The Subaru WRX has always needed a dash more style, and the do-it-yourself carmakers at Factory Five are looking to accomplish a lot more than that with their new mid-engine, rear-wheel drive 818. The sports car started with a contest in 2011 to create the shape for the company's next vehicle, while sticking within certain limits. A designer named Nouphone Bansasi had his entry chosen, and first cars were completed last year.

The 818 is named after its target weight of 818 kilograms (1,803 pounds), and it's offered in two forms. The S starts at $9,990 and is meant for street use, with two seats and a basic interior. The R model for $10,990 is more track-focused and features a tiny windshield and full roll cage. The company claims that complete cars can be built for around $15,000, after factoring in the donor Subaru. Performance is very brisk, with acceleration to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, according to Motor Authority.

The kits are meant to be something that even a relative novice could put together. All the builder needs to provide is a 2002-2007 Impreza or WRX. The car donates its turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine, transmission, axles, brakes, steering and other major components. Factory Five supplies the spaceframe, body, suspension, lights, windshield and some interior trim. It doesn't even need paint, thanks to its gel-coated fiberglass body panels. The company also offers a laundry list of options, including carbon fiber aero components, upgraded suspension parts, improved brakes and more. Kits can be ordered in either left- or right-hand drive.

For the mechanically inclined buyer, the 818 seems like a unique alternative to the Miata-based projects that many sports car fans take on. Scroll down to watch a video that goes into deeper detail and shows the 818 on track.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      h-man
      • 9 Months Ago
      Autoblog: What happened to all the comments from this weekend? There were over 60. Today zero.
      RetrogradE
      • 9 Months Ago
      At first I thought this was a modified S2000. I'm all for more open-source stuff that you can DIY.
      Anthony Thomas
      • 9 Months Ago
      If you go on YouTube there is already a complete car being driven around somewhere in the Southeastern US. He had upgraded some of the engine, so its putting down more power than a standard WRX engine. At $15-20K it does appear to be affordable. The problem is, the lack of basic creature comforts all but eliminate it from daily use whenever the weather is less than ideal. Living in Southern California, that would mean almost everyday but in reality the interior needs a bit more polish before I would consider it for a daily driver. As a secondary trackday/autocrosser however you can't get much more affordable than this.
      Hieu Vu
      • 9 Months Ago
      Cool car, but the camry headlights is killing the style!
      jjmoonen
      • 9 Months Ago
      Love the concept, but very disappointed by the styling. When this project was first announced way back when I was very excited..........then I saw the release of the first images on Factory 5's website. Just not what I expected I guess. Although from a drivers standpoint, I'm sure the performance is exceptional.
      Phlegming Liberal
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wish it had a roof...
        BipDBo
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Phlegming Liberal
        They have a rag top option. It's not cheap 9around $3,000), and does not fold up in 10 seconds, but from what I have heard, it's very well built and will keep you dry. For anything except for sunny day driving, the builder would need to also add heat, A/C and at this point, I think even windshield wipers. This is common for a kit car, but is in my opinion, the biggest asterisk of the 818. There has been a lot of talk of an eventual coupe hardtop version, but no development yet.