This car isn't meant to win car shows, break course records, or drift on the weekends. It has no widebody kit nor does a crazy stance. For the seasoned Super Street reader, the lemon-themed exterior is a dead giveaway that this Subaru BRZ is from JUN Auto, but believe it or not, this isn't the typical JUN approach we're accustomed to. The Saitama-based garage (40 minutes outside Tokyo) had been widely known for building some of Japan's fastest time attack cars. With this project, they realized that many shops had already produced very capable 86 and BRZ demo vehicles for the road course and drift communities. So to create a "wow" factor that would ultimately steal the '15 Tokyo Auto Salon show, they added some magic underneath the hood with a Synergy V-8 motor.
That's right, no turbocharged FA20 here, or even a 2JZ or LS swap... The New Zealand mad scientists at Synergy took three extensive years to design and develop what's essentially two Kawasaki 1,200cc four-cylinder motors mated together. Initially, these motors were built for Speedway Midget cars (you know, those funny 'caged-up little cars that run circle dirt tracks?) and other prototype race cars. As you can imagine, the Synergy V-8 is a high-revving engine capable of reaching 11,600 rpm. As if the two Ninja motors weren't a sensational sound enough, the velocity stacks are like soprano trumpets. The resulting power is a very streetable 367 horses. It gets better-this specific Synergy V-8 motor plug-and-plays right on to the ZN6/ZC6 chassis, retaining the factory six-speed transmission and full use of the electronics.
JUN Auto's head mechanic Keiichi Tanaka says, "Basically, we wanted to make this a street project, but we can't get it inspected in its current condition. As of right now, we're only driving it on circuits. The image of the car is street; the interior is normal. If we start to take off interior parts, it changes the image." That is, if you consider Bride Zeta 3 seats normal or the Synergy 13,000-rpm tachometer. But you'll notice all the interior panels remain intact and there are no crazy fenders or aero to make you think this is a full race car.
So if you're interested in getting the same motor setup, feel free to give Synergy a ring and tell them you want the same motor JUN Auto has. But be prepared for the laughter followed by a dial tone. Supposedly, the motor alone will cost you three times the worth of a Subaru BRZ. Tanaka-san adds, "I already have people who want to drop off their cars and do the same thing. If we build the same package for everyone, we lose the exclusivity." We like your style, Tanaka-san.
JUN Auto has been around for a long time and has always done things differently. Maybe some of you saw the famous video clip of the 1,000hp Supra drifting or its Nissan Skyline R33 doing top speed runs with Smokey Nagata's Top Secret Toyota Supra on the wangan. For us, JUN Auto's greatest hits include the all-wheel-drive Hyper Lemon 350Z, our cover for April '07. It's AWD system came from an R32 GT-R and the front subframe was from a V35. Koyama-san, the tuner at the time, didn't want to throw in an RB26 because it would just get heavy, and all the other shops were doing the same thing. JUN Auto was also responsible for the first Subaru WRX to compete in D1GP driven by Kumakubo. The Super Lemon Subaru WRX only had 582 hp but still managed to clock 58 seconds during shakedown. When life gives you lemons, you make insanely fast cars.
Words Aaron Bonk
Eight-cylinder engine blocks and rotating assemblies that spin in excess of 11,000 rpm don't often pair well together this side of Formula One circles. Which is exactly what makes Synergy Power's matrimony of a couple of Kawasaki Ninja bike engines joined at a custom-made, billet-aluminum engine block so special. The engineers at JUN didn't select the hand-assembled and $70,000 engine for the 356 hp it makes but rather for its 10,300rpm shift point, its 66-pound weight savings, and its ability to displace the BRZ's center of gravity into even better territory. The team of crotch-rocket-derived heads don't hurt either, which, unlike heavier automotive-spec top ends and valvetrains, has the kind of lightweight bits that welcome those sort of engine speeds. But teaming up a couple of bike heads with a one-off engine block is more complicated than you think. Here, like the block, the entire rotating assembly had to be custom, and because of all of that, Synergy Power was able to manufacturer all of this to take up about the same amount of space as the four-cylinder Boxer engine it replaced but with twice the piston count. One thing's for sure, you'll never look at another V8 the same way again.