It should be said that I don’t dislike the front fascia of the BRZ. It has its charms. A conservative, almost sophisticated facade that shies away from attention while letting other portions of the car exude their qualities. Long, low and wide hood. Tall, vertically massaged front fenders. Wide hips. However, not only was I becoming bored with its pleasantness, I also longed for something more aggressive. Something that fit the overall aesthetic my BRZ was beginning to assume. Something that would hold up to the continued advancement of the car. I felt the BRZ bumper also diminished some qualities as well. Namely, the flattened nose made the car look shorter. Stubbier.
Naturally, my first flirtations for a new bumper came from the aftermarket. That vast sea of Japanese companies with names most are afraid to utter aloud at car shows and meets for fear of mispronouncing them in front of those who know the correct pronunciation. The aftermarket for the FRS/BRZ/86 is nearly as vast as the known universe. From recently discovered stars to red dwarfs, companies have come (some have gone) to offer their take on the 86 platform. And the buyer is left with choice. And more importantly, decisions. From Rocket Bunny bumpers with aggressive designations to ones developed by supposed racing companies. There’s a long list of products to choose from. If the builder has money to burn, money can indeed be burned with devastating suddenness. Sprinkled in gun powder and ignited with dynamite.
The bumper that initially drew my eye was designed by Varis. Long. Low. Sleek. Openings everywhere. It’s an audacious bumper that commands attention. Its line work flows with the lines already grafted on the car. But it lacks a bit of smoothness that the rest of the car employs. A bit too exotic for a rather organic design language. A Lamborghini bumper bolted on a Ferrari. With that being said, Varis is perhaps the least aggressive or gaudy bumper the after market has produced.
In hindsight, I should have devoted more thought to the new Toyota 86 bumper, as the look has really grown on me. But I didn’t. I chose a standard FRS bumper. A decision I am very pleased with.
Thanks to the BRZ headlights, which have an LED running strip and blinker integration that the FRS does not enjoy, the new bumper could employ more aggression than the factory FRS bumper can accommodate. The headlights allowed the lower portion of the bumper to be fitted with Innovated Dynamics brake ducts. A subtle, yet powerful addition that aids in cleaning up the front end. No lower running lights. No blinkers. Nothing to diminish design. Just performance based aesthetics.
The bumper swap was a labor of research and hope. I researched front lips. Researched what to do about the lower portion of the bumper. What options I had. Whether to obtain LED strips. What else could be implemented in their place. And after a reasonable amount of research, I decided on my ultimate bumper swap.
FRS bumper. Innovated Dynamics Brake Ducts. Vertex front lip.
The last addition to the car were C-west sideskirts. With how low and wide the FRS bumper with Vertex lip made the car appear, I felt the bare sides of my car were now a visual weakness. The C-west skirts come pre-painted and fit nicely with little hassle. They also look great on the car.
The next dilemma I grapple with is whether or not to finish off the rear of the car with the C-West kit. I think I probably will. I think I also need a back up vehicle. Something to slog it out with the inclement weather and cold and traffic while the BRZ hibernates.
In the meantime, enjoy some pictures.