To stay on top of your game, sometimes you need to go down an unfamiliar avenue. In 2013, Factory Five Racing (FFR) introduced the 818S and R models which were an instant hit. Featuring many parts from a Subaru WRX, the mid-engine two-seater was designed specifically towards a younger, sport compact demographic. Simply spend $10,000 on a kit, $4,000 to $8,000 on a WRX donor, and about 200 man-hours later, a 1,900-pound sport compact rocket ship appears.
A few months ago, the Factory Five crew updated the front of the car and added an optional hardtop. From this, FFR added another model to the 818 stable, the 818C. At the 2015 SEMA Show FFR had a fresh 818C painted in Factory Five Sherwin-Williams Sinister Black accented with carbon fiber parts also offered by the company.
FFR uses Solidworks CAD technology to design, test, and produce all aspects of the car. The body, chassis and sub-systems have been designed 100 percent on the computer. FFR also employs leading-edge technology in the design of tools and molds, as well as CNC mills that manufacture the frame and welded parts. Further, it uses new technology in the forming of composite body panels that result in a no-paint finish. You can build the 818 Coupe in your own garage, or have a third-party handle the wrenching.
“This is a ‘world’ car, which means we are designing it to be built in countries all around the world,” says David Smith of FFR. “The running gear had to come from a vehicle that is available in most countries on the planet. The other big reason Subaru was selected was for its engine layout — a longitudinal mid-mounted flat four with a transaxle attached — which gives fantastic balance, a low center of gravity, and most importantly, a very low total vehicle weight. To accomplish our aggressive target build cost of $9,990 for the kit price, and ability to complete the vehicle for under $15,000, the car needed to be a true single donor proposition.”