February 27, 2013 Update.
Project 818 is speeding along at top speed. We’ve got a full time crew of four engineers and two techs, plus support from the rest of the crew here at FFR as needed.
The bulk of the work we are engaged in, and will be working on for the next month or so, is tooling, jigs and fixtures. The chassis/frame jig and related welding fixtures are being made and finalized, with upgrades and changes made quickly thanks to our new CNC laser-cutting machine. The body molds are now third generation with a lot of confidence on the shapes and tolerances. Jim is making small shape changes for convenience, such as splitting the rear deck from one hatch piece into two, with a hinged deck lid.
We completed two full days of track testing in North Carolina with both the 818S and 818R cars. The lengthy track time was invaluable (we completely wore the race tires down to the cords!) and we are very happy with the cars’ performance, durability, and netted some great design review ideas to incorporate pre-launch. The cars were generating very fast lap times with cornering G loads in excess of 1.5G’s! Both vehicles were powered by 265 HP WRX engines.
The team is confident that we will meet our production launch targets, and after recent track testing, we all wished we could have had the cars at the recent Hot Rod Magazine/Motor Trend testing. We’ve posted some short track videos for fun.
Big thanks to customers and development test drivers Wayne Presley, from Verycoolparts.com and John George, NASA National Champion. Wayne and John provided excellent independent feedback to the engineering staff during track/durability testing.
We’re getting close to production and the first production kit is slated to go to the good guys at Grassroots Motorsports Magazine for assembly article and evaluation.
Marketing has been a lower priority as all resources are dedicated to engineering and production start-up. Still, Adam Costa from Lone Wolf was here and included a lot of video work for our hugely delayed, but soon-to-be-released new Factory Five DVD. The 818 will be fully covered in this new DVD.
Lastly, we had photographers here from a major magazine here for a few days photgraphing all the individual parts of the kit. We will be conducting a full road test/magazine evaluation with a major national publication for an article on the new car. Stay tuned on that!
I am happy to report that the 818 continues to progress as planned and is indeed our best work yet!
The engineering team recently changed the rear hatch design for easy access. Functional testing is driving excellent refinement on the 818.
BoldRide.com Covers 818
George Kennedy from BoldRide.com visit during the Factory Five Winter Open House and reports on Project 818. Click here to read the article.
818 Marketing & Photo Galleries
Check out our expanded photo galleries that has new track shots, as well as studio photography of the 818 in the galleries section.