Top 5 Performance Mods for Your Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ

The Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable cars to drive that is currently produced by Toyota and Subaru. This car exhibits outstanding driving dynamics, thanks to its low centre of gravity, front engine/rear drivetrain configuration and its 50/50 front/rear weight balance. Thanks to its horizontally-opposed, naturally-aspirated 200 horsepower 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, it is also capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/h in just six seconds.

A Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ has a lot on offer when it comes to an affordable sports car. However, if you’re looking to improve your car’s performance, the team at Aus Body Works have five top performance mods to take your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ to the next level.

  1. Wheels and Tyres

Though terrific for drifting and offering solid traction, the stock Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ tyres (215/45R17 Michelin Primacy HP summer/all-season tyres) are most suitable for non-competitive, regular driving. When you increase the output of your car, you’ll need to swap the stock tyres for high-performance tyres of an appropriate size, which shall enable you to fully power your car to the ground without the hassle of wheel spin.

A good starting set of tyres are 235/50R18 summer/all-season tyres. Think about what sort of output you are aiming for when it comes to choosing your tyres: slighter larger and wider tyres will work when keeping things naturally aspirated, however, a more aggressive set of tyres will be required where you plan to turbocharge or supercharge the car’s engine.

When you change your tyres, you should also consider replacing your stock wheels with a lighter option, which allow for a reduction in unsprung weight i.e. the car’s shocks and springs will not need to work  quite as hard in order to keep the tyres firmly planted on the road. Lighter wheels mean more responsive handling.

  1. Suspension Upgrades

Whether you are on a tighter budget or looking to spend a bit more, you can heighten your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ’s performance by means of upgrading the suspension.

Installing aftermarket lowering springs is a good option if you aren’t looking to blow your budget. You can count on improved handling, thanks to higher spring rates, as well as the ability to lower your car’s ride height to your personal preference.

If you have a bit more cash up your sleeve, you might like to consider investing in coilovers, which can significantly improve the handling of your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ (and also enable you to adjust the car’s ride height). Despite the assumption of many people that coilovers are reserved mainly for track/race cars, they can be used to their advantage in the case of daily driving, too.

  1. Headers (Equal or Unequal Length)

Installing aftermarket headers allows you to increase your car’s performance thanks to improving the way the engine breathes. When it comes to the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, you can choose between equal- or unequal-length headers.

The function of headers is to direct exhaust gases to a collector (merge point) via runners (pipes) from each of your engine’s cylinders. Equal-length headers feature runners of the same length, which result in exhaust gases being expelled at the same rate per pulse. Comparatively, unequal-length headers feature two longer runners, and therefore exhaust gases travelling through the longer runners take more time to arrive at the collector.

If maximum output is what you’re looking for, opt for equal-length headers. And despite delivering less additional output, unequal-length headers add further low-end torque, in addition to a deep rumble that sounds incredible.

  1. Catback Exhaust

A catback exhaust system can up the performance of your car by means of improving the flow of exhaust gases when exiting the car. A mid-pipe, muffler(s) plus exhaust tips make up the catback exhaust systems of the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ.

Larger diameters and mandrel-bent turns (to prevent back pressure build-up) are characteristic of aftermarket catback exhaust system components. Catback exhaust systems mean increased horsepower as well as more aggressive exhaust notes. Systems featuring separate mufflers per exhaust tip rather than a shared muffler lead to a louder, more thunderous sound.

  1. Remapping Your ECU

When increasing the performance of your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, be sure not to forget remapping your car’s ECU. A poorly-tuned ECU will not know how to handle gains in output (i.e. horsepower and torque) that you achieve by adding mods to your car. Don’t let all your money and effort put into increasing the performance of your car go to waste!

You may wish to tune your car’s ECU yourself, by means of a handheld performance tuner, such as EcuTek or OpenFlash. Taking just a few minutes in the comfort of your own driveway, this is an easy and very convenient option. Containing preloaded engine remaps, a handheld performance tuner means you can tune your ECU depending on the particular mods you have installed by selecting the option you want.

If you’d rather have the ECU re-mapped by a professional, a qualified tuner has the ability to customise your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ’s ECU precisely, according to your specific mods, and can perfectly align your performance aspirations with the tune.

Depending on how much you have to spend, there are other excellent performance mod options available out there, such as getting a turbocharger/supercharger and/or a cold air intake system. Whatever you choose, look for established aftermarket part sellers with solid reviews that focus on parts for your Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ.