S model. This will be Henry’s eighth Factory Five build! Click here for more details.
Yahoo! Autos Profiles 818S
Automobile Magazine writer Ezra Dyer has been following the 818 project since it’s inception. Ezra wrote an evalution article for Automobile’s next print issue and also did a fun video for Yahoo! Autos. Click here to watch his interview with FFR’s Jim Schenck and his driving evaluation.
818R Wins First Place at Watkins Glen Race!
The new 818 scores 1st place in Class and 1st overall at NASA’s September 28 and 29 Watkins Glen road races. The 818R driven by 2012 Factory Five Challenge Series Champion John George ran a best lap time of 2:02.005 with impressive 1.7 G cornering! The team successfully tested the new mounts for the STi 6-speed transmission, and finalized the optional Wilwood brakes. Driver John G. commented that the Wilwood brakes were the best he’s ever driven in any car! Watch the in-car action below.
Preview the 818 Section on the New Factory Five Promo DVD
The Factory Five promotional DVD has been one of the longest delayed projects ever! The good news is that the final revisions have been made and we should be shipping out copies by the thousands shortly. Here’s a clip of the draft 818 section from a few months ago. Watch the video below.
Build School Plans 818S Classes for 2014
Last weekend, we attended the Factory Five Racing Mk4 Build School in Howell, MI with Willie B and the crew from Two Guys Garage. We are excited to announce that the build school will be adding the 818S to its curriculum, which includes the ’33 Hot Rod and Mk4 Roadster. Build School classes for the 818S will begin in mid-2014. More information shortly.
Mott Community College President Dick Shaink (seated) with Willie B, John Passante, and Bob Howell (left to right).