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Old 11-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
vh_supra26
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Subaru BRZ, Meet HKS Supercharger

Japanese Tuner Adds What Most Think BRZ Needs: More Power



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Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Masinori Kuwahara, among the first people in the world to get their hands on the all-new HKS GT Supercharger Complete Kit (GTS7040L) specifically for the Subaru BRZ, and by extension, the Scion FR-S. Kuwahara-san is a parts retailer here in Japan, and he's also a friend and business partner of the HKS president. It helps to have friends in high places.

According to Kuwahara, the HKS unit is "a basic kit with high potential." He said installation on his personal BRZ was relatively easy and took about a day, with the only major structural modification revolving around shifting the radiator frame in order to properly mount the boost pipe. Once the supercharger was installed, the car was put on the dyno and some slight adjustments were made to the fuel and air flow as well as ignition timing. He saw a real, measured increase in power from 157 to 235 horsepower (in Japanese measurements) at the rear wheels, and all with a largely stock motor.

How high is high potential? Kuwahara believes that with a complete rebuild of the new FA20 2.0-liter boxer-four, it could push as much as 400 horsepower, but he's confident he could get it to 280 horsepower with new fuel injectors, an aftermarket exhaust system, and some valve reworking. Unlike rebuilding the engine, these modifications and power improvements would be reasonable enough for an advanced tuner to achieve. We've already seen as much at the recent 2012 SEMA show, where several Scion FR-S cars were fitted with superchargers. HKS partner Evasive showcased a prototype HKS unit on its SEMA Scion FR-S.

Kuwahara's already had the car out on the road (the HKS kit is production spec and fully street legal in Japan), and said its overall feel is "not much different than stock." Not surprising, the power surge comes on at higher RPMs, although it maintains a smooth feel at lower revs, where he's spent most of his time driving the car.

So while the HKS unit could help alleviate the BRZ's much-discussed lack of overall power, it doesn't come cheap. Kuwahara said it costs approximately $6000 (in Japan) for the supercharger alone, which doesn't include an upgraded ECU chip. Is it worth it? Kuwahara thinks so, but of course, he's cozy with the president of HKS, so take it with a slight pinch of salt. Unless you also have friends in high places you'll probably have to wait a bit to get your hands on one. It's a combination of an order backlog in Japan (no surprise there) and emission regulations that will require some correcting before HKS can legally import it for U.S. street use.

While not for everyone, the HKS application would make sense for the occasional racer looking to get a performance boost on race day, but it's also sedate enough for everyday driving. With the ease of installation and a roughly 75 horsepower performance bump with only slight tweaks, it's easy to see why the HKS Supercharger would make sense for owners desperate for more performance from their rear-drive sports coupe.5
















http://www.motortrend.com/features/p.../#ixzz2DRUK37Q

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:51 PM   #2
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In the mid to low range it feels normal? Sounds like it isn't worth it to me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:52 PM   #3
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...I thought Toyota/Subaru said there's no space??...lol
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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They need to get the horsepower figures clear, I have never heard of "Japanese horsepower" before


EDIT: I think they may have made a typo and 157 should read 197 as I have read that HKS expect a 40hp increase in power if the SC is just bolted straight on.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Oh god not racing strips.... It now looks like a Mustang
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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^ Ha, that's what I was thinking. Stripes + supercharger = almost a Mustang?

I like what I hear, but damn its also pretty expensive though.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
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Like SUB said, if the low-range still feels like it does stock then this kit does not interest me at all.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunny86 View Post
They need to get the horsepower figures clear, I have never heard of "Japanese horsepower" before


EDIT: I think they may have made a typo and 157 should read 197 as I have read that HKS expect a 40hp increase in power if the SC is just bolted straight on.
They said "horsepower at the rear wheels" so 157 is not far off. Most stock BRZ/FR-S were hitting 162-167 rwhp on American dynos.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunny86 View Post
They need to get the horsepower figures clear, I have never heard of "Japanese horsepower" before


EDIT: I think they may have made a typo and 157 should read 197 as I have read that HKS expect a 40hp increase in power if the SC is just bolted straight on.
That's in PS and at the wheels (PS is metric horsepower). Very similar to the ~160 WHP we have been seeing in the states.

-Charlie
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST185RC View Post
Oh god not racing strips.... It now looks like a Mustang
+10 HP
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucius View Post
...I thought Toyota/Subaru said there's no space??...lol
It's amusing that almost every speedshop who has made a kit so far has a similar experience.

"Alright boys, we'll need to find a place to put thi- Oh there's already a perfectly sized space for it? What about the pipi- oh it's clear exactly where it needs to go? Cool."
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:59 PM   #12
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I don't think I would pay that much for something that would feel like stock at lower end...
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #13
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Maybe that means we can still get decent mileage for commuting and such, but have that extra oomph for the track and autocross.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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Maybe that means we can still get decent mileage for commuting and such, but have that extra oomph for the track and autocross.
Yeah, I really like that I would still be able to drive normally until I wanted the power. It's not as if it is difficult to keep the FR-S at higher RPMs through the gears if you want to.

I do want to see more options though. I am STILL waiting to see anyone put a power chart out for a PD supercharger on this car.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunny86 View Post
They need to get the horsepower figures clear, I have never heard of "Japanese horsepower" before


EDIT: I think they may have made a typo and 157 should read 197 as I have read that HKS expect a 40hp increase in power if the SC is just bolted straight on.
A lot of Japanese companies use PS or metric horsepower which is about 5 hp higher than SAE horsepower. Not much of a major difference
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:25 PM   #16
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I know it was somewhat dictated by the supercharger placement, but I really feel like they could have simplified the piping on that thing. It's worthy of a Wonka factory contraption.

On another note-a smaller pulley and a wastegate with the right tuning could give the best of both worlds if you want good low end.

Nathan
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:40 PM   #17
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Re: space. Subaru is required by pedestrian crash standards for there to be a certain amount of space between the hood and the bits under it. If aftermarket uses this room for their kits, it doesn't mean that Subaru would be allowed to do that from the factory.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:56 PM   #18
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It sounds like a v-tec-like supercharger...lol
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #19
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maybe I'm in the minority on this, but I would prefer a SC/turbo kit to provide more low-end oomph even at the expense of peak hp gains... I feel like in the high RPMs power is already good, the weak spot is down low to mid-range.

did anyone notice the picture of their shift knob, has the wrong 6-speed shift pattern? Unless the JDM BRZ has R down by 6...
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:13 PM   #20
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I have zero comments about the super/performance.

What I do have to say is, with so much flamboyant and overly futuristic modification (giant wings, etc) being done (which I am not a fan of), it is nice to see such a classy car for a change. Blue with grey rally stripes. I didn't think rally stripes would look good on these cars, but this has softened that impression.

The stripes along the side are particularly nice.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
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maybe I'm in the minority on this, but I would prefer a SC/turbo kit to provide more low-end oomph even at the expense of peak hp gains... I feel like in the high RPMs power is already good, the weak spot is down low to mid-range.
Your not the minority, for most people when they look at any powerband/dyno chart they would want good power across the rev range, and of course when you consider the nature of a high reving n/a, which requires you to wind it up to get into powerband, you'd automatically think, well the lower end is weak.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that! and if that is your goal, then a turbocharger would be better all things considering.

The goal for subaru/toyota however is to force the driver to get into powerband. If you've done any sort of HPDE or road courses in a N/A you'll notice that your on your toes more and you tend to be more aware of your engines performance because your focused on keeping your car in powerband while getting the car to rotate. N/A drivers are fucking hardcore IMO.

Its in the best interest of people like..lets say HKS to develop parts that don't deviate from that type of performance. and a SC that keeps that nature while bumping up the power output is a win for them.

Turbochargers will typically move the powerband lower, while superchargers will get you to powerband quicker. which is more important to you?
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #22
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maybe I'm in the minority on this, but I would prefer a SC/turbo kit to provide more low-end oomph even at the expense of peak hp gains... I feel like in the high RPMs power is already good, the weak spot is down low to mid-range.

did anyone notice the picture of their shift knob, has the wrong 6-speed shift pattern? Unless the JDM BRZ has R down by 6...
I concur.
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