Reincarnation Magazine - August 2016 - CEO of Intel 550 Spyder Build
By: Steve Temple
Link to original article: http://reincarnationmag.com/garage/global-perspective
How a Japanese Engine Ended up in a German Design, Built With Yankee Engineering
What does the CEO of a prominent computer company prefer to drive over all the other classic sports cars in his collection? After all, Intel’s Brian Krzanich has his pick of Cobras and Speedster replicas, but one in particular is more “seductive” to him. As in Seduction Motorsports’ 550 Spyder. But it’s not just any Spyder, as most are powered by a VW Type 1 air-cooled engine. No, this one has a boxer configuration that’s water-cooled instead, and sourced from the other side of the globe, nowhere near Stuttgart. It’s a Subaru EJ25.
Why did Brian take a route to the land of the rising sun? Well, the reliability of this engine is undisputed, so it’s ideal as a daily driver. And the opposed cylinder configuration keeps the weight down low, similar to the VW powerplant. Of course, the Subbie’s weight is somewhat higher, and a radiator and coolant lines have to be added, along with a functional front oil-cooler grille (since they were not found on the original design). But with porting and hotter cams, it obviously delivers way more power (230 horses, versus 165hp stock), which offsets those drawbacks.
All up, the car weighs only 1300 pounds, so that’s more than enough beans to really scoot. As equipped, this Spyder scampers from 0-60mph in only three seconds, Seduction says. The extra traction of the mid-engine configuration helps here as well, and the company offers a new wider tire option as well as an upcoming option of carbon fiber fender flares for fitting track tires underneath this beast.
Backing up the engine is a Seduction Motorsports Pro-Street transaxle w/ 3.44 (3.88 is optional) ring & pinion, powdercoated matte gunmetal, plus a Super diff, dual heavy-duty aluminum side covers, welded 3-4 hubs, hardened keys, one-piece rubber boots, and all new stainless steel 316 hardware.
RideTech adjustable dampening suspension is included on all of Seduction’s vehicles. RideTech’s system uses an aluminum mono-body shock with HyperCo spring, aluminum top hats, adjustability on ride height as well as dampening.
There’s another advantage to using the Subaru engine as well. Since Brian enjoys flying through the twisties in the Sierra foothills, Subbie’s computer-controlled EFI the readily adjusts to differences in altitude. But his approach to customizing didn’t stop there.
The exterior is painted a Porsche Candy White with an interior lined with baseball-glove premium leather interior with a diamond-pattern stitching. Also dressing up the interior are charcoal carpeting and Seduction’s brushed and polished aluminum/stainless steel interior components, along with a stainless steel handbrake. The interior door panels have the period-correct oval shape (instead of the D-shaped seen on other replicas). A prototype rear stainless dual exhaust system is paired with stainless Magnaflow mufflers.
For safety’s sake, Brian opted for a double removable rollcage bar in chrome with a four-point, three-inch shoulder harnesses. Since he’s a fairly big guy, Seduction made a shortened Nardi steering hub, and added a removable shift rod extension that raises up the shift knob while still allowing a short-throw shift with a standardized PBS Cable Shift shifter setup.
Seduction’s Daniel Verwers touts this system as the easiest to use and drive cable shifter on the market, and he teamed up with PBS to make all his company’s mid-engine 550 Spyders shift smoothly. It has a quick change, short- or long-throw feature which is standard. He also upgraded the headlights to H4 Xenon units with authentic German parking lights, and uses original-style fluted headlight glass.
Verwers notes that a turnkey Spyder fitted with a 230hp Subaru EJ25 can be purchased brand new for $47,099 before add-on options. And he adds that a 953 Pre-A Porsche 356 bent window Coupe is now available as well. And we won’t be surprised if that model will be enhanced as well from a global perspective.