Behind the Scenes at MAP. JDM Subie Powering... Something You Wouldn't Expect.
Posted on 25 February 2014
Modern Automotive Performance is known for some pretty radical builds. Remember our LS powered RX7? Occasionally our customers come to us with some wild ideas too, and while unfortunately some of these ideas never come to fruition, some do. And when Peter Borne from Airborne Creative Group came to us with the idea of an EJ20 powered Dune Buggy, our shop managers eyes lit up like the fourth of July! The mere thought of this little buggy just sounds awesome. The goal of this project is to build a Manxter buggy kit to be completely road/street legal and offer the same fun factor and performance appeal as late model Porche Boxster's at a fraction of the cost. The goal is completely feasible too considering the final product will weigh in at approximately 1700lbs and will be powered by a JDM EJ20 WRX STi motor, pushing ~250 turbocharged horsepower. That's right, turbo power! There is tons of fabrication work that had to go into the motor and driveline just to make it fit the small buggy. It has a reverse cut pinion and welded rear differential from SubaruGears in order to put down the power from the backwards orientation of the JDM motor. It sports a 4 wheel disc brake conversion from EMPI and is kitted with a hydralic clutch to Subaru driveline. The vintage look of the buggy is retained with 5 rib American Racing wheels that have been powdercoated black with a chrome lip, wrapped in Nitto Extreme ZR tires.The chassis is based off an old school 74 VW Super Beetle and improved with various 1971-1974 VW parts. The interior of the buggy will feature tech from a tablet to coordinate the OBD-2 powered gauges and tachometer. A navigation system is planned to display real-time guidance and speedometer, along with an iPad integrated sound system. The driver will be able to toggle displays to view their engine diagnostic information including oil pressure, boost, and water temp. The upholstery is custom from PRP Seats and modified to fit the tight interior of the small buggy shell. If the goal of this project is met, it will represent the 'next generation' of the Meyers Manx company and introduce Airborne Creative Group as a player in the performance Buggy community. As a collaborative effort between Airborne and MAPerformance, various performance 'stages' will be available for purchase, including Turbos and Intercooler bolt-ons. Plans for a 600hp kit are also in the talks as the ultimate stage upgrade kit! The use of widely available Subaru parts, minimal modification required for production, and the availability of aftermarket performance will surely make this project fun for all in the end.