Sexy and small doesn’t just apply to women. A true petrolhead will know that the same term also translates into fun on the road in the form of small hatch. It doesn’t have to be a hot hatch in the mould of a Golf GTI or a Civic Type-R but just the general lack of girth and go makes driving a hatch so much fun.
The lack of power and rubber allows you to reach the limits of the hatch much earlier and at a safer speed, thus providing a platform to develop and hone your driving skills without endangering yourself too much.
There have been a number of iconic hatches over the years that have cemented themselves in the hearts of petrolheads due to their driving dynamics and nothing else. Although a latecomer to the game, the Honda fit, or Jazz as it is known in this market, has proven to be popular due to a number of factors that signify a promising hatch.
For starters, it wears the big ‘H’ logo that is synonymous with well-handling vehicles in general. Secondly, it is a remarkably practical vehicle that serves as a great daily driver as well. Thirdly, it has VTEC… enough said.
The theme for this particular Fit has been the Mugen Professional series, meaning that you will find plenty of Mugen parts on this build. Under the hood, the L15A mill breathes better through a Mugen air filter and exhales a little louder via a Mugen Twin Muffler. Apart from that, an aftermarket oil cap and radiator cap also made the cut and are unsurprisingly from Mugen as well.
The best bit about this Fit is that you get to switch gears on your own. While the official Honda presense in Malaysia only sells automatic variants, the owner of this Fit has sourced and fitted a five-speed manual transmission that is available on the models sold in Indonesia and Thailand. To sharpen up the rest of the drivetrain, a Spoon LSD, Exedy racing clutch, JUN flywheel and J’s Racing 4.7 final drive were fitted.
Engine governance now required something with a bit more computing power. A Dastek Unichip ECU now keeps all the electronics in check while a trio of Mugen gauges helps the driver keep tabs on water temperature, oil temperature and oil pressure.
Stiffening up the handling is a set of Feel’s adjustable suspension that, mated to a Mugen front strut bar, J’s Racing upper bar and Cusco rear strut bar, makes for a very potent handling hatch. Furthermore, grip has been increased as well with super sticky Toyo R888 tyres wrapped on rare Mugen MF10L wheels.
On the stopping side, a host of Endless components on the front, such as calipers, rotors, brake pads and steel braided hoses help bring the car to a stop. At the opposite end, Dixcel rotors are mated to the stock calipers and Feel’s steel braided hoses for more bite.
Stepping into the interior, you will be greeted by a pair of Bride Stradia bucket seats while the driver does his thing via a Mugen steering wheel and boss kit, Mugen gear boot, Mugen handbrake cover, Mugen side mirror cover, Mugen pedals, Mugen gear knob and Mugen side sill. To amplify the JDM feel, a number of JDM parts were sourced and fitted such as the Type S interior, autolight sensor, three-step headlamp autoswitch, roof console, room light and digital air-conditioning controls.
Completing the transformation is the exterior mods. A Mugen Professional body kit is front and center, complimented by a Mugen carbon fiber hood and Mugen HID foglamps. Further adding to the JDM feel are the HID Titanium headlamps, Type S clear taillamps and keyless entry system.
The primary appeal of a hatch stems from its handling, not power, and in this sense the Fit here has aptly built on that by enhancing the handling and drivetrain with a manual transmission to make it a more fun drive.
Trust us, we would love to be behind the wheel of this Fit on some narrow trunk roads over a barge-like car with only more power.
Hyperfacts! Car: Honda Fit GD3 Mugen Professional
Engine Mods: Mugen air filter, Mugen Twin Muffler, Mugen oil cap, Mugen radiator cap