One Last Look At SEMA 2022: The EJ25-Powered 911

Subaru power in a Volkswagen is nothing new, and the Porsche 911 is really just a spicy Volkswagen. Sort of. Any any rate, Austin Barnett of Billetworkz thought it would be fun to put a turbocharged EJ25 in his 911.

He was right, and the result of Austin‘s work is a paint-flipping Porsche that’s insane both inside and out.


Austin says, “I never had an appreciation for classic 911s until a friend of mine – Willy Izaguirre from Nostalgic Grains – was selling his 1976 roller with no engine.” After purchasing it with the idea of re-powering it with a Subaru power plant, Austin was doing more research and came across the Mid Night Club’s legendary Blackbird 911. Immediately, an aesthetic plan began to take shape in Austin’s mind, and he became hellbent on finding a set of TBK bumpers to match that car.


The problem was – and is – that TBK simply wouldn’t sell and ship their bodywork to a US address. Luckily, Austin was able to lean on a friend in Japan to pick up the parts and ship them for him, so that part of the puzzle was eventually sorted after some headache.


Custom rocker panels were built to tie it all together, and the car was refinished in Midnight Purple III. Of course, MPIII is a color which needs no introduction, but compared to the boxier R34 that originally received the hue, the multi-colored finish looks extra striking on this wide 911 with its soft, contoured surfaces. The car also has a one-off set of CNC-machined acrylic taillights, which help give it a really unique look from every angle.


The exterior is rounded off with an RSR 3.8 wing with a carbon fiber blade in addition to meaty 18×9-inch and 18×11-inch Work M1 wheels. Of course, being on display at SEMA in the Toyo Treadpass, these were wrapped in Proxes R888R rubber. Elephant Racing coilovers and an Elephant Racing GT3 front suspension kit further upgrade the chassis along with a Brembo big brake kit.


Inside, the car has a modernized yet fairly OEM feel. The Recaro Classic series seats resemble the contemporary sport buckets Porsche put in these cars, and the door panels and dash retain their factory look overall. The purple stitching is a nice subtle touch, too.


The Porsche Classic Communication Radio obviously fits right in, and has the added benefit of Apple CarPlay. I’ve actually considered installing one of these in my E36 M3 as it’s a really nice unit that doesn’t look too modern, yet helps to supply some modern amenities these older cars lack. TCEuropean makes a conversion harness for exactly this.


You probably didn’t click in to this story to read about a radio, though. Under that winged deck lid is the party piece, a turbocharged EJ25 flat-four. Austin has been heavily involved in the Subaru community – his wild RB26-powered Impreza we featured in 2018 should be evidence enough of that – and so a Subaru engine was the natural choice for him.

The build started with an IAG Performance IAG 900 closed-deck long block, which received a Garrett G30-660 turbocharger to supply ample boost. The Vibrant Performance titanium piping and intercooler have been fabricated atop the engine in factory style.


The turbo hangs off the rear end, where there’s actually a lot of extra space. The boxer-four appeared surprisingly small in the engine bay, but I guess that shouldn’t really be a surprise given that you can wedge an LS V8 in the back of a 911. I wonder if the weight distribution might actually be better with this powerplant than Porsche’s own, but something tells me that wasn’t much of a consideration in this car.


Power makes its way to the wheels through a 5-speed WRX transmission with PPG gears and a SubaruGears reserve ring and pinion. Austin explains that a lot of support for these kinds of swaps already exists. He’d even seen other EJ-powered 911s before, but he just wanted to take what others have done and execute it on the highest level that he could.


Other supporting items include a Link ECU, iWire engine harness, Ron Francis body harness, Radium fuel cell, and a carbon fiber radiator duct in the front trunk. After all, this 911 is no longer the air-cooled machine it once was.

I wonder if we’ll start to see more of these swaps in the coming years? I’ve seen plenty of old, anaemic Buses that have received a new lease on life thanks to a Subaru power plant, and I’ve also known friends who have sold their 911 projects with extremely expensive Porsche engine builds looming. I think 912s in particular would benefit from an off-the-wall swap like this, but I digress.


Austin’s EJ25 project was rendered by Jon Sibal before it came together with his friend Mike at Quality Custom Rides, which is a shop local to Austin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He says “it was a very enjoyable project since I was able to work directly with Mike to perfect this build, from the vision, to the engineering, to the fit and finish of everything.”

In the end everything everything is executed to a very high level, and all that’s left is to spool up that turbo and put some miles on this thing. Here’s hoping that is exactly what happens.

Trevor Ryan
Instagram: trevornotryan

Photography by Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni



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Trevor, Mark this is what I call "breakthrough". You guys are excellent as usual. 911 on the outside with Subaru heart inside. Yes smaller displacement and less outright power but.. more aftermarket parts, cheaper and easier maintenance. BRAVO guys.


I appreciate the kind words! Except the Subaru motor has much more power than the factory 70's 911 aircooled motor, even stock vs stock!


less power than Porsche's turbo six boxer. You compare turbo vs turbo and not turbo vs NA. Use common sense.


@James uhhh "Use common sense" — great reply dude. Besides, it makes more sense to compare the engine that was in the car to the engine replacing it. Plus the EJ in the older STi makes significantly more horsepower and torque than a 930 Turbo did anyway...


it makes more sense comparing subaru turbocharged engine to the similar Porsche flat turbo six. There is nothing wrong about opinion. Mine can differ than yours. Who are you to force your opinion to others. Porsche diehards typically use Porsche's engine and not other car makers


'99-'05 M96.70 of 996 flat 6 3.6L twin-turbo makes 309 kW/420 PS/414 hp
'94-'05 EJ20TT flat 4 2.0L sequential twin turbo makes 206 kW/280 PS/276 bhp (Gentleman's Agreement)
'91-'94 EJ22G flat 4 2.2L flat 4 2.2L turbo makes 206 kW/280 PS/276 bhp (Gentleman's Agreement, some source says it's more than 300)
'04-'07 USDM WRX EJ25 flat 4 2.5L turbo makes 224 kW/304 PS/300 bhp

If we compare EJ25's 224kW vs M96.70's 309 kW, in plan sight, Porsche unit makes more powa. But if we compare the power/liter, the EJ25 makes 89,6kW/L whereas M96.70 makes 85,83kW/L, which makes EJ25 the winner


Come one, you are on the 996 engine, this is a 930 4 generations earlier! the 930 TT was between 230 and 300hpop in the 70s depending on the specs. so similiar to the Subaru on the over all spec.

I'm an NA guy so for me a 6cil box is the way to go.


"Use common sense" or "Who are you to force your opinion to others" — which one is it? I am excited to find out!


Not even mad. I feel the color is what made it work, as the rest is love it or hate it, when painted such OG JDM, it feels like it would be just right gleaming through Roppongi's warm lit cobble driveways, appearing just scarcely, when the moon is full enough and the air cold, to excite the wangan rebels.


Do you happen to know Emilio, or is it a funny coincidence that you got photobombed a couple times by a guy who ditched his STi's flat four for a Honda K?

Personally I'm not a fan of this swap, but gorgeous execution on the rest of the 911.


Gorgeous car and I was also wondering about the weight and handling benefits. Not sure why he had to do that to the back window for the intercooler with that turbo rear lid though? Unless it was just to make room so people could see the Scooby motor?


SAME, I'm not sure why that was done either. And where's the radiator? In the front?


The radiator is in the front under the carbon duct!


Yes, front, I missed the reference to the frunk duct in the article.


The rear window intercooler placement was chosen to expose the Subaru motor!


Fair enough, it was the only reason I could think of without knowing if there was an engineering reason. Amazing work mate


Now this is the first time I'm seeing a Subaru-swapped 911 somehow it just goes so well compared to most LS-swaps
It's pretty odd as a Porsche yes but at the same time it looks like it just fits in very few builds are like that


I think it makes a lot of sense, a bit like Mike and his K24 Ferrari, smaller lighter and more powerful modern motor and it has to improve the dynamics with less weight hanging further out the back. Also it's still a boxer so still related.


Yet again I applaud someone for building his vision instead of an alternative that would have had broader appeal and higher resale value. Cheers to you!


It's cool no doubt

Now let's see some subaru's with a Porsche flat-6 in it


they already exist, there's an outback drag car I remember seeing that made 2000hp on nitrometh


Thanks. Lemme google that up...


guy really went "i dont want stability i want problems" by swapping the ej25 into this
couldve really stuck with the flat 6 or


I don't understand your comment. Why would you think stability would suffer by swapping the ej25 in the place of the flat-6?


Because Subaru engines are hardly reliable in Subaru cars, much less swapped into something else that’s why.


Oh, so the OP was using the term "stability" in a way that doesn't refer to handling and roadholding. That's the problem. Maybe they should have used the word "reliability". I get it now, they weren't making a comment about the change in weight distribution causing a problem with the handling.


There won't be any issues at 500-600 whp with the Subaru motor, But that amount of power with the factory 70's aircooled motor would be asking for problems!


That paint is amazing. Just from these photos it's surreal. I could only imagine what it was like in person.


Thanks for the feature! Always a pleasure to work with the SpeedHunters crew!


Also special shoutout to all partners! Billetworkz, Quality Custom Rides, Work Wheels, Vibrant Performance, Toyo Tires, Ron Francis Wiring, Never Lift Auto Fab, Link ECU, Jon Sibal Designworks, JK Tuned, iWire, IAG Performance, Exact Art, Dress Up Bolts, Carbon Fiber Element, Brembo, Andrew Yates Automotive


Come on SH, don't let this site devolve to a simple visual space. We need more nerdy details. The weight distribution should be a preliminary and fundamental consideration for a project like this, and should be a primary discussion point during the interview, including before and after corner weights. I'd like to know other details too, for example, the cooling solutions tried, along with water temps and some of the various iterations attempted along the way to get it to cool properly. These are the MEAT of these kind of projects, the paint color and radio are really of little consequence.
Maybe I'm asking too much of a SEMA build conversation to go into these kind of details on the show floor. I get that.


I hear you for sure! In this case though the engine placement would be determined by the where the rear axle centerline is located and how the transaxle/engine relate to that. Not much you can do about that unless you redesign the whole body and chassis.


I'm saying that it would be appreciated by many if the article could have shared what the corner weights of the original 930 were, then compare that to the improvement that is realized by the new corner weights after the swap. This would quantify the improvement in the weight distribution, and reinforce the suggestion that these kind of swaps are well considered and actually improve on the original vehicle dynamics.


Love the taillights!


As usual. Trevor and Mark never disappoint with their car article and photos,

The engine looks smallish (or was it the Porsche engine bay was originally big) and with so much room for future add-on performance/upgrade. It's a definitely a good thing to have plenty of room to play around.

Just a quickie question, was the engine, or mounting had been deliberately moved towards the centre of the car for better weight distribution?


The location of the motor was determined so the WRX transmission outputs could line up with the hubs. It worked out that it gave us plenty of room to work with!


The engine hasn't been moved forward, it's a flat four rather than the original flat six, so it's smaller like you said.


Yo, is that Toyo on backwards?


I liked my eg33 swapped 911 I built, but it was slow overall. sold it to someone in europe.


Another click bait build for show but no go.
Many times more was spent on the EJ than a 996 997 turbo engine whould be instaled in the old chassy, but thats not interesting enough, lets do a JDM swap.
Thankfully its not a 2jz, k-swap, or evo...rb whould be interesting for the next 911 build...


At least is not eletric


This just screams to me garage queen or show queen.
Love the color and the car in general, even though i usually am not a fan of these chameleon paint jobs.
But... wire dangling on the hot side of the turbo? Zip tied together? Those pretty intercooler pipes will break in 500km due to no vibration damping, i don't care even if they are made from vibranium (joke). And that intercooler set below the window... you can't even wash that car with a light drizzle 'cause it will destroy the engine below... or maybe just a drive in a light rain and it will be the end of that engine (we know how reliable subbie engines can be either way).
Now put a BRZ or similar engine in one of the 356 chassis, make it as reliable as possible, strengthen the body, update the braking system and do a tour of Europe or ride from coast to coast in the USA. THAT sounds like fun.
This car is just like porn... no fun if you just watch!