The latest Japan Domestic Model Honda Civic Type R (codenamed FD2R) created quite a stir among many Japanese performance car enthusiasts when it was launched. And who could blame them? Any Honda embellishing the much-lauded “R” badge is literally worthy of worship.
The Integra Type R (DC2 and DC5), Civic Type R (EK9 and EP3) and even the Accord Euro R (CL1 and CL7) have reached iconic status. The signs are that the FD2R will take over the throne comfortably. With its potent 2-litre engine that’s rated for 225bhp and 215Nm of torque, and matched to a sweet-shifting 6-speed manual box, it’s a car that’s hard to improve on.
Arj, the owner of the FD2R you see here, is not interested in plain performance figures alone. Of course he wants his car to be quick in a straight line, but he is equally interested in making his FD2R look good. From the looks of things, he has succeeded on both counts.
The Mugen body kit is specially imported from Japan, as is the replacement Storm Carbon Concepts rear wing centre. Throw in the Yokohama Advan RZ alloy wheels and Espace Service carbon front canards and, style-wise, everything is bang up to date with current mod styling trends.
If there was one complaint that can be made about the standard FD2R, it is the super-stiff factory dampers – especially at the rear. The ride of the FD2R can be hard. It is uncompromisingly stiff and makes for a nauseating experience if you’re a rear passenger. And it makes the car skittish while cornering over roads that are not perfectly smooth.
So out went the rear absorbers and in came a pair of Koni Yellow rear dampers. All four springs were also replaced with Tein units. The car now rides with a great deal more comfort and, most importantly, it feels more planted while cornering.
With the looks and handling department settled, Arj turned his attention on the potent 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine residing under the carbon bonnet. He actually wanted to “open” it up and tweak its internals – like the pistons, camshafts, valves and conrods.
But after a trip up north to Sepang for a bout of tracking, he decided that the engine had enough “juice” to satisfy his craving for now. So he went for a list of bolted-on mods instead.
First up, the engine control unit has been re-flashed. In the process, the factory speed cut was also removed. Next, a Mugen cold air intake and a Toda Power exhaust system with Mugen exhaust manifold were added to improve “breathing” all round.
Keeping an engine running cooler will improve durability in the long run and during high-stress situations, so quite a bit of money was spent on the cooling department. A Tracy Sports double core radiator, SPF silicone intake and radiator hoses, Espace Service engine oil cooler and ARC engine oil sump cooling fins all serve to keep engine and oil temperatures down.
Arj showed me some data he logged during a few full-bore laps around Sepang: The maximum oil temperature recorded was just 88 deg C, while water temperature was 80 deg C. Most cars running normal would experience water temperatures ranging from 90 deg C to 100 deg C, with oil temperatures up to 140 deg C. So this is one “cool” Civic Type R (pun intended).
Being a racing enthusiast (Arj runs Team Porsche Club Racing Singapore, one of our top racing teams), he is pretty much obsessed with wanting to know how the engines of his team’s racecars are performing at all times. And his attitude is no different when it comes to his FD2R.
He had an HKS Camp II information display installed and this is one amazing piece of equipment. This multi-meter system is able to show readings for six parameters simultaneously and monitors up to 24 data signals – all through the car’s OBD2 port and optional sensors.
This FD2R has just been dynoed and the graph shows maximum power of 258.8bhp at 8064rpm and a torque peak of 236.1Nm at 6255rpm. That’s an increase of 15 percent and 10 percent respectively. Not bad for a bolted-on mod job.
Mugen front grille, front lip spoiler, carbon fibre bonnet and rear under-spoiler
Espace Service carbon front canards
Storm Carbon Concepts carbon rear wing centre section
Porsche 997 GT3 RSR nylon gear knob
Kenwood communication module with PTT button
HKS Camp II vehicle info display system
Backyard Special 3-gauge housing
Defi CR oil temperature, oil pressure and water temperature gauges
ROM Tuning ECU re-flashed with speed cut
Mugen cold air intake
SPF silicone intake hose
Espace Service 70mm throttle-body
SPF silicone radiator hoses
Tracy Sports double core radiator
Mugen 1.3 bar radiator cap
Mugen oil filler cap
5-Zigen engine oil catch tank with BMC breather filter
Espace Service engine oil cooler
ARC engine oil sump cooling fins
NGK racing spark plugs
Mugen Mandrel-Bent exhaust manifold
Toda Power catalytic test-pipe and LTA-approved exhaust system
Sprint Booster E-throttle controller
CT Engineering short-throw base pivot + BRAKES
Ferodo DS-2500 brake pads
Mugen steel-braided brake hoses
Mugen brake cylinder sock 5-Zigen brake stopper kit
Koni Yellow rear dampers
Tein lowering springs + WHEELS/TYRES
Yokohama Advan RZ 18-inch alloy wheels
Goodyear Eagle F1 18-inch tyres
Volk Racing (Rays) black steel wheel nuts