With the local 2023 car season now well and truly behind us, winter hiberation is giving me time to pick away at the S15, sort through the year’s photos, and catch up on literally everything else with evenings and weekends now having less pre-determined events and commitments.
While many of us are enjoying this break after another busy summer, others however have been frantically preparing for – and now are running on little sleep at – SEMA. While many friends are finding themselves in that madness this year (including Binh whose Z is on display following a fresh repaint to have it looking its absolute best), I want to take a moment – and a post – to focus on the guys from Infamous specifically. This is not sponsored nor “commissioned” by them in any way; I’m just insanely proud of my friends when they do cool stuff. And this definitely counts as that.
Anyone local to Calgary should need no introduction to Infamous Aero (Infamous for brevity) at this point, nor will many outside of our city, province, and even country by now. The guys have been working like mad over the last few years to grow the company and make themselves known on the world stage, and for this year’s SEMA show they were set to debut a much-anticipated widebody kit for the new Toyota/Subaru twins to continue that momentum. And while I don’t have the ability to capture photos at SEMA, last Thursday a few of us here in town had the privilege of attending a small function at the shop to witness the cover being pulled back from Tyler’s GR86, revealing – for the first time – the real-life article in its entirety and not just the computer renders or teaser photos that had been shared online.
As you’ll see in these initial photos, for the grand unveiling the car had been illuminated with some pink and teal lighting which was meant to call back to the initial launch announcement and advertising. Later on in the post are some photos with the standard lighting back on, but I far prefer these ones because it looked so much more special.
But you’re not here for photos of the lighting (it was absolutely fantastic though, Seb. Round of applause) – you want to see the kit. Naturally, being designed for the GR86 and BRZ means that there are two slightly different versions, coming down to the front bumper caps having to be specific for the chosen base car. All in the standard kit is comprised of 10 body panels plus a new gas cap setup (you’ll see more in a bit), with an optional front splitter and side skirt extensions available as well. A wing is still in development to likely join the catalogue at a later date, also.
A fair amount of width is added to the vehicle with Infamous’ package, measuring in at about +60mm front and +75mm rear, but for as wide as it is it never looks out of place.
One consistent comment (and source of praise) that I heard throughout the night was as to just how well matched the kit was to the stock body lines of the vehicle. Especially with a smooth, bolt-free mounting it all flowed exceptionally well. Incidentally, here you can also see the new gas filler; a rather clever solution the guys came up with to avoid having to leave a massive recess in the quarter panel’s flare to clear the surprisingly large OEM gas door as it swung out (I hadn’t realized just how large the factory door was until I saw the one that had been removed from Tyler’s car that night). If I recall correctly, the cap that Infamous specifically chose to be used with this kit was actually a motorcycle piece. Even they commented that it was the least factory-looking component of the entire ensemble, but we all really liked it as a nice little detail and even an opportunity to play with engraving, refinishing, or other custom touches and accents.
Another wicked little touch was the marker light cover on each tail light, showing the company’s logo and kit number. As you can see this was widebody number 00, the pre-production copy.
After the bulk of photos and video had been taken and shot, the full lights then came back on as mentioned earlier. From this angle you can also clearly see the roof wing (also Infamous’ creation) that Tyler’s car was sporting.
The front fenders called for another photo with the full lights back on – this doubled-up gill design was one of the first details I saw in the initial renders some months back when the guys kindly showed me what they’d been working on (this was during last winter’s Bomex restoration with Jason) and it looked just as incredible in person. This was another specific part of the kit for which I heard many positive comments.
Meanwhile, the quarter panels’ flares have a subtle outline to suggest where a vent could go (I’d love to see a track build integrate some brake ducting here if the builder was feeling brave with the cut-off wheel) but closed off it served as a perfect way to break up the panel and give more contours for the light to catch. I don’t know if a full duct was ever considered as an option for the kit or even as something builders could do with it I’ll note, that’s merely the gears in my own head turning from looking at the panel.
Incidentally, if you’re paying close attention and counting you may have noticed that of the standard 10 pieces for this kit, only two of them are for the back half of the vehicle (the two quarter panels’ flares) – each fender assembly with its bumper cap, extra gill, and lower side skirt cap consists of four pieces!
What stands out to me the most with this kit however, is not the kit itself but rather what it highlights as far as the collective abilities of Infamous and their equipment are concerned. Every time I’ve been by the shop and shown through whatever is currently on the go I have walked away more and more impressed by what is happening within their doors. With their growing technology, production abilities, and knowledge, they’re undertaking very intensive projects like this GR86/BRZ kit; from the design, to the engineering, to production, and then selling to enthusiasts all over the globe at this point, none of this has been a small or easy task and they have knocked it out of the park.
Last week we were all thrilled to see this in person and I certainly enjoyed the invite for the official debut, but my real excitement comes from knowing that right now their hard work is on display for the industry – and the world – at SEMA. I hope it’s impressing attendees down in Vegas as much as it impressed us.