An aftermarket tuned hatchback is one of the best urban street weapons you
can buy; there’s all the practicality and manoeuvrability you could ever want
combined with the straight-line rip to stick it up the factory big-bangers.
But making a hatchback look trick? Well, that’s not such an easy task.
Warren of Sydney owns a hatchback that offers a heap of show and go. His 1999
Honda Civic CXi packs a custom turbo kit (good for 110kW at the wheels) and has
a roadside appearance that’s impossible to ignore.
Warren purchased this Honda about 2 ½ years ago from a bloke who’d bought it
brand new and drove it straight in for a thorough mod session at Croydon Racing
Developments. The 1.6 litre engine was to remain stock internally but a power
increase in excess of 50 percent was essential.
The stock Honda engine takes to turbocharging like a duck to water – so there
was no need to consider anything but an exhaust-driven huffer. Having chosen a
Garrett roller-bearing turbo for the job, an off-the-shelf cast exhaust manifold
was bolted to the base-spec Honda SOHC head.
A gradually tapered stainless pipe funnels pod-filtered induction air into
the mouth of the compressor and mandrel bent stainless plumbing is routed to and
from the intercooler. The intercooler is a custom Croydon Racing Developments
fabrication. Oh, and there’s a GFB blow-off valve making that familiar noise on
On the exhaust side, CRD whipped up a custom stainless heat shield for the
turbo manifold and a 2 ½ inch turbo-back exhaust was fabricated by Liverpool
The engine management is currently a MircroTech programmable unit, which
controls the standard ignition and stock injectors. Fuel delivery is enhanced by
a Malpassi rising rate regulator and Bosch high-flow pump.
At present, there is no boost control system – just the hose from the
compressor outlet to the wategate actuator. As a result, peak boost pressure is
a very conservative 7 psi – but it’s enough to give a measured 110kW at the
wheels and a handy torque increase.
The driveline is standard except for a heavy-duty full-face clutch.
Warren says the Honda is a real
thrill to drive – once it’s up on full boost it simply zaps ahead of whatever
else is alongside. And Warren knows a
fast car when he drives one – he’s previously owned a 1971 454ci Corvette and a
The original owner also gave the hatchback body a thorough aftermarket
treatment. The body kit is a Talon set-up comprising a front lip, bonnet vents,
side skirts, rear bumper extension and an aluminium rear wing perched on top of
the factory sunshade/spoiler.
When Warren purchased the car it flaunted the stick-on graphics you see gracing the sides. But when Warren noticed they were starting to
peel he ripped ‘em off and had the car resprayed from top to bottom.
Warren is a self-confessed
And here is another one of Warren's alterations – a
professional bonnet mural. The mural depicts a flying bull with the head of a
lion standing alongside its ‘tamer’. And, in case you’re wondering, the
inspiration for this came from a poster!
Look a bit further and you’ll notice the clear lens taillights and
indicators, chrome door handles and chrome wheelarch and door strips are also
installed. These small touches of chrome are complemented by polished LionS 18s
wearing 215mm Falken Ziex rubber. The gap between the tyres and the body is
sliced by around 2 ½ inches using King springs. A Whiteline front suspension
tower brace keeps the alignment consistent under hard driving.
Indoors, the base-spec Honda interior has been given a much needed lift in
the way of Autotecnica Monza front seats and harnesses (in addition to the
factory seatbelts). Colour-coded door inserts, pedals and gearknob improve the
integration of the red/black pews.
The standard instrument binnacle is supplemented by a trio of AutoMeter
gauges that are mounted on the bonnet for maximum show; there’s an oil pressure,
water temperature and boost gauge.
Warren has also recently added a DVD
audio/visual system with a flip-down 9cm LCD screen mounted on the underside of
Unfortunately, ownership of this extensively modified Honda has not been a
completely headache-free experience.
Thieves broke into the car while it sat in an underground car park and ripped
out most of the good bits – intercooler, blow-off valve, gauges, ECU and more.
Thankfully, Croydon Racing Developments were able to restore the car to its
former glory – the only alteration is a switch to MicroTech management. We’re
told that the thieves cut the existing UniChip from the original wiring loom and
it was easier to start afresh with a stand-alone aftermarket system.
With its recent mechanical freshen up and newly improved body detailing,
Warren is now in a position to offer
for sale one of the most desirable Hondas in
price is in the high AUD$20ks – a substantial amount of money, but a lot less than the grand tally of money
And what will Warren be driving
once he sells his Honda?
A Bentley Turbo R!
With some engine and styling tweaks, of course...
Croydon Racing Developments
+61 2 9648 4264
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