Legendary engineer and founder of Lotus Cars, Colin Chapman once said that the key to a good race car is to “simplify, then add lightness”.
While many engineers focus on pure horsepower and engine displacement, Chapman also had other ideas: “Adding horsepower makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.”
A mantra that the Automotive YouTubers at Driven Media take very seriously their quest to transform their Subaru WRX Wagon into a true supercar killer for under $17,000 – spending around $7,300 so far on the car, semi-slicks, performance clutch and coilovers, the boys are currently deciding on the best approach to illuminating the Subie – without breaking the bank.
Joining them at the iconic Donington Park circuit, the boys hope to improve their lap time to 1.29.96 by dropping weight on the 3,194-pound Subaru WRX.
Everything has to go in the custom lightweight Subaru WRX
Browsing through the expensive, mid-range, and cheap options, the guys realize that proper weight reduction in the form of bits of carbon fiber would end up costing more than the price of the car itself – let alone how whose mid-level option still costs over $1,000 for an air conditioning and sunroof delete kit, a cheap bucket seat, and harness and harness bar attachments.
So, like any other dedicated garage mechanic, the most logical response is to rip out everything but the front seat, steering wheel, pedals and shifter.
The total for this excursion; well, it’s free of course, however, what you pay in sweat capital will make it feel like anything but free.
The hunt for cars that are worth 100 times more in the custom Subaru
Six hours and a pair of ripped pants later, the Subaru now weighs just over 2,800 pounds, saving 297 pounds.
Using the old F1 adage that saving around 20 pounds of weight can equate to gaining three-tenths of a second, the boys envision saving 4.5 seconds.
However, just at the right moment the quintessential English rain started spitting around the track – thus rendering any attempt at official timing pointless – luckily for us that doesn’t mean the guys still can’t get the Subie out for a bit of fun.
Because even though the best lap time of the day was around 10 seconds slower than in dry weather, Driven Media in-house driver Scotty took it upon himself to test the Subie’s supercar-hunting abilities with a great success passing a few Porsches, a Ferrari 488 Pista and a Can-Am car.
With nearly half of the budget still available, it looks like the boys are well on their way to building a real supercar killer.