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Hardy & Feisty Honda

Looking back over at 2016 as we progress into yet another brand new year, ask “What was the biggest car news in 2016” to a mismatched selection of car lovers, be it enthusiast or just ‘regular’ folks who appreciates the quintessential appeal of an automobile, chances are 99 times out of 100 they’d say it’s the debut of the brand new Honda Civic. The said reply was so definitive and overwhelming, all pervading in its conclusiveness which reemphasize how big a deal the compact Honda unquestionably is.

Should you check out the internet you can readily see the adulation showered upon the fabled Civic in all its glory. There isn’t even one country where the verdict is less than flattering, let alone being something along the lines of being mediocre, or god forbid, disappointing. And that perky 1.5 liter turbo engine have sent shockwaves reverberating across the compact car landscape with such a sensation that Hondas’ detractors have been forced to seriously reconsider the design premise of their next compacts somewhere along the same lines as that fine engine powering the top spec Civic here in Malaysia.

That exemplary forced inducted 1.5 liter has set a new benchmark for the compact class with some rapid acceleration times that redefines what’s ‘permissible’ for a car of its proportions. I chanced upon an independent test result on the said Civic model and the result is utterly remarkable – 6.8 seconds for the century sprint. That’s substantially into Euro hot hatch category when all is said and done. What’s more the blown motor on the top spec Civic 1.5T is quite a bit more fuel efficient than the base 2 liter model, not the other way around.

What then might you ask if a ‘wee bit of tinkering’ would do on that fine powerplant? Well a ‘wee bit of tinkering’ mightn’t be the most appropriate description in this case as we have had some genuine modified masterpieces from the boys at RaceChip, yup those electronic maestros with the laptop and tuning expertise that would send McGyver reeling to his pretty co star, falling into her bulbous bosom and confide in her ‘I’m not smart enough’.

Now Hypertune knows all too well what wonders RaceChip Malaysia is capable of having chronicled their extensive progression throughout the years. They have provided numerous superlative rides both Continentals as well as JDMs that have registered considerable power increment without so much as the filter element being replaced, meaning with only the expert hands of RaceChip’s tuners doing their thing on the engine. Meaning exclusively tuning and nothing else. Imagine what sort of wonders when these heretofore tri factor – the new Civic 1.5T, RaceChip and some classy performance and style mods; come together in a fine and harmonious 1Malaysia manner?

Well this uber cool example is it really, that reiterates the evergreen appeal of less is more on the outside, with a little bit more go-faster goodies on the inside makes for a wholesome Honda from any sides regardless outside or inside. Now first things first, the stock 1.5 turbo was first dynoed (for reference) and showed 161ps and 217Nm (at the wheel). Therein the tinkering (albeit somewhere along the lines of basic) commenced and in comes the SuperCircuit Turboback system replacing the stock exhaust. Another dyno run saw the stock 161ps and 217Nm rose to 166.6ps and 233Nm, 5ps and 16Nm increment in horsepower and torque respectively.

Now we go on to the more ‘feisty’ bit for this classy Honda compact – the RaceChip tuning package specifically the RaceChip Pro2 plug & play which optimized all the performance enhancing variables accessible from the L15B7. In went the Pro2-equipped Honda to the Dyno again and out came the following figures: 199ps (37ps up) and 268Nm of torque (50Nm increase); with the max power output quoted at 5500rpm whilst the max torque available from about 3000rpm. Figure all these healthy perks into the stock’s already rapid naught to sixty mph acceleration times (6.8s) and you’d be fawning and gushing with admiration.

Further ‘complimentary’ mods includes the RaceChip Response Control, T.M. Works Direct Power Harness and Fogiago carbon fiber air intake kit each with their own inherent benefits that enhances the performance dynamics of this exceptional RaceChip Civic Turbo.

Other than the abovementioned performance mods there are also some revisions as per the 1.5T’s modestly customized exterior aesthetics – customized by After Twelve Motorsports proffering Honda Thailand RS Spec piano black front grille and After Twelve’s own carbon fiber ducktail spoiler at the back, a minor addition that adds that telling edge of aggression to the fastback Honda. The stock wheels & tires were ditched for 18 inches Enkei RPF1 mated with Achilles ATR Sport 225/40/18. Chassis tweaks were done exclusively by ST Wangan Bandar Sunway consists of TEIN Flex Z coilover with pillow ball upper mount up front.

Car: Honda Civic 2016 FC 1.5TCP

Engine: L15B7

Engine Mods: Stock

Transmission: 7 Speed Continuous Variable Transmission with paddle shift

Intake: Forgiago carbon fibre air intake kit

Exhaust: SuperCircuit 304 Stainless Steel Full Custom Turboback exhaust system

Electronics: RaceChip Pro2 Petrol Plug and Play tuning kit, RaceChip Response Control, T.M. Works Direct Power Harness

Chassis: TEIN Flex Z Coilover with front pillow ball upper mount

Wheels & Tires: 18x8J Enkei RPF1, Achilles ATR Sport 225/40/18

Exterior: Honda Thailand RS Spec Piano Black front grille, After Twelve Motorsport custom carbon fiber rear duck tail spoiler.

Dyno Figures: (on wheel figures with RON 97)
Stock: 161.37PS 216.73Nm
Stock (with SuperCircuit Turboback system): 166.59PS 232.89Nm (+5PS +16Nm)
With RaceChip Pro2: 199.2PS 268.38Nm (+37PS +50Nm)