IHI RX-8

Through a partnership with a Japanese company specializing in new and used race car components, Spectrum Motorsports Solutions has a substantial quantity of a very rare and unique turbocharger: the IHI RX-8.

You may have seen or heard of this turbocharger online, as there are multiple forum posts and stories referring to this impressive unit.  Unfortunately the stories and posts are often accompanied with significant misinformation.  

These exclusive turbochargers were never sold to the public.  They were specifically designed for the small displacement, high revving V8's of the final years of Champ Car.  Units were leased out to each race team for a very significant price (rumored to be north of 20,000$).  This arrangement helped keep these cutting-edge turbochargers out of the hands of competitors and laymen alike.  This was until a logistics company in Japan which was responsible for a container of these units had it's assets seized.  This incident ultimately resulted in a substantial amount of these units being sold off at a creditor's auction.  Hundreds of components, cartridges, and complete turbochargers were purchased at once and slowly began trickling out of Japan just after 2010. 

These units represent a truly no-expense-spared approach to turbocharger design and manufacturing.  Material specifications throughout are second to none, with Magnesium alloy compressor housings, Titanium turbine housings and compressor nuts, and a variety of other unique materials throughout.  The result is an exceptional turbocharger capable of supporting up to 900bhp that weighs the same as a GT28.

While there were a number of different compressor and turbine specifications available to each Champ Car team, early testing on other high performance applications showed these turbochargers were very specifically optimized for their intended usage.  The compressor efficiency peaked above 78%, and the unique ball-bearing cartridge offered extreme durability and almost negligible frictional losses.  The compressor and turbine match are only applicable to a very specific engine setup.  One that is able to flow a significant amount of air at a very low pressure ratio.

While misinformed parties online may state that these turbos are capable of extremely high boost pressures with unmatched response and can support 1100-1400hp, this is simply not the case.  Tip speeds at only 1 bar boost pressure can exceed 400m/sec and the extremely large turbine stage (intended to provide extremely low back pressure), is over-sized for anything under 5L in displacement for typical high-performance applications.  We have conducted compressor and turbine mapping tests, positive material identification via XRF analysis, as well as developed cartridge VSR balancing fixturing, allowing us to match these very specific turbochargers to engine packages that will properly benefit from the RX-8.

With our experience and years spent testing and analyzing these turbochargers, we can offer the IHI RX-8 with a custom compressor and turbine specification to  perfectly match your application.  Engines best suited for the conventional Champ Car spec units are generally 5 to 6 liters in displacement, requiring .5 - 1 bar of boost pressure to produce 500 - 800whp. 

For applications with smaller displacements requiring much higher pressure ratios and efficiency characteristics, we've developed the SX / 69R turbocharger.  Built around the RX-8 ball bearing cartridge but utilizing more conventional wheel, diffuser, and volute aerodynamics and dimensions, this unit is optimized for 2.8-3.5L engines with pressure ratios between 2.5 and 4:1, and up to 900whp.

Each RX-8 based turbocharger we sell is built for your exact requirements, including detailed matching calculations.  For inquiries, please email info@spectrummotorsportssolutions.com