In the first installment of The Vortech Supercharger kit blog post, we covered the basics on the kit, but left you hanging with an initial tune that showed great potential for horsepower. Vortech has put the finishing touches on the kit and we have solidified the final tune! In this installment, I will go over the kit in more detail and even hint at what the future has to hold!
Recap on why we are Supercharging the FA20 engine
I think the reason why a Supercharger kit over a turbo kit makes more sense is to preserve the linear power curve of the car but add that additional 50 more HP that everyone wants. It's important to protect the fun factor, the perfect handling and balance of the BRZ/FR-S by not adding too much power...actually too much torque! As soon as you introduce that hit of power from the turbo spooling up, it disrupts the car and starts to mess with the drivability of the car. When you have only two tires to deal with torque, you can quickly turn a fun car into a car that is constantly struggling for traction and not easy to control.
If all we do is compare dyno graphs, turbos will always make more low end power. Even then from 5000-7400 the Vortech kit with our map makes the same or more HP. If we compare HP and TQ at really low RPM's, you can see that the Vortech kit makes more TQ and HP. This below graph is comparing the graphs provided by one turbo kit manufacture running 6psi of boost. The overlay of the graphs is very rough, but it provides you with an idea of the differences.
What we need to compare is how the car feels on the road, as this is where a SC kit really shines! Real race car drivers that drive rear wheel drive cars, always say that normally aspirated power, or a bigger engine, is preferred over a smaller displacement turbo engine. This is because of the modulation of power and the smoothness of the engine. The Vortech kit turns your 2.0L Subaru engine into a drivers type of engine with plenty of modulate-able power.
Turbo kits also have to deal with coolant and oil feed systems. If the car was designed to have one of these, It wouldn't' be a big deal, but you have to find coolant sources, and tap into an oil pressure line. After that you have to get rid of the oil going to the turbo and put it back into the motor. This requires a pump that is typically noisy and also another thing to go wrong. As I mentioned before, one of my biggest concerns is thermal management and not melting things. The nice thing about a Vortech supercharger kit, is that there isn't much to go wrong. Besides boost tubes blowing off(all kits could have this problem) the only other thing that can go wrong is a belt failing. If this happens, it just means you have your stock horsepower back until you get a new one. There is no danger of over boosting (very bad problem with a 12.5-1 CR engine) there is no danger of things melting, there is no coolant hoses or oil lines to deal with. Very simple...
Where Are We Now?
I left you guys last time with this tiny picture showing the first couple clean dyno pulls we did compared to the stock HP runs. Yes it was great power, but I suspected that there was further HP to be gained. This spurred a huge FT86club thread that got out of control at times. I promised more power and results and after a few weeks of road and dyno tuning, we are ready to show off the kit and the final HP it will offer using our supplied custom PERRIN Tune.
So was there more power to extract? Yes! Below is an overlay of the old best run with the final tune. As I suspected there was more of low to mid range horsepower to be gained along with more consistent top end power. With some optimization of cam timing, fueling and timing maps, I was able to get a few more HP almost everywhere and smooth out things a bit. This test was done on our BRZ with a PERRIN Headerback, 2.5" system with a cat on 92oct pump gas. This means the stock header with cat was still in place as well as our high flow cat.
As you can see the low end power gains are huge. We have learned a ton about this engine over the last few weeks and one of things we learned enable more power in the 1500-2500 range where the car seemed to be purposely de-tuned. The change was so much that we had to bump the dyno's launch RPM up to 2000RPM to keep it from overloading the hub torque on the dyno.
Here is a dyno graph comparing a bone stock BRZ to BRZ with Vortech Supercharger kit and PERRIN Header-back exhaust system installed.
Below is a dyno graph comparing a stock FR-S that only has a PERRIN Custom ECU Tune to the Vortech Supercharger kit.
Below is a dyno graph comparing a BRZ that has a PERRIN 2.5" Headerback exhaust installed to the Vortech SC kit.
When Can You Buy This??
You are able to order this kit from us right now! There is about a two week lead time, but this will change over the next month so don't worry! The retail price of the Base Tuner Kit is $4295, which includes everything you need except an ECU re-calibration and a MAP sensor to run the car properly. Adding these to the kit adds $xxx to the retail price making it $xxxx for a turn key kit. These are just retail prices, which means we will discount things from that point or offering kits based on items customers already have. We would love to get lots of customers running the Vortech Tuner kit with all our parts, which means we will be discounting things to entice customers to buy all the parts from us. Edit: check out our website for pricing!
Here is the list of parts we are going to recommend get purchased together.
- Vortech Supercharger Tuner Kit for BRZ/FR-S
- ECUTEK Reflash Cable/Hardware
- PERRIN Custom Vortech Tuner Kit ECU Recalibration
- PERRIN 2.5Bar MAP Sensor
- PERRIN 2.5" Overpipe
- PERRIN 2.5" Front Pipe with Catalytic Converter Edit; discontinued, catted front pipe still recommended.
- PERRIN 2.5" Catback Exhaust
All of these parts will be sold separately of course, but keep in mind all the dyno graphs are shown using the above items.
What Is The Future For PERRIN and Vortech?
Of course it always happens when something new and cool comes out, the first thing people start wondering, is what is next! We understand that customers have that drive for something more and better, and we are here to answer that. We want customers that buy the Vortech BRZ/FR-S kit from us to be able to easily upgrade the kit from its current form. Weather this be with other bolt ons or something that ups the boost, its important that customers don't feel like they are stuck with ONLY a 60 Wheel HP upgrade.
We will be offering a smaller supercharger pulley that ups the boost a few more PSI to make for an additional 20 Wheel HP over the standard Vortech BRZ/FR-S Kit with PERRIN custom tune.
During testing and tuing of this setup we started to see the potential boost limit of the BRZ motor on pump fuel. Running 10psi or more from 7200-8000 started to show where this is just too much for pump fuel. Yes we can run more boost and pull back timing but this may not net any more HP. Again this is early in the development of this pulley upgrade, but who wouldn't want a safe 100 HP gain over stock! It may be a couple of months before we offer this along with a tune. Until then we may look for a few of our Vortech kit customers for further testing.
How Safe is This Vortech SC Kit?
So how safe is the Vortech Kit? We have tuned this such that its not on bleeding edge of knocking or causing engine damage. In fact all the dyno graphs are showing a detuned state which leaves room on the table for other tuners and or that nice safety factor that we all want.
If you understand what AFR is the above graph may either scare you as it appears way lean, or it may scare you as it appears way rich! AFR (air fuel ratio) is a measurement of the amount of fuel being delivered to the engine. Sensors like aftermarket Wide Band 02 Sensors are used in the exhaust to be able to accurately read AFR. In this case we have two installed. One is in the tail pipe and one is in the exhaust in the overpipe. The more accurate one is the Innovate Wideband installed in the overpipe as the reading is accurate and very fast. The tail pipe reading when its behind cats reads much leaner than it really is and its a little slow acting. So when we use graphs from our dyno we have to make the AFR reading richer by a solid 1.0AFR. This makes our AFR curve for the Vortech kit in the 11.0-11.3 range (which is what the Innovate Wideband reads). For a forced induction car, this is a good safe AFR to shoot for.
As for the other things we can't show you like ignition timing, I can say that when tuning we added timing to find the limits then bumped it back a few to ensure that this was a good safe level for customers. So again, we are very confident in the tune, and we are trying to show how safe our tune for the Vortech kit really is!
So I hope that the first post of the year from PERRIN Performance was well worth the wait and gets our BRZ/FR-S customers all excited! This year will surely be a good one!