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How to transform your Subaru WRX into a sports car for under $15K

See how to take your 2002-2007 Subaru WRX performance car and turn it into a two-seat sports car for under $15,000.

Imagine turning your 2002-2007 Subaru WRX that’s sitting in your garage into a screaming two-seat sports car for under $15K. That’s what Factory Five Racing has done for Subaru WRX performance enthusiasts. You can take your Subaru WRX and transform it into a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive, 1,800 pound, Subaru WRX powered two-seat sports car. And you can build it in your own garage.

Factory Five Racing provides the chassis, frame, suspension, and body, and you provide the 2002-2007 Subaru WRX or normally aspirated Impreza donor car. If you have a Subaru WRX, you have whatever you need to build the 818 in your garage. The 818 uses composite body panels that are gel coated and don’t have any body seams so there is absolutely no panting required.

The idea behind the 818 was to build a fun to drive mid-engine lightweight sports car. It comes in two variants, the 818 S Speed model and the 818 R which is the track version and race model. The company was launched with the Factory Five Mustang kit model. The kit for the Subaru WRX 818 is $9,900 and can be finished for $15K.

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995 and has become the world’s largest manufacturer of component car kits. They employ a full time crew of about 30 people and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts. All the components are are made right here in the U.S. and can be shipped anywhere in the world. Factory Five uses a combined 62,000 square feet for their manufacturing operations.

They build the frame, chassis, suspension and body, and you take the engine and drivetrain from your Subaru WRX donor car and build the WRX 818 in your own garage. Factory Five says, “Building your own car puts you in a special and exclusive club. You have to earn your way in with skill, determination, late nights, skinned knuckles and understanding wives (and husbands!).

Dave Smith, President of the company, says they will provide all the factory support you need to build a Factory Five Subaru WRX 818 sports car. They use the latest computer technology to design and build the 818 kit. The production model can be built for $9.900 and they say the finished product out the door of your garage is under $15K.

What do you get with the kit?

Frame, Body, Aluminum and Composite Chassis Panels, Front Suspension and Steering, Rear Suspension that comes with Multi-link rear suspension includes rear lower control arms, fasteners, adapter brackets, and KONI brand coil over shock kit. Frame mounts enable use of Subaru links and transmission.

Fuel System, Cooling System adapter kit with radiator hose extensions and fasteners to utilize the Subaru radiator. Exterior Trim, Lighting, and Glass, Interior Trim designed to use Subaru interior components such as gauge pod and seating. Kit includes carpeting, upholstered interior door panels, seat adapter brackets, formed dash, center console, shifter assembly, and e-brake adapter and complete Assembly Manual will be available in hard copy and in download PDF format.

What do you need from your WRX donor car?

Here is the list of parts that are needed from your 2002-2007 WRX donor car. Front spindles with full brakes and front lower control arms, Rear spindles with brakes and e-brake handle/cables, Steering rack, tie rod ends, and upper steering column assembly, Pedal box and throttle pedal, Master cylinder and brake booster, and clutch master cylinder, Engine with turbo and intercooler (if WRX model), Exhaust manifolds, O2 sensors, and down tube, Transmission, Rear lower control arms, toe links, and CV joints, Front seats, front seat belts, and gauge pod, Fuel pump, Radiator, Wheels and tires, Door hinges, rear w/ latches,strikers, and inside door handles, Side view mirrors, left and right, Rear view mirror, Rear seat belts.

Do you have a 2002-2007 Subaru WRX that you have been thinking of selling for a newer model? You might want to reconsider and look into the Factory Five WRX 818 two-seat sports car. For more information on how to order your WRX 818 kit go to

Watch 818 Sports Car introduction video.


Parks McCants    March 24, 2014 - 11:20PM

Now... I love this idea. However, having build a Fiber Fab G.T. back in the day, I question the validity of the build-out quote. Granted, it's not a G.T. 40 or an A.C. Cobra replica, and, looking to the fame components etc, I find the concept to be doable.However, for $15 K. I don't think so. Fun article, thanks.

Carlos (not verified)    November 6, 2017 - 2:51AM

818 model name comes from 818 kg or 1800 lb as target weight for the built car. Taking into account power in hp to weight ratio, the 818 overpasses a lot of sports cars in the market. It can beat Porsches 911, Boxster, Cayman, and equals 911 turbo. Differences? A turbo costs 150k compared to the 20-25k. I have been to the factory five build school, and I can tell you that they strive and work hard for simplicity. The handling and driving will be better with the kit due to improved suspension. And the plus is that you will have lots of fun (and work) building the car.

Lucretia (not verified)    June 17, 2018 - 8:19AM

Hi my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come
with almost all vital infos. I would like to see extra posts like this.