Nissan ZEOD RC – “World’s Fastest Electric Racing Car”

Nissan ZEOD RC uses the same battery technology used in the Nissan LEAF.  It’s speed exceeds 186mph or 300km/h

Nissan revealed the ZEOD RC – “the world’s fastest electric racing car”, according to Nissan, that is expected to achieve speeds of more than 186 mph.

Standing for “Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car”, the ZEOD RC employs the same lithium battery technology used in the Nissan LEAF.  It will make its testing debut in the late summer of this year and will make its first race appearance at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour.




source: japanesesportcar


Sweden. What comes to mind when it’s mentioned for you? Are there images of unspoiled nature and virgin forests dancing through your head? Or perhaps a glitzy disco song from Abba is playing? It could be that you think of the furniture mega-retailer IKEA, or the clothing giant H&M. You might have a more edgy view of this northern region, and associate it with Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series of books including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or contemporary fashion brands such as ACNE, Nudie or COS.

But do you think of Sweden as a leader of car culture? The answer is probably not. Until recently, Sweden had two mainstream car companies operating within its borders: the aggressively practical Volvo and the slightly more left-field and now rather defunct Saab. Both of these companies could be directly associated with the stereotypical Swedish mindset: practical and cheerfully functional but not particularly evocative. They would be better described as transportation appliances than anything else.

However there is a flip side to the endless practicalities and perfectionism of the Swedish mindset. Some flickering remainder of the Viking warrior spirit still lurks in the background, and every so often rises from the depths to make itself known. This more primal instinct laughs in the face of conformity, wages war against boundaries and sees horizons as objects only to be reached and sailed past.

Think Koenigsegg, rather than Volvo.

I’ve been living in Sweden for two years now, but have yet to fully wrap my head around the local automotive scene.

I’ve jumped across the border to take in the anarchy of Norway’s Gatebil festival a few times now but until recently, had not yet been to a Swedish event.

Perhaps this has been a mistake though, as I am coming to realize that Swedish car builders have something pretty special going on.

Here, the same kind of crazy, smash-all-rules mentality rules shared by their Norwegian neighbours prevails, but there’s also a real focus on presentation and detailing too.

So without further ado I’d like to quickly showcase for you my first, and without a doubt not my last, completely crazy experience at a Swedish car event: the Bilsport Elmia Performance and Custom Show.

My main motivation for attending the Elmia Show was to discover new feature cars. More often than not, these are the most popular types of stories on Speedhunters. You know as well as I that the Gatebil events have been a great source of amazing car feature stories, so my aim was to find some fully mentalist Scandinavian builds, but with a Swedish twist.

Upon entering the event, the first car to catch my eye was Rasmus Alexandersson’s ultra clean 190E. It’s a fantastic street car – an interesting chassis to get a modern stance look. If this was my first taste of the Elmia Show then things were looking good!

A few cars down I found this tastefully styled Honda Civic Shuttle, care of Björn Enghed. Yes those fenders have been customized to fit around those deeply offset BBS rims.

The car’s spec sheet stated that Björn has the goal to reach 180hp with the build, so I can only assume that work has not started yet on the engine set-up. One to check back on then, once the build is fully realized.

Now I was really starting to get excited. Here we have a pretty wild Mercedes 190E build.

You can see that it’s not finished yet, but Alex Lindquist’s vehicle has the potential to be a truly great Speedhunters feature car. The shaved engine bay, full cage and a rear radiator set-up points towards a street-drift focus for the build. Wow.

Sitting next to the Mercedes was this incredible Mk1 Golf. More feature car fodder.

Rather than take the low and slow route we normally see with fully blown Mk1 builds, Patrik Höglund has gone down a different, more performance oriented route. Berg Cup style anyone?

Needless to say, I have made contact with Patrik to make friends and get a Feature Shoot organized.

The goodness keeps on coming… here we have an absolutely mental and utterly immaculate 1975 Volvo 242.

Inside a rather smooth and tidy engine bay beats a different sort of heart: the car is powered by a turbocharged BMW M50B25 powerplant.

I don’t think I need to ask if you want to see a feature shoot of this car. The builder, Patrik Lindgren, has done an amazing job with this car.

As for me, I was fast becoming a believer in Swedish car style. These machines are taking cues from the USDM-led stance scene, but the detailing and crazy specs are taking car builds into uncharted territory. Best of all, they’re not necessarily just show cars, as the owners all have plans to take them out to the Swedish Gatebil event this June.

You might have noticed by now the presence of a large, imposing display behind these cars. They were all part of the OijOij-Society display; a Swedish car forum community. I wasn’t familiar with the name previously, but they certainly are a group to pay careful attention to!

Also repping the OijOij-Society crew was this rather tasty 2JZ-swapped R34 drift build.

Yes, you’re seeing that correctly. It’s been converted over to LHD with the use of a Volvo dashboard. Apparently it’s a perfect fit to the Skyline’s cockpit dimensions.

We shall see how this build progresses to completion, but there’s definitely plenty of interesting details going on.

Leaving the OijOij Society area, I started to wander around the show and came across this amazing red AE86. It’s a car that was part of the Speedhunters Gatebil Rudskogen display last year, and sadly a machine that we didn’t manage to shoot. Mental note made to arrange feature photography session with the owner next time around!

Moving on to the Club JDM display we were greeted by this minty fresh R34 GT-R. I am resisting the urge to overuse the word clean as this seems to be a given with Swedish car builds.

We inspected the Club JDM machines but the thing that really impressed me…

… was the design of the booth itself. It was more akin to a trendy clothing boutique than a temporary car club display. Club JDM were proudly touting their collaboration with Downforce Clothing, who I understand designed the set-up. Note the Speedhunters Volume One book on the shelf there.

I took a moment to take in this fully built-out Supra adorned with a Top Secret outer layer. It was looking pretty interesting, but I had to get away from all the pounding bass bin cars.

Now here we go again… more Scandinavian mentalism.

Yes this car once was a Volvo P1800. It’s now been rather thoroughly reinvented for the purpose of drag racing though.

There’s no V8 swap here ladies and gentlemen. The powerplant is a still an all-Volvo affair… but it’s now forcefed with a 76mm Schwtizer turbo. Power is claimed to be 850hp from the 1.8L unit.

And yes I got the owner’s phone number. Must. Shoot. Car.

Now what’s going on here? We have a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 sporting a rear radiator set-up.

Walking the around the car it was obvious to see this is a full-on build. So is this a time attack machine…?

No it isn’t, not by any means. This is a drift car. A Lexus V8-powered drift car. With a turbo. Madness.

By this stage my brain was starting to hurt from all the craziness on display at Elmia. But there was no let up in sight though as evidenced by this white MkII. A look at the Audi engine cover and wheels gives the first hints as to what you’re witnessing.

Yes this Golf has a full Audi Quattro drivetrain conversion. Crazy. This is definitely car feature material here.

Close by I spotted a former Speedhunters feature car on display. This is Börje Hanssen’s Quattro, a subject of Sean Klingelhoefer’s lens last month. I took a moment to take in the details of the car but already my attention was being pulled across the hall…

… to what must be the hottest new build on the planet right now.

I showed shots of this car on the Speedhunters Instagram Feed last week, to a rather enthusiastic response. Since then, the car has quite literally blown up across the interwebs.

Several international magazines have already contacted the owner Viktor Mårtensson to arrange shoots. Speedhunters will definitely be right in the mix too with a plans for a full feature production coming together very quickly.

There’s a lot going on here with a 1JZ engine shoehorned into a venerable VW Caddy chassis. Rather than talk too much about details now, I’d prefer for us to wait for a full feature shoot with this ‘Mad Hatter’ Caddy.

I walked past this car a few times at the show without taking much notice. I just assumed that Olsbergs had taken possession of one of Ken Block’s Fiesta chassis but this turned out not to be the case.

This is, in fact, a hand-built Ken Block replica car.

It’s a faithful reproduction of the original, complete with AWD conversion, but with one major (and rather apt considering our location) difference: that’s a Volvo engine you are looking at right there.

My poor brain…

I remember experiencing this same feeling of overwhelmingness at the Gatebil festival last year. Scandinavian car builders are completely mental!

Moving onto the subject of what a Nordic Pro Touring build should look like, this full-on second generation Camaro track car was a perfect example.

The website shows that this car is from Norway… another to add to the ever-growing list that we must track down.

So where to next? How about the hot rod themed hall?

Heading in there you could instantly recognise that this was an entirely different type of automotive tribe.

It’s interesting to note here that the lifestyle element was pretty strong in Elmia compared to other scenes I have dipped into on my travels over the years. For many of the show’s attendees you could see that people’s personal style was as important an element as the cars themselves.

It’s also worth noting that a huge amount of thought was put into many of the car displays themselves, especially when it came to the clubs and crews.

Repping the Flying Grinders crew, this 1930 Model A pickup was my favourite of the traditionally styled rods from Elmia.

Another future feature car methinks!

I also had to take a moment to admire the purity of Metallica guitarist James Hetfield’s Lincoln Zephr. It was dubbed as one of the stars of the show, having been shipped in from the US especially for the occasion.

While I’m not sure if we could source this car for a feature shoot (what do you say Keith Charvonia?), I have to say that this is one of the most beautiful customs I’ve ever seen in the flesh.

Just look at those lines! Even if you aren’t a custom car fan, I’m sure you can appreciate this display of design mastery.

I was also digging this Bellflower-style Olds Cutlass. This is one of those builds which bridges the gap between lowrider and custom; a style that feels quite ‘now’. I’ll see if I can’t get in contact with the owner of this car for a feature.

A hot rod with a bit of dish? Hell yes. I took a moment to check out this very cool rat-styled machine, but I soon found myself distracted again as I was drawn to the other side of the Larsson Customs booth…

… to oogle this monstrosity. It’s a Volvo Amazon that’s been transformed into something between a Gasser, Altered and a Rat Fink cartoon.

Look at the size of that engine! In chatting to the builder, Henrik Larsson, the build started out with the purchase of a complete 1950s vintage drag Hemi.

The rest of the build was simply created around it for maximum dramatic effect.

There are details aplenty here, including obvious metal decay, but presented without any sign of oxidization. That’s a new way to show ‘ratness’ without resorting to rusted surfaces.

Never fear – a shoot has been booked and plans are being made to feature this car as soon as possible. :)

So that’s it for me, with this quick, and definitely unhinged, toe-in-the-water dip into Swedish car culture. It’s been great to see that my local car scene is not only healthy but also exploring new ground, just like the country’s reputation for international creativity and design. We’ll definitely extend our coverage of the show for 2014, but at the very least we now have a bulging collection of wild feature cars to track down. Now I need to go for a lie-down.

Talk soon,

:Rod Chong



source: speedhunters

1990 Honda CRX – In Rare Form

1990 Honda CRX JDM Si R Front End Conversion

There are certain types of cars that immediately stand out to us. Even though we’ve been in this business for what seems like an eternity now, we still manage to be captivated by those special one-offs that are seemingly undeniable. That’s what keeps this job so interesting; we continue to have moments where a Honda build sparks something inside of us and captures our undivided attention. After all, variety is the spice of life and we love seeing all the different builds that make up this great community. The ones that do succeed in capturing our eyes simply have that unique “it” factor—whatever “it” may be.

1990 Honda CRX Cigarette Lighter Adapter

Additional rare trinkets to go with the almost non-existent interior.

We first encountered this 1990 CRX at this year’s annual Eibach Honda Meet in Irwindale, California. It was parked in the entrance of the event where cars were being staged before entering the lot, with many other Hondas surrounding it. Aesthetically, it wasn’t too different from what you would normally see at an event of this nature. It was white, like so many other cars that day; it retained its OEM two-tone appearance with subtle modifications like a Japanese-spec front-end conversion and Xenon side skirts. However, it was the tan leather interior that had the two-seater sticking out like a sore thumb. Allowing the harsh sun to shine into the unique interior is a Japanese-only glass top conversion. What was interesting was that we overheard a fellow enthusiasts in a neighboring Honda ask the owner of this CRX how much his right-hand drive conversion cost, totally ignoring the rest of the interior. You see, tan leather on a white CRX was never an option offered by Honda from the factory—no matter what the country of origin. Not only that, but tan leather itself is pretty unique, and one would assume this was nothing more than a reupholstered setup. We wouldn’t reunite with the CRX for a few hours, but when we did, we were stunned by what we saw; the words “CRX Exclusive” embroidered on the front seats indicated that this interior was the stuff of EF legend. Not only was it not reupholstered, it was the original factory option—a very rare, or exclusive, factory option. Though the car isn’t a true CRX Exclusive model, the entire interior most certainly did originate from one of only 350 ever produced.

  • 1990 Honda CRX Quick Car Switch
  • 1990 Honda CRX OEM CRX Exclusive Rear Seat
  • 1990 Honda CRX Side Mirror

The Exclusive trim level was a rare option available outside of the U.S. market during the CRX’s production run. To actually see one in person here in the States is something that we thought would never happen in our lifetime. The world is a huge place, and you would be hard-pressed to find anything now that was made only 350 times two decades ago. To say this interior was a rare gem would truly be an understatement. The steering wheel and shift knob have been replaced with aftermarket pieces, but to see this interior as intact as it was made it a mind-blowing experience.

1990 Honda CRX Mugen Steering Wheel

It didn’t stop there, as a look under the hood revealed much more. The stock motor was long gone, and the bay now housed a K20A2. This particular swap was unlike most K swaps because it still retained the factory airbox and intake arm from the RSX Type S that the motor came from. The OEM intake setup was either kept as a novelty item or actually served a specific purpose. We had our assumptions, but it wasn’t until a couple of months later when we finally met the owner, Jaime Galvez, when he confirmed our beliefs.

“I kept the whole intake setup because I needed it to have the K20 swap BAR’d in the state of California,” Galvez explains. “That’s why the motor is basically stock with the OEM (RSX) ignition and fuel system. I even have the RSX gas tank mounted to my CRX. It was a pain to have to make it all work, but my swap is completely road legal in California. I also took the proper steps to register my right-hand drive conversion and have paperwork that proves that everything is legit.”

1990 Honda CRX JDM OEM Glass Top

Although it may be a terribly tasking operation, it makes sense for Jaime to legitimize his project car. Many would just take the chance and do it the more conventional way, putting their money pits in risk of being taken away, but not Galvez—especially with that rare interior. His K may be stock, but the Type S motor in this lightweight chassis packs plenty of punch in factory form. There are no aftermarket power-adders, other than a DC Sports header and Mugen exhaust, but he has made the K his own by dressing it up with gold-plated accents. Maintaining his Honda’s legitimacy is important to Galvez because this car holds quite a bit of sentimental value. He explains, “I love this car because it literally helped keep food on my table for many years while I was on the road as a field service engineer. I used to drive this car an average of 150 to 200 miles per day. It never gave me any problems, and it never let me down. I only had two flat tires the entire time I’ve had it. I’m just spending money on it now because it helped save me so much money in the past—it deserves it.”

Jaime’s CRX is just one of those “it” cars because there is so much more lying beneath its surface. The rare interior is the draw, but everything else about it is what really makes this project special. Practically everything about it is unconventional compared to other, more typical CRX builds, placing Jaime’s car in that “exclusive” club.

Bolts & Washers

1990 Honda CRX K20A2 Engine

California-approved, street-legal K20 swap.

Gold-plated HaSport engine mounts
OEM RSX Type S intake box
DC Sports header
Mugen exhaust
OEM RSX Type S catalytic converter
Complete OEM RSX Type S fuel system
Powdercoated OEM RSX gas tank
Koyorad radiator
K-Tuned gold-plated alternator relocation kit
OEM RSX Type S 6-speed manual transmission
Hybrid Racing K-swap shifter
Subaru STi clutch master cylinder
Gold-plated OEM valve cover

Tein Flex coilovers (EK chassis)
Brand-new OEM suspension bushings
Suspension Techniques front drop forks
Powdercoated suspension components
Custom front cross member
Custom radiator support brace
Custom suspension radius rods
Ingalls front adjustable ball joints
RSX Type S 5-lug conversion

1990 Honda CRX SSR EX C Mesh Wheel

Slotted RSX Type S brake rotors
Mugen Active Gate front calipers
Goodridge front/rear brake lines
Gold-plated JDM OEM brake booster

Wheels & Tires
SSR EX-C Mesh 15×7 +21
195/50-15 Falken Ziex

JDM Si-R front-end conversion
JDM right-hand drive conversion
JDM OEM glass top conversion
Xenon side skirts
OEM CRX ZC trunk wing
OEM JDM bronze glass
JDM Honda Verno windshield banner

1990 Honda CRX OEM CRX Exclusive Front Seat

OEM CRX Exclusive front seats
OEM CRX Exclusive rear seats
OEM CRX Exclusive interior body panels
OEM CRX Exclusive dashboard
JDM OEM climate control
JDM OEM head unit
Mugen steering wheel
Nardi 6-speed shift knob
MOMO Corse dead pedal
Impul brake and clutch pedals
Razo gas pedal
JDM Honda Access Super Sound rear speaker covers
JDM Honda Access Super Sound bass tubes
JDM Honda Access power-folding heated door mirrors with aero covers
JDM Honda Access heated seat console
JDM Honda Access Personal Box
JDM Honda Access front, rear, trunk checkered mats
JDM Honda Access glass top cover
JDM Honda Access tinted CRX trunk glass
JDM Honda Access motor jack
JDM Honda Access road flare

Thank you to my wife Miriam, my big brother Edwin, Roger, Angel, Juan & Johnny Castaneda; thanks to all those people I hardly know who have expressed their sincere props on my build; and of course Honda Tuning!

Owner Specs

1990 Honda CRX Mugen Exhaust

Daily grind
Technical service manager

Favorite site

Screen name

Building Hondas
14 years

Dream car
Ferrari GTO

Inspiration for this build
My brother Edwin

Future builds
’87 RHD Civic

Black-Tie Affair

While it may be a right-hand drive CRX with tan leather Exclusive interior, true EF aficionados will know right away that this isn’t one of the 350 CRX Exclusives ever produced. How? Well, the two-toned white and black exterior is a dead giveaway. The Exclusive model is considered the rarest of the CRX family, and only came in black. It also didn’t come with the EF8 Si-R front end that Galvez has. Someone could have repainted the body and added the parts, but if you really had a rare piece of Honda history, why would you? What made the Exclusive special was the combination of black paint, tan leather, “Exclusive” badges, glass top, Honda Access “Super Sound System,” and electronic climate-control A/C. Jaime has done an outstanding job of combining some ultra-rare CRX history with modern-day performance. A restomod for the ages.

1990 Honda CRX OEM CRX ZC Trunk Wing
source: hondatuningmagazine


There are certain projects that are best left for a while before exploring, and the HKS 86 Racing Performer is one of them. Much like every 86/BRZ/FR-S/GT86 demo car around the world, it has all been put together in an impressively short space of time if you consider that the ZN6 and its Subaru counterpart has only been officially on sale in Japan for a year. HKS are always at the forefront of JDM tuning and parts development and when it came to the most anticipated car the industry has seen in the last decade, they certainly didn’t hold back.

So when I had the chance to cover their time attack attempt, organized in collaboration with Yokohama Tire, I took advantage of the opportunity and featured their rather special 86.

After all it’s not every day you are given full access to such a cool car, not to mention Tsukuba and its challenging layout.

The way HKS have approached this project is pretty smart; the car is not only their D1 Grand Prix pro drift machine but we have seen it double up as the occasional time attack car too. This is because it also serves the purpose of test mule/ development car, testing out a bunch of prototype parts in the harshest of conditions.

This helps guarantee reliability once specific upgrades get signed off and put into production, giving both HKS and its customers peace of mind. But before we get to all the interesting oily bits, let’s take a quick look at the exterior of the vehicle; one that makes it stand out among the hundreds of other 86/BRZ demo cars in Japan.

Having the ability to create their own dry carbon parts in-house allows HKS to really make performance car owners extremely jealous. Was there really a need to make a dry carbon front bumper and integrated diffuser section? Carbon front fenders? Probably not, but hey, if you have the means… right? Of course it’s not all for show. While being extremely nice to look at in their satin unpainted state, these bits also help shave precious weight up front. And in case you’re wondering, yes the front fenders are moulded off the Rocket Bunny/6666 Customs bolt-on items. HKS have collaborated with TRA Kyoto on the aero but had to do things a little differently to stand out.

Tow straps are a must in Japan these days!

The rear gets the regular Rocket Bunny/6666 Customs overfenders, screwed down with exposed screws.

It would be great to see this 86 in the bare without any graphics or sponsors…

… just to appreciate its simple yet functional exterior. Certainly looks like no other ZN6 out there, especially when blasting around the track with Nob at the wheel.

You won’t find any wild engine swaps under the stock aluminum hood because HKS have preferred to apply their know-how on the base FA20 flat four motor. Having received a couple of pre-production cars even before the 86 went on sale early last year allowed them to start work on the engine before most of their competitors. Knowing that forced induction would be the only way to get the 200hp lump to develop decent power, they worked on a bottom end capable of taking the abuse of serious boost levels. The 2.2L stroker kit that the FA now runs is made up of slightly oversized 87 mm forged aluminum pistons, H-section connecting rods and a counterbalanced crankshaft with an increased (89 mm) stroke.

So with that taken care of the bolt-on bits followed. First up the HKS GT7040L supercharger, a pretty large unit that has been set up to deliver 1.6 kg/cm2 of boost right across the rev range. It has been positioned slightly offset from the center of the engine, mounted on its own bracket…

… and plumbed into place with custom aluminum piping. An HKS sponge filter makes sure the blower doesn’t suck up unwanted debris while the HKS front-mounted intercooler cools the intake charge before it passes through the throttle.

To keep the GT supercharger cool a dry carbon NACA duct has been worked into the stock hood, the latter probably getting replaced with a one piece carbon item in the near future.

While the 2.2L FA20 is technically force-induced, what differentiates it from turbocharged versions is its sound. Thanks to a more flowing stainless steel four-into-one exhaust manifold the HKS 86 screams with an NA-like throaty growl, as there’s no turbo in the way to muffle it all up.

This makes it one of the most unique-sounding 86s out there…

… and no matter where you position yourself around Tsukuba Circuit you can hear it as it blasts all the way around the 2km (1.2 mile) track.

The engine makes about 520 HP in its forced induced state, an HKS F-Con V Pro taking care of engine management including the fuelling which is kept at pressure through two externally mounted Bosh fuel pumps and a set of 700 cc/min injectors.

Giving another additional punch of power is the Nitrous Express nitrous oxide system, which delivers 50+hp when Nob needs it. With close to 400hp over the stock power the driveline needed some serious attention, with most of the factory components being relegated to the trash. The transmission was replaced with an SR-base HKS five speed sequential unit, fitted onto the motor along with a prototype triple plate clutch. Transferring drive to the TRD LSD housed inside the Toyota eight-inch rear end is a Skyline GT-R propeller shaft; all beefed-up components needed for reliability in competition. It’s all completed with thicker driveshafts from a Toyota Mark II.

More prototype parts follow in the suspension department with custom adjustable suspension arms and knuckles as well as a modified steering rack. These are then joined by HKS Hiper Max IV GT adjustable coilovers, specially set up and developed with input from Nob and a year’s worth of testing and competing in D1.

For the time attack session in Tsukuba the 86 was running 18-inch Yokohama RZ-DF shod in 265/35R18 Neova AD08R all round for ultimate grip.

Braking is handled by some of the best brakes currently available from a Japanese maker: the Endless monobloc six-pot kit. These front anchors have no problem scrubbing speed off quickly and effectively – and seeing the contained curb weight of 1,150kg – are almost completely fade-proof. The rear is stabilized with regular Endless six-pot calipers, which are directly linked to the hydraulic e-brake.

The open wheel wells allow copious amounts of air to flow towards the brakes, helping to keep things nice and cool.

Since drifting also requires a good amount of downforce, HKS have slapped a big dry carbon wing onto the carbon trunk…

… but it’s actually the Valenti rear taillights that really finish off the back end superbly. For you keen-eyed readers you may have noticed that the headlights also got some attention with LED DLRs and BMW-like angel eyes around the main HID projectors.

For what is a fully-fledged pro drift and time attack car, the interior has remained quite sedate. The door cards and most of the dashboard have been left untouched, only cut out where they would have otherwise interfered with the roll cage.

Oil and water temperatures are monitored via the HKS DB meters while the HKS A/F knock amp constantly checks engine performance and warns of excessive pinging. Aside from the Endless hydraulic e-brake lever and HKS sequential selector…

… Nob also has a button on the steering wheel to play with.

This actuates the nitrous oxide system for an instant boost in power when a bit of extra speed is needed down a straight, or as a little boost when the engine is out of its power band.

What really impresses about the HKS 86 and 86s/BRZs in general, is the sheer pace of evolution that has occurred in only a year. The JDM aftermarket world has never seen anything like this…

… and to think we’re still only at the beginning truly boggles the mind. What more can we expect for this platform? Or better still, what would you, the enthusiast, like to see developed and pursued? No matter how it will all progress however, you can bet HKS will continue to be right there spearheading it all.






Max Power – 580hp / Max Torque: 549 Nm (405lb/ft) / Max Boost: 1.6 kg/cm2


HKS ø87 mm forged pistons, HKS connecting rods, HKS full counter-balanced crankshaft (89 mm stroke), 2.2L capacity, HKS four-into-one stainless steel exhaust manifold, HKS one-off exhaust system, HKS GT7040L supercharger, HKS filter, HKS intercooler, HKS piping, HKS blow off valve, HKS oil cooler, HKS oil filter, oil catch tank, one-off surge tank, Bosh fuel pumps x2, HKS 700 cc/min injectors, Nitrous Express nitrous oxide system, one-off oil catch tank, F-Con V Pro ECU


HKS triple plate clutch, lightweight flywheel, HKS five-speed sequential transmission, Skyline GT-R propeller shaft, Toyota eight-inch rear end, TRD LSD, Toyota Mark II drive shafts


HKS Hipermax Max IV GT adjustable coilovers, HKS one-off adjustable arms, HKS one-off knuckles, modified steering rack, Endless monobloc six-pot front brake kit, rear Endless six-pot calipers, Endless two piece slotted rotors front and rear, hydraulic e-brake


Yokohama RZ 10Jx18″ front and rear, Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R 265/35R18 front and rear


HKS dry carbon front bumper, HKS dry carbon splitter/diffuser, HKS dry carbon front wide fenders, Craft Square carbon mirrors, Rocker Bunny 6666 Customs rear overfenders, HKS dry carbon rear GT-wing, Valenti taillights


Nardi steering wheel, Bride Zeta III bucket seats, DB meters RS, HKS Knock Amp Meter, HKS OB-Link, NX nitrous pressure gauge, roll cage


Dino Dalle Carbonare





One of the things that fascinates me most about car culture is the different ways automobiles are perceived and loved across the planet. The cars themselves be nearly identical physically, but as you visit new places you begin to see them in different ways.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in particular is a car that will have a very different following depending on which part of the world you come from. You may live in a place where the Evo was known and loved since its debut 1992, when it began dominating rally events and building its legendary reputation.

Here in the United States for example, the Evo has a slightly different history. For most of us Americans, it was through the magic of video games that we were first exposed to this and other high performance AWD cars from Japan. I can clearly remember playing those games as a youngster and wondering how these strange four door cars could be so damn fast.

It wasn’t just a case of using the car in the game because we really liked it. No, using the Evo was simply the easiest way to win money and advance through the game. A lot us had never even seen one with our own eyes, but we dreamed of driving one of these Lancer Evolutions in real life.

It wasn’t until 2003 that Mitsubishi finally wised up and decided to import the Evo 8 to the USA. The rest is history, and a fascinating example of how a car’s reputation can be built.

Across the world in automobile-obsessed Dubai, Motaz Abu Hijleh also dreamed of owning a Lancer Evolution. Working as an aircraft tech for Emirates Airlines, Motaz had always loved mechanical things, cars in particular. He had driven and modified everything from a Volkswagen GTI to a Mercedes E-Class, and a Honda Type R. What he really wanted though, was an Evo.

In 2007 after being encouraged by his friends, Motaz finally headed to the dealer to make the dream a reality. I’m not sure how popular the Evo was in Dubai at this point, but Motaz says he had to convince the salesman that the Evolution model actually existed.  After some argument (that included turning down the base model Lancer that dealer tried to sell him), Motaz had ordered his Evolution. A white Evo 9 GSR to be exact.

The Evo is not the sort of car you buy just to cruise around town, and right after taking possession Motaz was hitting every track event he possibly could. As he learned the car and honed his driving technique, he began installing modifications that would enhance the driving experience – adjustable HKS Hypermax coilovers, and HKS titanium exhaust for example.

He also beefed up the stopping power with a set of Endless brakes with CCRG pads. Motaz says he’ll never forget feeling the braking power under his foot for the first time. As the modding continued, he had a clear concept of building a functional and reliable track beast that he could punish without worry.

Around this time, Motaz began working at a shop called TAM Auto Engineering. The Evo became one of TAM’s official projects, and the modifications were taken to the next level.

In between working on customer vehicles, TAM fully attacked the engine of the Evo. The entire thing was rebuilt as 2.3 liter stroker with a heat-treated crank. With reliability being the primary goal, all of the engine’s internals had been upgraded for maximum strength.

When it comes to building a hot 4G63, there are fewer brands trusted more than HKS. The head gasket, 264 cams, cam gears, injectors, fuel rail, and more were all sourced from the Japanese tuning giant.

HKS was also called upon to supply the its potent GT3240 turbo kit, along with the downpipe, blow off valve, and R type intercooler.

The tuning of the motor was handled by MPS Engineering from Germany, who came to Dubai to lend a hand. Running on C16 fuel, the car made a stout 465 horsepower to the wheels. The MPS guys wanted to push for more power, but since he wasn’t attempting to build the fastest Evo around, Motaz figured that number would be sufficient and ensure reliability.

With performance being upped significantly from factory spec, it was also decided that the Evo’s exterior needed a makeover. Not just for looks, but for function as well.

There’s really no one better at making functional aero parts for the Evo than Voltex. The entire car was stripped down and sent off for body work, returning with a full Voltex wide body and a completely custom orange paint job. Motaz says it took several tries before the color was perfected to his liking.

With the body redone in orange, the interior  coated in a custom bronze color.

It would just be wrong to have a Voltex aero kit without a matching Voltex wing, wouldn’t it?

Sitting beneath the pumped out fenders are a set of 18″ Volk Racing CE28Ns with 265-35-18 Pirelli P-Zero tires. The car also runs more aggressive Pirelli race-spec rubber during track sessions.

The interior of the Evo is actually very civil given the fully built motor and wind-tunnel proven exterior treatment. Custom alcantara was laid over the headliner, dashboard, door panels, and the pair of Bride Zeta III seats. The matching alcantara steering wheel is from Tanida Motorsport.

Sabelt harnesses are also there to keep the driver and passenger secure during those track day adventures.

A custom carbon fiber mount was built to house the HKS EVC controls and F-Con V-Pro system.

The factory gauge cluster was also replaced with an HKS Camp 2 system, mounted with its own carbon fiber housing.

The car you see here has been a long time coming. There were many times when the Evo project had to be set aside to focus on customer cars or other ventures. Motaz recently opened his own business, Parc Ferme Workshop, which specializes in car storage and tuning. It was only recently that he was able to put the finishing touches on the Evo project.

While Motaz is very satisfied with the car in its current state, we all know that project cars are never truly “done”. Next on the list is to upgrade the differentials and perhaps add a sequential transmission.

The Lancer Evolution is car with loyal fans across the world, all of whom discovered it in different ways.

I’d say Motaz has done the legendary name well on the skyscraper-lined streets (and race tracks) of Dubai.


Photos by Larry Chen

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 GSR 6-Speed


2.3 stroker kit with heat treated engine crank
274 HKS cams intake and exhaust
HKS valve springs
1mm over sized valves
Port and polish job
ARP head and block stud kit
HKS Kansai intake manifold
Big throttle body with custom idle valve control unit
HKS super SQV
HKS 1000 cc injectors
HKS fuel rail
HKS 1.2 head gasket
HKS 3240 turbo A/R .70 with HKS manifold
HKS down pipe
Port and polished head
HKS cam gear
HKS engine belt and timing belt
Air-condition and heater has been deleted
HKS heat range 8 spark plugs
HKS spark power upgrade
HKS earthing system
Cusco oil catch tank
HKS air intake 3” with MAF delete
HKS Kansai carbon fiber air intake box
Carbon fiber coil cover
Carbon fiber cam pulley cover
HKS oil cap cover
HKS titanium exhaust straight no cats

HKS R type intercooler
Custom upper intercooler pipe
HKS custom engine oil cooler
HKS power steering oil cooler
Koyo radiator
Slim line fan with controller
Samco silicon hose kit
HKS Radiator cap
HKS oil thermostat

Fuel System:
Surge tank
Aeromotive Pro Series external fuel pump
Aeromotive Pro Series 100 micron fuel filter
HKS fuel pressure regulator with gauge
HKS fuel rail
Aeromotive steel braided fuel lines
Aeromotive fuel connectors
Walbro in-tank fuel pump

HKS V-Pro gold box with all sensors
Mivec HKS valcon controller
HKS EVC  boost controller
HKS A/F knock amplifier
HKS Camp 2 system

HKS twin plate clutch
HKS flywheel
Aftermarket release bearing

Chassis, Suspension, & Brakes
Endless 6 piston front and 4 piston rear caliper upgrade kit with CCRG brake pads
Endless RF650 brake fluid
HKS Hypermax suspension
Cusco full body re enforcement kit
Front fender triangle bars
Front and rear camber kits
HKS camber/caster plate top mounts
ARP wheel studs

Voltex Circuit Version wide body
Voltex Type 5 rear spoiler adjustable
Vortex generator
Carbon fiber formula mirrors

Tires and Wheels:
Volk Racing Ce28N 18″
Volk Racing wheel studs
Pirelli 285/35/18 Pzero tires
Pirelli slick tire and semi slick tire

Custom orange paint job,
Bronze interior body paint

Bride Zeta III seats front with brackets
Sabelt harnesses for driver and passenger
Tanida Motor Sport alcantara steering wheel
Custom center display panel
Custom driver information display screen with carbon fiber screen mount





“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question we’re all faced with at some point as a child, and most of us will have a pretty creative answer. Sadly the majority never go on to realize these childhood dreams, but there are a select few like Christian von Koenigsegg who never give up on their goals. I think it goes without saying then that visiting the workshop of a man who dreamed to one day make the most extreme car in the world was an experience that defies words; but I’ll attempt to do it justice.

There are ton of numbers and phrases I could throw about to describe Koenigsegg and their cars, but bearing in mind that the Speedhunters audience consists mostly of petrolheads, I’ll skip the basics – there are plenty of other places online where you can get that info. Besides, the numbers alone don’t even begin to describe the essence of the brand.

If you have been living under a rock or just have a short attention span when it comes to hypercars and have some catching up to do, Drive has an excellent series of videos worth checking out – but be prepared to spend the next hour glued to your computer screen. In short, Koenigsegg makes some of the most badass cars on the planet.

Of course building one of the most high performance cars of all time costs a pretty penny, therefore they aren’t very common. In fact, before we headed to the factory I had never even seen a Koenigsegg in person. Living in Hollywood I see Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins on a daily basis, hell, even Bugatti Veyrons aren’t a rare sight, but I’ve never once seen a Koenigsegg stateside.

Fortunately Koenigsegg were kind enough to host Rod Chong and myself on very short notice, and because of that I’ve now seen two dozen, spanning the entire model history of the brand starting with the original CC8S.

Not only that, but I got some time to sit down with the man behind the cars, Christian von Koenigsegg, to see what makes him tick and try to figure out why he’s building such crazy cars. It was a lot to take in, and even now I’m still absorbing much of it. A once-in-a-lifetime experience no doubt.

As most of you already know, the Koenigsegg factory is a former fighter jet hangar. Not only is this cool because, well frankly, jets are badass, but it also has some additional perks; like being a few hundred feet away from a massive runway on which you can test these vehicles. But there are other residual benefits too, some of which we’ll get into later.

The day that Rod and I made our way down to Ängelholm happened to be one of utmost rarity – the day that a completed car would be delivered to a customer. When you consider that to this day Koenigsegg has only built 100 vehicles in just over a decade, you can see just how infrequent such an event is.

To celebrate the monumental occasion, Koenigsegg places a completed car on a special platform with a massive overhead light bank – a killer place for buyers to see their hypercar for the very first time. However cool as it was to see such a magnificent machine all buttoned up and shiny, what I was really looking forward to was seeing one in pieces.

Fortunately there was a car in virtually every single stage of production when we visited; from a bare monocoque all the way up to the completed example we just saw, and every stage in between.

Built in numerous stages in a layout similar to an assembly line, the Koenigsegg philosophy adopts time saving strategies but requires a little more of a hands-on approach compared to an ordinary car. The process starts when the factory receives the fresh carbon tub which then goes through a total of seven stages before being delivered to the customer.

Seeing the car in this early form makes it clear how serious of a car the Agera is. As I examined the monocoque I was actually pretty surprised by how familiar everything was. I’ve actually come across this architecture dozens of times, in prototype sports cars! The model by which Koenigsegg builds its cars from is taken right out of the pages of race car construction.

While the vision has remained the same since day one, with each passing year Koenigsegg does everything they can to bring more and more of the processes in-house, with the eventual goal of total self sufficiency on the near horizon. In all honesty I’d say that the desire to bring everything under the same roof borders on maniacal.

Even today the vast majority of the components are fabricated and assembled on-site in Sweden. In the rare occasion that they cannot manufacture something themselves, Koenigsegg prefer to work with local companies, giving the cars their unique Scandinavian flair. Get a load of the size of the bearing carrier in the upright for example – I’ve never seen a wheel bearing half that size before!

But that’s because Koenigsegg doesn’t use a conventional wheel bearing in their cars… they use a bearing originally designed to support the main rotor shaft of a helicopter! When the factory was taken over and decommissioned from aviation, many of the employees and parts bins were carried over into the operation, hence how innovations like this came about.

Anyway, the next step is to attach the front bulkhead to the tub along with miscellaneous peripherals. Just about everything on the car is designed in a modular fashion, which is efficient, rigid, lightweight and safe. This is a theme that is carried through practically every nut and bolt on the entire car.

Meanwhile, in the engine room the motor is being built and tuned for the car. This is one area that really sets apart Koenigsegg from the other hypercars out there as this is a completely bespoke power plant, not something bought from the Germans and stuffed into a crazy looking body. On paper it is an all-aluminum/carbon 5.0L V8 that produces 1,140hp, but up close, it’s a work of art.

Efficiency and optimization is the name of the game and in addition to being a beastly power plant, it’s also part of what makes the Agera handle so well. The engine is actually a stressed member of the suspension, which makes it an integral part of the chassis mounted directly to the tub with the gear box hanging off the other end – again, just like a race car.

Here’s a look at the cradle that bolts to the rear of the engine block and houses the gearbox. This is also where the part of the sophisticated triplex suspension comes into play. More on that later…

There are a number of innovations that can be spotted all over the engine. I was intrigued to hear about the ingenious flex-fuel system that can automatically detect the alcohol content of fuel and recalibrate the engine parameters on the fly. But even had I never heard that, I could stare at the power plant for hours simply drooling over its looks.

What’s equally impressive is that Koenigsegg has taken on the task of developing their own ECUs. While it might seem cost-prohibitive, as one of the workers explained to me, when you’re making cars at this high of a level in low volume, it’s actually much easier and more economical to make your own boxes. If and when a problem arises, it can be solved and implemented right there on site, and the same goes for prototyping or R&D.

But perhaps the area where the company has put forth the most effort to develop and innovate is in the realm of carbon fiber. It seems like virtually every component on the car is made out of carbon. In fact, to the best of Koenigsegg’s knowledge, the Agera is constructed out of the highest percentage of carbon fiber of any car ever built.

I don’t think I need to explain to you guys why carbon fiber is a desirable material to fashion car components from, let alone why it is so widely used in high performance applications. What is worth mentioning is to what length this love affair with carbon fiber has gone to. Nearly every piece aside from the tub (which they’re working on securing tooling for now) is made on-site in Ängelholm!

The Agera is comprised of over four hundred individual pieces of carbon, and practically every last sliver is laid and cured in-house. As a matter of fact, Christian von Koenigsegg has actually been experimenting with carbon fiber longer than he’s been making cars.

Every component is made from top-grade dry carbon, where the resin is pre-impregnated into the carbon sheets, hence the nickname “pre-preg carbon”. In addition to sounding really cool, this type of carbon allows for more extreme shape forming and uses less resin resulting a lighter part. If you’ve never held a dry carbon part you’ve got to do it – it’s mind blowing how something can occupy so much space yet weigh so little.

Koenigsegg currently have several autoclaves under their roof, with this being the smallest one used for miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Over the years carbon has become such an integral component in the manufacturing process of Koenigsegg cars that it’s practically synonymous with the brand. One of their most recent innovations is their newest Aircore wheel, which is hollow and made almost entirely out of carbon…

…as is basically the entire car! Here you can see the majority of the bodywork of an Agera in its naked state. I don’t think there’s a panel there that weighs over 10kg (22lbs)!

Once the parts have been formed, they head into the paint booth to be sprayed. With the paint cured and color sanded, the parts are then sent over to a special polishing area to be buffed to perfection before being installed on the car.

Back at station five, some of the newly painted pieces and powertrain start coming into the picture. At this point the car is starting to take shape and you can already tell you’re looking at a Koenigsegg. This is also where the tricky new rear suspension starts to come into play.

Although the third damper hasn’t yet been installed in this image, we’ll just have to pretend it’s there and connecting the left and right sides from the vacant holes just above where the shock absorbers mount. Koenigsegg calls this their “triplex” suspension, but this technique has been used in motorsport for years and is more commonly known as a third-element setup. Keen readers will recall seeing this on the Lovefab NSX from Pikes Peak. While originally invented to ward off aero-load, the effect on the Agera is improved anti-squat and a smoother straight-line ride.

Once the car moves to the sixth station it’s getting very close to completion. Here we can see the internals of the door panel being fitted before eventually being covered by a built-to-order custom panel. Note the door-mounted compact subwoofer. Even a hypercar needs a little bass!

Once the rest of the bodywork is fitted the car is really starting to look finished. By the time it leaves this station it can do so under its own power and from here it moves on for final inspection. Since every car is handmade and crafted to perfection, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that every single component on the car is tested, checked and verified before the car leaves the facility.

This includes doing high-speed runs, dyno tuning and other fine-tooth comb scrutiny. Although you have to pay a whole lot for an Agera, Koenigsegg go above and beyond to make sure you get exactly what you pay for and then some. Seeing that level of obsession was impressive. Saying that these guys know a thing or two about attention to detail would be an insult – they’re rewriting the book on perfection and you need to look no further than any one of their completed cars to see it.

When the assembly tour commenced I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Much like the iconic Porsche 911, Christian von Koenigsegg’s original silhouette hasn’t changed much in ten years. The basic concept right from the start was to simply make the best, most extreme car possible. With each and every passing day that commitment is upheld, one small revision at a time. It’s obsessive for sure, but something Christian clearly enjoys very much.

Not wanting to leave empty-handed I asked as politely as I knew how if it might be possible to go outside and shoot one of the cars. The difficult thing about shooting a Koenigsegg is finding one to photograph in the first place. As funny as that might sound, there aren’t exactly a ton of them on hand; once a car is sold the owner picks it up, typically never to be seen again…

Nevertheless, there were a few cars in the Koenigsegg collection, as well as several customer cars in the shop that were back for repair and the boys were happy to make my dream of shooting a Koenigsegg a reality. It was somewhere around this point that it struck me just how much Christian loves these cars. He even drove them out personally.

Not only that, but he even got down on one knee and started cleaning up the cars for the shoot! How many people do you know that can say they had the owner of a multi-million-dollar hypercar company as their car prepper? Pinch me again, surely I’m asleep.

For most of the day the weather didn’t seem to want to participate, instead defaulting to the typical look of a Scandinavian winter: grey. Then by some miraculous stroke of luck, as soon as the cars were positioned and my camera came out, the clouds parted and the sun broke through.

I could think of no better light under which one could enjoy the marvelous curves and details in the carbon fiber body. I discovered the shape of the CCXR to be a little deceiving from most pictures I’ve seen; in person I found the car had lots of detail and style lines that aren’t usually reproduced well in photos.

Although the design has been made obsolete with the introduction of the Agera, it certainly doesn’t look dated. Then again, you could make just about anything out of carbon fiber of this quality and it would appear to have come from the future.

It’s interesting looking at the different parts of the CCXR and seeing how the car has further evolved into the Agera. Again the improvements aren’t necessarily measured in leaps and bounds, but taking one chip after another off the block has kept Koenigsegg at the front of a very competitive market.

With a hypercar you can’t skimp anywhere, and even if you could, Christian would never allow it. The cockpit resonates this truth and is a sight to behold. It’s achieved the perfect combination of bling, sophistication and raw performance.

The dials may be the one area where the CCXR does begin to show its age, as the newer cars are fitted with completely digital interfaces. Nevertheless, this classy traditional gauge cluster is still a sight for sore eyes and loads better than what most of today’s cars come equipped with.

The fine craftsmanship of each and every component more than make up for it. After seeing how every last detail is a finely chiseled work of art and a tactile treasure to the touch, it no longer seems civilized to make a turn signal stalk out of plastic.

Just being around a car like this makes life better and I can only imagine what it’s like to actually drive (let alone own) one. The sheer brilliance and beauty of this complex object is buried in every last detail. You can rest assured that no matter what bit of the car you see, whether the smallest detail or the car as a whole, you can instantly tell that you’re dealing with something superlative.

Over the years this unique approach to building the most well rounded hypercar has earned the brand a lot of recognition and countless awards. Some of them are solely based on design, like the prestigious Red Dot design excellence award and the National Swedish Design Prize – a serious feat considering the entire country basically revolves around good design.

Before hopping on our flight back to Stockholm we spent our last few minutes at Koenigsegg talking to Christian. I didn’t have a formal interview planned, I just wanted to pick his brain a bit and see what his philosophy was and why he’s building such mental cars. Although our time was brief, I completely understand why there isn’t another car on the planet quite like the Koenigsegg – simply because there isn’t another person like Christian.

After making us some coffee and tea (and I do mean Christian literally made it himself, he didn’t have an employee do it), he came in and started telling us about an amazing stop motion film called “Flakypa Grand Prix” that inspired him as a child to one day build his very own car. In the movie, a man who lives on top of a mountain builds his own race car to compete in the Grand Prix, ironically funded by none other than an oil sheik.

Christian said that as a boy, he didn’t yet realize that this was purely make-believe, so he thought why not have a go at it some day. As with each and every one of us, that little boy is still very much alive and well inside of von Koenigsegg and to this very day he’s still pursuing his dream of building the ultimate car. The parallels that exist between the movie and Christian’s own life are too many to count. If there’s anything to be learned from his story it’s that life’s too short to not follow our dreams – no matter how ambitious or foolish they may be.

– Sean Klingelhoefer




Jackson Racing’s Honda CR-Z Supercharger

The grunts and collective groans from Honda loyalists haven’t quieted one bit since the introduction of Honda’s CR-Z hybrid last year. Power starved and all but cursed with an aggressive look that, no matter how you chop it up, harkens back to much more exciting times. A time that included the release of the beloved CRX, a car that would change a soon to be overpopulated hot hatch landscape. But why live in the past, reliving glory days while comparing them to rather dreary current times? It’s because looking toward the past can actually produce some answers for today’s most nagging issues.

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jacking Racing Supercharger Kit

Someone who knows more than most of the population when it comes to making power, both then and now, is Oscar Jackson Sr. He’s had his hands in tuning Hondas since well before most of our readers were even born. He’s been doubted more times than he can possibly remember, and somehow he’s always managed to rise above, and convert naysayers into avid believers.

These days he’s once again back in the driver’s seat of Jackson Racing with his son, Oscar Jr., riding shotgun as the two embark on a whole new challenge. No stranger to engine swaps, the Jacksons set out to offer a unique alternative to the complex and often pricey K-series swap in the form of a Rotrex-based supercharger kit. Before you assume the mighty K series’ power output will trample that of a low-boost supercharger kit, you may want to take a look at the results. With the factory catalytic converters (both of them) still intact, and the original Honda exhaust system, the Jackson Racing kit pounds out an additional 50 horsepower, and 45 lb-ft of torque. And rather than having to rev to the moon to find that power, almost all of that torque is realized in the midrange, where the majority of driving takes place.

To find the 40 percent increase in power from the tiny 1.5L, a Rotrex C30-74 unit was utilized. Unlike many other superchargers, the “whine” is nonexistent, as the patented traction drive system in the Rotrex keeps a lid on the noise factor. Oil isn’t borrowed from the engine, instead the supercharger relies on its own dedicated, self-contained oiling system, keeping things neat and simple.

  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jdpengineering Carbon Fiber Lip
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Nitto Invo Tire
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Rotrex C30 74 Unit

If you’re an avid power-hungry enthusiast, gas mileage is probably the last thing on your mind. However, the CR-Z crowd is a bit different, in that they most likely pulled the trigger on the two-seater in hopes of saving some cash at the pump. Adding forced induction isn’t typically conducive to maintaining high miles per gallon, but it’s something that the Jacksons factored into the design of their kit. At cruise speeds, a bypass valve regulates the amount of boost the engine experiences, in turn allowing for factory-like mileage numbers. To add to that, the ability to rely upon the Econ, Normal, and Sport driving modes the CR-Z was originally sold with are still fully functional. This is due in part to the masterminds at Hondata who developed their FlashPro system to open the doors to tuning the CR-Z.

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Volk Racing CE28 Wheel

The supercharged test vehicle pictured has been through quite a bit during its short life span. Over 20,000 miles of real-world testing, countless dyno sessions, a new Hybrid Class record at Super Lap Battle, and some of the most intense emissions testing known to man. You see, while the performance of the kit is undeniable, the Jacksons spent over eight months trying to acquire emissions certification to make the kit a street-legal affair. The hard work and admittedly frustrating process finally paid off with the kit passing all emissions lab tests and currently awaiting approval from the California Air Resources Board (C.A.R.B.).

Oscar Sr. has seen it all and done it all, but just about everyone doubted he could pull any usable power out of the CR-Z while remaining within the tight limitations of the government’s emissions requirements. Here’s to proving them wrong…all over again.

Bolts & Washers

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jackson Racing Supercharger Kit

Jackson Racing Supercharger kit with Rotrex C30-74 unit
Hondata FlashPro
KW Variant 1 coilovers
Volk Racing CE28 17×8 +33
Nitto Invo 225/45-17
JDPengineering carbon-fiber lip
JDPengineering carbon-fiber wing

The Test Vehicle And Editor’s Impression

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jdpengineering Carbon Fiber Lip

The bright red 2011 CR-Z you see pictured was fitted with a JDPengineering front lip and rear wing—you might remember the same carbon-fiber pieces being used on the Honda Tuning Magazine CR-Z project early on. The excellent fitment and a clean, functional appearance make JDP an easy choice for this chassis. To help harness the power, specifically through the turns, a set of KW Variant 1 coilovers were chosen, and a tasteful, functional ride height was set. In dire need of wider wheels and better rubber, a set of 17-inch Volk CE28s wrapped in Nitto Invo tires improve the look, feel, and of course the handling of the CR-Z.

Oscar Jr. handed over the keys to their CR-Z and told me to take the car on the road for some spirited driving. The first thing I noticed is the initial startup is identical to stock. No hesitation, no rough idle; in fact, because of the factory cat and exhaust system, it even sounded like it was stock. I pulled away in Normal mode and, driving conservatively, the car showed zero signs of hiccups or stutters. Switching to Sport mode, I stepped into the gas further and the Rotrex did its job of bringing the car up to “above posted speed limit” in rather short order. The torque seemed to pour on effortlessly, and the added midrange power is exactly what the CR-Z is missing from the factory. While the OEM CR-Z begins to fall on its face around 4,500 rpm, the Jackson Racing version is just getting started. The defined pull through third gear, inching close to 7,000 rpm is a sharp reminder of yesteryear, when VTEC B- and H-series motors left you begging to stomp the gas pedal for another zip to redline. While the factory 1.5 struggles to maintain its momentum up hills and around traffic, the Rotrex-equipped version allows you to avoid stirring the gears, and rather “point and shoot” your way through traffic.

  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jdpengineering Carbon Fiber Wing
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Hondata Flashpro

The comparison of the Jackson Racing supercharger kit to a K-series swap will undoubtedly come up the moment this article hits newsstands. Though I didn’t have a K-powered CR-Z on hand to test back to back, there are a few things that really stand out to me. The first being the pricing—even the “bells and whistles” version of the Jackson kit is at least half the cost of a K swap. Read that again, because there’s certainly a misconception about the price of a K-series motor swap, complete and ready to roll. As you’re adding it up in your head, don’t forget axles, management, mounts, custom exhaust, etc. The other is the ease of installation and use. There’s no cutting, welding, splicing, or customizing to fit the Jackson Racing supercharger kit—it’s a strictly bolt-on affair and fits like a factory piece. Mileage, power, and OEM fit and finish? This might be the future of tuning.

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