What’s wrong with Toyota’s 86 sports coupe? Very little, but in an age where ‘more is more’ and the compact performance car segment is dominated by turbocharged über-hatches, its 147kW of normally-aspirated power looks a little limp-wristed. That’s even more apparent in Jozi where you can knock 20kW off that to compensate for thin air. And the Subaru BRZ, due for local launch soon, will face the same issues.
So while it scores top marks for handling and driveability, it’s slow. Zero to 120 km/h in 11 seconds slow, Quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds at a terminal speed of 142 clicks slow, overtaking from 60 to 100 km/h in fourth gear in 8.2 seconds slow and top speed of 223 km/h slow. You don’t want to know what a stock standard two-pedal version is capable of but here’s one piece of info: standstill to 120 km/h takes over 14 seconds.
But it doesn’t have to be this way: for R75 000 RGMotorsport of Strydom Park, Randburg, will turn the low-slung coupe into a fiery robot racer, able to fully exploit its rear-drive traction advantage, and whip through the 120 km/h sprint in around eight seconds and on to a 250 km/h top whack. Put another R9 950 on the table and they’ll add a Techniflow (RGM’s in-house exhaust designs) cat-free stainless steel exhaust and free up some more grunt, and a suitably extrovert sound track from a 63 mm outlet …
Unlike the figures for the standard car mentioned in the second paragraph, the figures above are estimates, but the Green brothers of RGMotorsport sees no reason why they aren’t attainable.
Says Rob Green, who after 20 years at the helm of RGM has a need for speed which is undiminished: “We estimate a conservative 210kW, which is 40% up on the standard figure, and in fact will translate into a real improvement of over 50% up here on the Reef, if the losses for altitude are taken into account.”
The installation is a ‘bolt-on’ which means there aren’t any internal changes made to the engine and it runs the standard 12.5:1 compression ratio. This is made possible thanks to an integrated air-to-air intercooler with all-aluminium tube ducting and an oversized cooler core to provide maximum cooling with minimum pressure loss. This integrated cooling system is the key to reliable performance.
Forcing the air into the intercooler is a V-3 H67BC centrifugal supercharger from Vortech (a brand RGM has used exclusively for more than a decade) and this particular unit is designed specifically for the horizontally-opposed FA20 Boxer engine. The package incorporates a curvaceous airbox and an optimised filter housing which allows for additional flow while retaining the factory cold air ram intake, and quick release fasteners for simple access to filter for servicing.
Other features of the installation include:
Discharge duct connections utilize heat-resistant silicon sleeves and premium quality stainless steel clamps.
CNC machined billet mounting brackets with black anodized finish for attractive and functional "factory-type" appearance and rigidity.
Complete ancillary set; including all necessary belts, pulleys and reusable high-flow air filter.
Despite its relatively straightforward bolt-on design, RGM’s expertise and experience in the art of supercharging is the Unique Selling Proposition that maximises the performance benefits while ensuring drivability isn’t sacrificed. To this end a Unichip 'piggyback' auxiliary engine management computer, fettled by an expect dynamometer operator, is used to remap ignition, air and fuel requirements of the modified system.
The end result will be a car with a six pack, whereas before it had the automotive equivalent of a ‘muffin top’ – that unsightly spare flesh that tends to bulge over the waistline and slow you down. Watch this space to see how we get an 86 in shape…
STORY BY ADRIAN BURFORD