The brand new Honda Civic was launched recently bringing with it numerous new technology updates and designs. Indeed when it comes to Honda and its highly touted Civic the international automobile fraternity expect nothing less. Concerning the new Civic modification & upgrade option we recently met up with James Chow of AvantGarde Motorsports – a highly respected Honda tuner in the local scene regarding the basic modification governing the new Civic’s looks and the performance.
We have here an introductory guide of 12 items as per the styling, handling and engine performance. Some of the aftermarket components listed below might not be available yet but trust us it’ll be here very soon. Also bear in mind that some of the products might void the manufacturer’s warranty.
The 12 basic mods are:
1. Wheels & Tires
As ever the first step in doing up any ride is the wheels. As the stock Civic 1.5 Turbo runs on 17 inch alloys with 215/50R17, the more popular upgrade is 18 inch with the corresponding tire size, in other words inching up the stock wheel size which apart from improving the looks also give considerable improvements on handling. The aftermarket wheel option for Hondas has always been considerably wide with many top brands in the offering. You can fully expect the same wide choice for the new Civic as well.
Apart from Honda Malaysia’s own Modulo accessories (RM4, 650 five-piece bodykit), the aftermarket bodykit option is huge perhaps even bigger than the aforementioned wheels & tires choices. The cutting edge looks of the new Civic could be made even more cutting edge with a sportier personality, which is attainable by adding front spoiler, and skirtings all around. Of course when it’s Honda you can always count on Mugen coming up with its own bodykit pretty soon.
3. Brake pads & Brake lines
With regards to the Civic’s braking, there are a number of basic mods and upgrades that can be done which will give you marked improvements in stopping power. The first would of course be the brake pads, invariably important for the likes of those with a heavy right foot. Brake pads brands have been catering for Hondas since time immemorial and there’d be an abundance of aftermarket brake pads for the new Civic. Apart from aftermarket pads there is also the brake line to consider, specifically braided stainless steel brake lines. The purpose of braided stainless steel brake lines is to improve the effectiveness and longevity of the brake system.
4. Lowering springs / coilovers
Lowering springs and/or aftermarket coilovers are among the most popular mods and judging from the sublime and classy looks of the new Civic a set of good quality lowering springs ought to be enough to enhance the looks as well as the handling; an easily realized car handling improvements as per the lower center of gravity. Further handling improvements come via an entire swap of the stock suspension for aftermarket coilovers – pretty much the essence of many aftermarket suspension kits. Choices are huge in this regard with many top notched suspension brands already offering kits for the new Civic.
5. Engine Tuning
Now we’re into the aspect of more serious horsepower gain here even as we’re still basically discussing the basic performance mods of the new Civic. The power & torque output for the L15B7 1.5 Turbo are 174hp and 162 lb-ft at the crank. Basic engine tuning produces substantial horsepower gains and is straight forward enough in its application. Tuning options begin with ECU reflash, then next up the tuning ladder would be rechip, piggyback ECU before finally opting for stand-alone ECU. You can expect power gains from approximately upwards of 20% over the standard power figures which makes this the best ‘bang for the bucks’ upgrade slash option for your money.
A cold air intake will definitely help make more power in a factory turbo charged vehicle. It’s common knowledge that with stock turbocharged motors, there are large gains to be made from simple bolt-ons that free up restrictions put on by the factory to appeal to a wider audience. While your average Civic owner might prefer a quieter sounding intake and is satisfied with a stock setup, the enthusiast is willing to make power at the expense of increased engine noise.
7. Engine oil cooler
The design of any car ensures that only sufficient cooling by airflow across the sump takes place under normal conditions of use to keep the oil of a chosen viscosity at its design temperature from overcooling. And as our climate here is inordinately hot, upgrades to the new Civic’s turbo engine oil cooler is crucially necessary for the following reasons: increase in rpm (oil cooling requirement of an engine increases threefold for an increase of 1000rpm, making this the most common cause of engine oil overheating), Obstruction of airflow to the sump, Oil circulation through a turbo charger not only lubricates but also removes a large amount of heat which will add to the overall cooling requirement, and lastly higher power output. There are aftermarket engine oil cooler upgrades already available for the new Civic.
8. CVT Oil Cooler
In order to avoid commonly nasty CVT gearbox problems that arise from excessive heat which come from spirited driving, we recommend you upgrade the CVT oil cooler on your new Civic. CVT is by nature of its design and engineering generates a lot of heat, and obviously too much heat damages them – a common problem with CVT with some bad drivers. Options on this component are numerous.
An intercooler is used to cool the charged air particles from the turbocharger, with cooler charged air means denser air and that in turn translates to more efficient combustion which in turn translates into more power which also means ‘safer’ power. Bear in mind that with excessive heat in the engine, there’d be greater probability for engine knocking. For the new Civic’s intercooler aftermarket option the choices are again pretty huge.
10. Radiator upgrade
Since the L15B7 now runs a water-cooled exhaust manifold and that we happen to have a pretty hot climate here in Malaysia we strongly recommend you upgrade your radiator which will give you a bigger margin of safety. A water cooled exhaust manifold & turbo means a simple gravity drain/refill will only account for 60% of the coolant. Honda will likely recommend a full coolant flush at service interval.
Before any aftermarket systems were even put into production, the new Honda Civic 1.5T’s exhaust was already getting all the hype. The production Civic has a dual-tipped exhaust system – a notable first for any Civic. A number of aftermarket systems in the US for instance have decided to make do with a single-exit exhaust instead of the dual exhaust tip giving the car a simpler, cleaner look. We recommend Decat and larger sized down pipe and exhaust piping that will give you faster response and more power.
12. Diverter Upgrade
The stock diverter will not be able to cope with the higher boost in the long run. We recommend that you upgrade the stock diverter on the L15B7 engine so as to give you sharper throttle response, lightning-fast valve actuation, as it will hold as much boost as you can throw at it. Also with upgraded diverter you get faster boost recovery on gearshift, solves boost leaking issues and built to last.
Yes folks there you have it the basic introductory modifications for the brand spanking new Honda Civic Turbo. The whole thing really does sound exciting and it certainly is something to look forward to.
Did you find this article useful? Have we by any chance left out anything? If so please let us know, we greatly appreciate it.