It’s pretty scary to think that that the V-Storm is now thirteen years old. I well remember the day, Simon Dickens of SDR Sportscars, wheeled his first demonstrator onto his stand at Stoneleigh show in 2008. Not only was it an exo-skeletal design, but a three-seater with a central driving position, which pretty much set it apart.

Designed by the very under-rated and multi-talented Guernseyman, Simon Keys the car was originally developed to accept Aprilia RSV1000 v-twin motorbike power (there is also at least one in existence that has a Kawasaki ZX-10 Ninja engine, by the way) but it quickly evolved into accepting Subaru flat-four engine from the Impreza or Legacy. You can use a normally aspirated version if you really wish but the difference in cost is minimal whereas the power hike if boost-charged is considerable.

Since taking the project over, DJC Sportscars has worked extremely hard to help release that potential and the V-Storm you see here is their latest demonstrator.

DJC V-Storm

Just for the record, you can only have a Subaru-powered V-Storm nowadays. The bike-powered version that Simon unveiled has been retired! Since Dan has worked his magic on the project the requirements for an old Impreza donor car to wind up your missus cluttering up your driveway have gone although it might be a good idea to buy a complete, driveable car.

There are various routes you can choose to source the parts you do need. You can very easily go to one of the many Subaru Impreza engine builders around the UK such as Field Motorsport in Chelmsford, but more on them in a moment. There really are a lot of very good experts on these engines in the UK. These include Pole Position, JDR, Finch Motorsport, WMS and Roger Clark Motorsport.

Alternatively, you can very easily grab yourself an old Impreza or Legacy or even Forester, but it needs to be the iconic flat-four ‘boxer’ 2-litre, not the six-cylinder EJ25. Best bet is to go for a turbocharged version as the reasonably little difference in price will make the turbo much more attractive and definitely more powerful, which is ideal if you are building a V-Storm WR3.

I have driven quite a few V-Storm,s a real cross-section of those built, including Aprilia RSV and a variety of Subaru-powered examples with engines mild to wild and I’ve enjoyed all of them. For the record, the three-seat configuration with the driver sitting in the middle may seem a little unnatural at first but I promise you within about five minutes it feels totally normal. For me, it offers the perfect driving position smack bang in the middle of the car enabling gaps and corners to be perfectly judged.

I jumped at the chance to have a drive of Dan’s new demo car. The roads around his Battlesbridge, Essex HQ aren’t that bad compared to some areas and the main A130 is very close by and that’s where I head for. As a conscientious motoring journalist, I will never condone reckless or irresponsible driving but where conditions allow, I will always try and put a car through its paces within legal limits.

A car weighing just 746kg with 500bhp is always going to need a firm hand, just like a big dog needs to be shown who is boss. Luckily on the day of my visit, it was dry with nice sunshine, albeit brutally cold. In case you were wondering the ‘666’ part of the model’s name refers to a power to weight ratio of 666bhp per tonne!

There isn’t going to be much that will outperform it in a straight-line acceleration shoot-out and there aren’t many cars that I have driven that make a Caterham 620R seem relatively tame. The V-Storm 666 does though.

The car’s suspension features double wishbones operating pushrod-top bellcranks and inboard laterally mounted Protech dampers, all-round. The only other optional extra fitted to the demo is the bellcranks are in billet aluminium.

I drove the car without a crash helmet – I hate wearing them for road use in a car, to be honest, as I find they hinder my driving somehow, although in a car without a windscreen they really should be worn – and noticed how many different noises that gorgeous engine made depending on revs. This ranged from a beefier sounding Subaru Impreza to a tuned Ford Crossflow just like the one I had with a Zenith air filter in an old Mk2 Escort as a young chap to what I can only liken to the sound that fifty bricks in a large cement mixer must sound like! All totally intoxicating

Dan reckons that you could feasibly build a 300bhp version – now known as V-Storm 400 – at home from around £35,000 with turnkeys from £49,995. A V-Storm ‘halfway-house’ ‘500’ is also under development with prices to be announced. A ‘666’, as seen here, will require a DIY budget of circa £85,000 with turnkeys priced at around £100,000.

As I said before, Dan Carpenter is the sort of chap who has high standards and is always looking to evolve the V-Storm. Although this particular demo car may be the ultimate – at the moment – I’d be interested to see his reaction if someone asked for a chassis in Chromoly tube with carbon-fibre body panels. Now, that would be something, wouldn’t it?

The DJC V-Storm ‘666’ Edition really is a finely appointed specialist car offering supercar performance at a relative pocket money price when you consider that entry to such rarefied circles normally requires a price tag of at least £200,000 these days. It wants for nothing and even features an electronic handbrake – courtesy of Hi-Spec Motorsport, who also supply the rest of the car’s stopping hardware.

With around fifty sold so far, it hasn’t even really touched the sides as far as its sales potential is concerned. You really don’t have to have this bonkers version because as I said the V-Storm 400 will be enough for most of us mere mortals, but this, the 666 variant, it’s an endearing little devil, you know!

For more information visit or call or 01245 324 405 ENDS.