The Albino Rhino Receives Some Boost!!!!
Well well well, so the little Albino Rhino has finally lost its baby horn! I can’t say how excited I was when we received the Vortech SuperCharger in for our Albino Rhino BRZ. First I poured through the box checking out all of the components, resisting the urge to run around the shop making supercharger/blow off valve noises, but I kept my cool. Really, on the inside I was like a kid at Christmas and could barely contain my excitement. I literally started on the install that very night and enlisted the help of a few chosen comrades, one for install help, and one for comic relief. With the team in tow, we set out to give the Rhino some much needed boost.
The install was very straight forward and I was impressed with the fit and finish of the kit overall, plus it just looks beautiful and proper in the engine bay. I was not keeping track of time, but I would assume we spent a solid 6-7 hours on the install, potentially longer, although it is hard to say for sure as I never bothered to look at a clock, I just wanted to get this thing boosted! The initial startup made my heart drop for a brief moment when we saw oil dripping from under the car. With thoughts of all the worst case scenarios racing through my head I could not help but think “this whole thing is going to have to come back out and even worse, I won’t get to drive it tonight…” I don’t ever recall popping the hood, but I vividly remember looking down at an oil soaked By Pass Valve filter. I have never been so excited to make a dumb mistake! I cleaned the excess oil off the filter and off the floor of the shop and started it back up. Such feelings of accomplishment when you finally finish something you have wanted to do for almost a year, and as a plus everything looked perfect and sounded even better. It was time for a drive!
Pulling out of the shop was no different than any other time except one thing.. We have boost! Even at idle the car felt like it had a different personality, almost a new beginning for the car. We took it very easy at first, wanting to make sure everything was secure and running well. After a few low boost pulls around the area we pulled it back in to double check everything, re-check the oil level, and clean off the bit of hidden excess oil that still wanted to mist out of the BPV filter. Everything was spot on, I was getting the butterflies from excitement, and it was time to put it to the test. We first hopped on the freeway wanting to run it up to redline to check that boost was where it should be. Naturally I forgot to even look at the boost gauge, as I was having too much fun and needing to pay attention to redline and the cars around me. My very first impression was… “This feels like a fast N/A Honda!” and that would be the best way I could describe it, as it feels almost exactly the same as before, just much more, and it’s awesome! I know everyone says “this is how the car should be from the factory”, but it truly is in this case. The car was still very responsive, predictable, and a bit peaky in the power delivery, but we just get more uumph out of the little FA20, plus a noise that compliments the feeling very well.
In the lower RPM’s the car behaves much like a stock car would, but once you get into the upper RPM range, the engine just wakes up and propels you along briskly with a bit of noise. You don’t get the sense of speed or power like you do with a turbo, but instead you get a nice linear power band that is more than happy to accelerate you to law breaking speeds at a moment’s notice. Not that I would recommend doing that or anything
Overall I am very pleased with this kit and the performance it gave our Albino Rhino. I was not expecting break neck acceleration from it, but I may have under estimated this kit a bit and was taken back at how it transformed the vehicle and the engine. For being a 100% bolt on kit, I could not ask for more, as this is something an average person can do in their garage over the weekend. I had assume that because we were using stock injectors and a stock fuel pump that there were not much, if any gains to be had, but the Vortech kit pulled through and left me with a huge smile from ear to ear. If nothing else, the sore face from my extended drive was well worth it.