Purity is a pain. When something is pure, it becomes precious therefore fragile, and shut out to the world. Why would you do that? Why would you deny people the privilege to cast their eyes on the very essence of purity. My frustration is quite real to be honest, this isn’t just part of the article. In this line of work, I’ve seen one too many automotive perfections being hidden in garages and when asked why? To preserve it. Logically that may make sense but doesn’t it defeat the purpose of owning it? My god I can go on forever about this but thankfully, my frustration was soothed when I met this particular chap who recently acquired not one, but TWO Honda Integra DC2’s. Brace yourselves because you’re about to read drivel from a man who has fallen so deeply in love.
In 1995, two life changing events took place. One, my younger brother was born. Second, God blessed the humble human race with the Honda Integra DC2 Type R. I’m more fond of the latter. This white angel is an authentic Type R from the land of the rising sun and flaunts the unique Honda production number plaque at the centre console. The petrolheads of my time were infants during the launch of this hero but we’ve heard the stories. The maddeningly lively engine, darty steering, wicked soundtrack and the massive grin that appears when everything goes into fast forward. Till this day, a genuine specimen like this one can fetch a huge amount among purists and to see it being used AS A CAR and not furniture, I was happy. Naturally, I was Beside my f****** self when the owner gave me the keys.
At this point, a hesitant me only knew that this DC2 was a legit Type R and it had some Mugen bits added to it. Little did I know that this white angel was packing a massive Mugen catalogue among others. The exterior is full on Mugen, making me dread any vehicle that got within a metre of it. Not to mention the wheels. Mugen MF10s wrapped in sticky AD08 rubber, simply stunning but it was tough to enjoy it while driving thanks to the knowledge of its rarity. Malaysia is land of the pot holes okay, and denting or scuffing the rims was not on my bucket list. I got in and was immediately hit with the 90’s aura that we’ve been starved of by the wave of modern electronic filled interior design these days. Once seated, everything in view had a Mugen badge on it. Mugen S1 seats, SW360 steering wheel, gear knob, pedals and crucially, the ultra high demand Mugen meter cluster with the yellow needles, 10,000rpm redline and 260kmh speedo.
Eventually the roads cleared up and I could give it some beans. To this day, the fizz I felt from that car has not been equalled. While the engine is still a B18CR, it has been garnished with Toda Type C cams, Toda adjustable pulley, Toda valve springs, and a Spoon head gasket. The purists are crying now but I’m not done. The engine’s breathing is enhanced with Mugen 4-1 headers, a complete Mugen exhaust system and intake kit. The induction sound is truly orgasmic especially when the revs climb past the VTEC zone.
Official bhp and torque figures don’t do the driving experience any justice so I’m not going to waste time with those. It’s all about how much of the available power is usable. The beefed up heart is paired very well with the standard Type R transmission, the S80 gearbox equipped from factory with an LSD. The owner respects Honda’s engineering and has left the gearbox alone because it is more than capable of handling the power. To me, the daily driveability really owes itself to the light clutch pedal, confident clutch bite and an un-aggressive LSD. It doesn’t demand to be abused all the time.
Now before we get into the handling depo, if you don’t believe in fiddling with perfection, take a deep breath and open your mind. Just because automotive perfection has been altered, does not mean it is bad. Perfect case in point, the owner, being a meticulous person, settled for genuine proven performance products. Ohlins suspensions are now in charge at all four corners. Every single bushing underneath the 20 year old car has been changed to new ones by Mugen. The camber arms, front and rear, Hardrace. Chassis rigidity, though the standard car is plenty stiff, is up rated with Mugen front and rear strut braces accompanied with a Cusco rear anti roll bar. All these subtle quality modifications lead to an unmatched character in the DC2.
I dare say, the owner has taken a sublime Type R and lifted it to a greater height without turning it into a mess. Back to what I started this article with, purity. It is a troublesome artform, yet if done right, can be simply mesmerizing. Also goes to show how the JDM scene has prepared owners with modifications from their own specialists, ie Mugen, Spoon and Cusco.
Engine: Standard B18CR 1.8 Engine, Toda Type C Cam, Toda Adjustable Pulley, Toda Valve Spring, Spoon Head Gasket, Mugen 4-1 Header, Mugen Exhaust, Mugen Intake, ARC Radiator
Handling: Ohlins Suspension, Complete Mugen Bushing, Mugen Front and Back Strut Bar, Hardrace Front and back Camber Arm, Cusco Rear Anti Roll Bar
Wheels & Tyres: Mugen MF10 16×8 ET42 with AD08R 215/45/16
Interior: Mugen S1 Seats, Mugen Meter Cluster, Mugen SW360 Steering, Mugen Gear Knob, Mugen Pedals
Exterior: Mugen Full Bodykit