Posts Tagged ‘honda performance development’

New Performance-Tuned Honda CR-Z to Come in 2017

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Honda CR-Z part earth lover part adrenaline junkie

Honda has been on a performance streak this year with both the Honda Civic Type R and the Honda NSX Concept making their debuts.

However, it hasn’t always been so… Just 5 years ago, the CR-Z was Honda’s newest attempt at a performance-oriented model. Except it didn’t work out quite so well.

The CR-Z in its current form aims to be a budget-friendly hybrid sports car, and it’s arguably a little too ahead of its time. The image at the top of this post says it all; the car suffers from identity crisis. Environmentalists would rather have a Prius, while performance enthusiasts on a budget would rather have a BRZ/GT86, or anything with more power than the 130 hp combined system output offered in the current CR-Z.

Yeah… We’re not really sure how Honda hoped to attract anyone remotely interested in a sports car with numbers like that.

To be fair, Honda is well aware of their mistake. That’s why the Honda CR-Z has already been dropped from the Japanese automaker’s European and Australian lineups. Even if Honda decides to keep it going in the US, it’s not doing particularly well, and it’s certainly not well-known as a performance model.

That’s all going to change by the end of 2017.

2015 Honda CR-Z

An insider report from AutoExpress revealed that Honda is planning to launch a faster and more performance-focused iteration of the CR-Z in 2017, likely at the end of the year as a 2018MY.

Apparently, their source is an anonymous member of Honda’s Research and Development team near Tokyo. “Remember the CR-Z,” the insider asked. “It’s disappeared from Honda’s lineup in Europe and Australia, but it’s due to make a comeback in 2017. The old model’s weak street-cred and lack of performance have been addressed – the new coupe will be a force to be reckoned with.”

To be more specific, it sounds like Honda plans to completely strip the hybrid powertrain out of the CR-Z. Instead, they plan to put their energy into accomplishing two of their three original goals – great performance at an affordable price.

The report claims that Honda will utilize the all-new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that debuted earlier this year in the Honda Civic Type R. That engine will be tuned to produce 276 hp – more than double what’s available in the current model. However, there is a possibility that Honda will continue offering a hybrid version of the CR-Z in Japan, but even then it’ll be outputting northwards of 200 hp.

Either way, we’re thrilled to have another true sports car coming from Honda. It’s expected to make its debut at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show before going on sale at the end of the year. If you’d like to learn more or to see an exclusive projected picture of the new Honda CR-Z’s possible design, head over to AutoExpress and read the full report for yourself.


Honda Shows Off Fit Performance Project at SEMA

Posted by Stephen On Friday, November 7th, 2014

The 2014 SEMA show is well underway and it’s been a great year so far. Honda in particular has had a great showing at the event, and their Fit hatchback won a SEMA Award in the “Hottest Sport Compact” category. As you continue reading, you’ll see why… They have an amazing portfolio of nine different customized Honda Fit hatchbacks, each with its own unique flair.

Tjin Edition 2015 Honda Fit

2015 Honda Fit Tjin Edition

We’ll start with the Tjin Edition Honda Fit (pictured above), which was voted fan favorite in Honda’s 2015 Fit Performance Project. This model was developed by Kylie Tjin’s design team, and features a wide variety of upgrades including the custom Axalta paintjob and a custom-fabricated wide-body kit.

The aftermarket Tjin Edition hatch rides on 18-inch iForged wheels with hot pink brake calipers, and the interior has been made over with custom green and black Katzkin seat covers to match the exterior, along with a Sony sound system.

The only performance upgrade in the Tjin Fit is a new Bismoto Pulse Chamber. Which brings us nicely too…

Bisimoto 2015 Honda Fit Turbo

Bisimoto 2015 Honda Fit Turbo

As the name of this aftermarket package implies, the highlight of Bisimoto’s contribution is a custom turbocharger, which takes the Fit up to an incredible 480hp.

Bisimoto didn’t stop there, though. Their kit also includes custom springs, new gaskets, Deatschwerks 1000cc injectors, a new Action 2MS clutch, bigger brakes and plenty of other mechanical upgrades. Inside, you’ll find a mostly gutted race-ready cockpit complete with a heavy-duty Rogue Racing harness.

MAD Industries 2015 Honda Fit

MAD Industries 2015 Honda Fit with Grom

This is a nice follow-up to the first two builds we showcased because it has more performance upgrades then the Tjin Edition, but still has a clear focus on enhanced sports appeal.

Even if you don’t care for the charcoal black and plasma yellow color scheme both inside and out, there’s no denying that MAD Industries has given us a head-turner. We wish you could see this one on the road, because that’s the only way you’d truly appreciate the PIAA Plasma Yellow fog lamps or the golden window tints – pictures just don’t do it justice.

Perhaps what’s coolest of all about this kit is that MAD Industries modified the Fit to carry a matching Honda Grom motorcycle in the trunk, including built-in MACs Straps to keep the bike in place.

Want To See All Nine Honda Fits?

As you read at the beginning of this post, Honda brought nine enhanced 2015 Honda Fit hatchbacks to the SEMA show. The three listed above are our personal favorites, and we decided we’d rather write a lot about our favorites than a tiny amount about each one. That being said, you can still see each Honda Fit build below:

Kontrabands AML 2015 Honda Fit

Kontrabands AML 2015 Honda Fit

Spoon Sports 2015 Honda Fit

Spoon Sports 2015 Honda Fit

Kenny Vince 2015 Honda Fit

Kenny Vince 2015 Honda Fit

HPD B-Spec 2015 Honda Fit Race Car

HPD B-Spec 2015 Honda Fit Race Car

Bisimoto + Norman Reeves Honda Fit

Bisimoto + Norman Reeves Honda Fit

Honda Genuine Accessories also showcased a Fit with every available dealership accessory, but all you have to do is imagine a normal yellow Honda Fit to get the full effect, so we didn’t include it here.

If you want to read more about each individual hatchback in the Fit Performance Project, we recommend you head over to Honda’s #ProjectFit Tumblr page for a full rundown, start to finish, of each modification.


How to Transform Your Boring Honda CR-Z into a Hot-Rod

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

2014 Honda CR-Z HPD Supercharger Kit

It didn’t come as a surprise earlier this year when Honda Europe announced that they’d stop offering the Honda CR-Z next year. The car has always suffered from a textbook case of identity crisis… Classified as a “sport hybrid coupe”, it’s not quite efficient enough for green drivers and not quite fun enough for sporty ones. While it won numerous awards in its first year, since then the only thing it’s had going for it is its extremely affordable price tag, with the 2014 model starting at just $20,785.

Now, Honda has finally released a solution to the CR-Z’s zestlessness in the form of a supercharger kit from Honda Performance Development (HPD). We say ‘finally’ because the Japanese automaker first promised this kit nearly a year ago at last year’s SEMA Motor Show in LA. So it’s a long time coming.

The new Honda CR-Z supercharger kit will add quite a bit of oomph to the otherwise plain hybrid coupe, both aesthetically and mechanically. The 2014 Honda CR-Z comes stock with a 1.5L petrol engine that outputs 130hp. The supercharger kit increases that output up to 197hp – 67hp more than the normal engine – which should yield a noticeable improvement in the fun department.

Honda Performance Development CR-Z Kit

Along with the supercharger itself, HPD’s kit will achieve its power boost by retuning the CR-Z’s ECU calibration (which you have to do with any supercharger) and adding a plethora of enhancements under the hood. An air-to-air intercooler, a dedicated motor blower and a high-performance air filter system, along with HPD’s custom high-flow fuel injectors, all help the over-tuned CR-Z run as clean and sharply as possible. Best of all, the supercharged CR-Z will still be able to meet CARB’s strict AT-PZEV regulations.

In addition to the technology surrounding the supercharger, the HPD kit will include other sporty upgrades throughout the chassis. These include performance dampers, stiffened springs and larger brake discs, along with an optional sports clutch for extra responsive driving.

No supercharger kit would be complete without visual add-ons, and Honda Performance Development hasn’t failed to deliver the aesthetics. The CR-Z’s supercharger kit makes the coupe more likely to turn heads with slick HPD badging, a rear diffuser, sports exhaust, front and rear spoilers and custom-designed 18-inch alloy wheels to top it all off.

Even though you’ll always sacrifice a decent chunk of fuel economy with any supercharger, the hybrid hatchback was never really up there with the likes of the Toyota Prius to begin with. However, you don’t have to worry about messing up your car like you do with most aftermarket add-ons; Honda is installing the HPD kit at their own dealerships, so it won’t have any effect on your warranty.

The downside is that Honda still hasn’t decided whether or not the kit can be used with next year’s CR-Z. As of now, only the 2010 to 2014 model years are eligible for the upgrade. That could change in a few months, though, as Honda continues testing the kit with the 2015MY.