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Subaru Brumby

Subaru Brumby

The Subaru Brumby was Japan's compact and go anywhere answer to the Aussie Ute. It was an instant hit with Austrralians, Kiwis and Americans alike. Still today, the shape and model has an enduring and endearing persona looked on fondly by so many Aussies.

Subaru Electric Car Conversion

Its design, aimed at farmers and agricultural types, was the unlikely genesis of the Subaru Impreza WRX and STI and a World Rally Championship winner. In the USA it id particularly well promoted as the Subaru Brat. This particular example has been loved and modified well before it graced our premises. The Brumby (one of 7 owned by our customer) has a Subaru WRX drivetrain installed. This ute is already a bit of a weapon. The plan is to convert it into a missile with a high performance electric drive train.

Step 1- Plan

We worked with the owner over several consulting sessions to firstly determine his requirements so we could then finalise the  component choice and overall design for the vehicle. 

Our first choice was a fan favourite a dual motor Hyper 9 motor combination but we soon realised that wouldn't provide enough power or torque for our customer. The operating voltage was going to be too low for future proofing too. Furthermore, once we stripped the engine bay, the 3D scan revealed there simply wasn't going to be enough space for all the comoponents. 

We further looked at a split Tesla motor and then a North-South Tesla Model 3 arrangement but it was all too tight.

We then settled upon the very latest EM57 motor from Nissan mated to the existing WRX gearbox. This will give us 350Nm of torque and with a firmware upgrade 220kW of power. 

This will ultimatley make for a fully populated engine (motor) bay meaning there'll be one large battery enclosure within the rear tray.. That's the plan anyway. Watch this space!


Step 2 - Strip (and paint)

The brief for this vehicle is "convert and enhance" so we will not only electrifying the Brumby but also adding such creature comforts as heated seats, air conditioning and electric windows. 

But before we get into that, we need to strip - the car that is!  And by that, we mean removal of the engine, petrol tank, exhaust and just about everything else that will be deemed redundant once the car goes electric. This takes a few days to do it properly as we take the time to understand where everything goes and determining wha twe need and dont need. 

The customer also wants a colour change to British Racing Green but not just yet. So for now we will be painting the engine bay while the engine is out and the rear tray before the battery enclosure goes in. 

Step3 - Fabricate and Assemble

With all the ICE components out of the way, we can 3D scan the motor bay to see what we have to work with. This will be the first electric Subaru Brumby in Australia so there are no kits as such and no designs to leverage off. 

These days we design and build the vehicles virtually in CAD. To do this we scan the vehicles with a 3D tool then manipulate with Adobe within the most powerful PC the team has ever laid eyes on.

The cars are effectively built and manufactured on screen then any components "printed" in sheet metal or plastic and collated for assembly. So normally no rulers or physical measurments are required. 

The first cabs off the rank are the motor adaptor and the rear battery enclosure. Once assembled and in place we'll be able to start wiring everything up.