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Top 5 Performance Mods for Your Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ

September 24, 2018

Top 5 Performance Mods for Your Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ

Hero Image Credit: performancedrive.com.au

Without a doubt, the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ is one of the most fun-to-drive cars that both Toyota and Subaru currently have in production, so you did well to get one.

It exhibits excellent driving dynamics, thanks to its 50/50 front/rear weight balance, its front engine/rear drivetrain configuration, and its low centre of gravity. Its naturally-aspirated, horizontally-opposed 200-hp 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine also manages to propel it from zero to 100km/h in a respectable 6 seconds.  Therefore, it has a lot to offer as a sports car, but there is room for improvement.

If you are yearning for something more from your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ in terms of performance, here are the top 5 performance mods that are sure to kick things up a notch. 

Wheels and Tyres

The stock 215/45R17 Michelin Primacy HP summer/all-season tyres are great for drifting and offer good traction, but they are best suited to regular, non-competitive driving. When you crank up the output of the car, you’ll need appropriately sized, high-performance tyres that can put that power to the ground fully without any wheel spin, and these stock tyres just won’t hack it.

235/50R18 summer/all-season tyres would be a good place to start. Note that your tyre choice should be informed by the target output that you are going for with your car. If you intend to keep it naturally aspirated, you’ll just need slightly wider and larger tyres, but if you intend to turbo-charge or supercharge your car’s engine, you’ll need an even more aggressive tyre setup.

With the tyre change, you should also get lighter wheels. Lighter wheels translate to a reduction in unsprung weight, which means that the car’s shocks and springs won’t have to work as hard as before to keep the tyres planted on the road. Therefore, with lighter wheels, you are sure to get more responsive handling.

 Top 5 Performance Mods for Your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ Wheels and Tyres

Image Credit: motor1.com

Suspension Upgrades

You can also improve the performance of your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ by upgrading your suspension system. If you are on a budget, you can opt to just install aftermarket lowering springs. They enable you to lower the car’s ride height to the setting that you prefer, and, thanks to the fact that they feature higher spring rates, you can also count on getting better handling with them.

The next level in suspension upgrades is coilovers. Coilovers are more expensive, but they give you the ability to adjust the car’s ride height at will; they also significantly improve the car’s handling. Many people assume that coilovers are predominantly for track/race cars, but this is not so. They can also be adjusted to offer the kind of ride quality that you would want for daily driving.

Headers (Equal or Unequal Length)

You can also enhance your car’s performance by improving how its engine breathes, and you can do this by installing aftermarket headers. You can have either equal-length or unequal-length headers for your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ.

The headers direct exhaust gases away from each cylinder through pipes called runners that travel to a collector (a merge point). In equal-length headers, the runners are the same length, so the exhaust gases are expelled at an equal rate per pulse. In unequal-length headers, two runners are longer than the other two, and, as a result, the exhaust gases that flow through the two longer runners take longer to get to the collector.

If you want maximum output, you should go for the equal-length headers. The unequal-length headers may deliver less additional output, but they add more low-end torque and a deep, characteristic rumble that makes the car sound awesome.    

 Top 5 Performance Mods for Your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ Headers (Equal or Unequal Length)

Image Credit: themotorreport.com.au

Catback Exhaust

Catback exhaust systems for the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ are comprised of a midpipe, muffler(s), and exhaust tips. The main objective of a catback exhaust is to allow easy flow of exhaust gases as they exit the car.

Because of this, most aftermarket catback exhaust system components generally feature larger diameters than the stock exhaust components; they are also designed with mandrel-bent turns to prevent a build-up of back pressure in those turns.

In addition to delivering gains in horsepower, catback exhaust systems deliver more aggressive exhaust notes. The systems with separate mufflers for each exhaust tip are louder and more thunderous than the ones that use a shared muffler for both exhaust tips.    

Remapping Your ECU

You also need to tune or remap your car’s ECU, if you really want to improve its performance. You can add a plethora of mods and succeed in enhancing the car’s horsepower and torque, but if your car’s stock ECU is not tuned appropriately, it won’t know what to do with all the gains in output. This means that all your efforts in adding performance mods to your car may go to waste if you don’t tune your ECU.

There are different ways of getting your car’s ECU tuned, and one way is by using popular handheld performance tuners, like OpenFlash and EcuTek. This option is the easiest and most convenient because you can do it yourself in your own driveway, and it just takes a few minutes. The tuner enables you to tune your ECU, based on the different mods that you have installed. It comes with preloaded engine remaps, so you can select the option that you want, and flash your car’s ECU.

Another option is getting a qualified automotive technician to give your car a custom tune. This option may be more expensive, but it gives the best results because a professional tuner can customise your ECU for your installed mods more precisely. He/she can also perfectly align the tune with your performance aspirations for the car.

 Top 5 Performance Mods for Your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ Remapping Your ECU

Image Credit: topspeed.com

Depending on the budget that you have, you can also opt for other great performance mod options, like getting a cold air intake system and/or a turbocharger/supercharger.

When looking for the best mods for your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, it’s best to use established, well-reviewed aftermarket part sellers for obvious reasons (especially those that give special focus to parts for Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ, like AusBody Works). At AusBody Works, we want the best for our customers, so we only sell parts and components from top-rated aftermarket part manufacturers and sellers.