Honda unleashed upon an
unsuspecting world an innovation they named simply 'VTEC'. In this simple move,
Honda brought racing technologies within the reach of the common enthusiast. And
the world has never been the same ever since...
The latest BEST MOTORING International Volume 4 is a
comprehensive look at the today's state of the art VTEC machines. As its title
says "Roaring VTEC : The Battle to 10,000rpm", BMI Vol-4 is made up of 4
segments, each looking at a VTEC Honda or a group of VTEC'ed Hondas that
represents the best in VTEC today.
A stock Turbo-Charged Honda
The first segment is a look at an ultimate but very unusual
Honda, the 1995 Le-Mans contender that Honda fielded in the GT1 class, a
Twin-Turbo VTEC Honda NSX ! This car uses practically the same body/chassis as
the road-going NSX with a twin-turboed C30A 3.0l engine that generates 650ps !
This segment is an exclusive by BEST MOTORing and is the only test of
this car ever done.
This car raced in the 1995 Le-Mans race in France, together
with its smaller NA GT2 brother. Because it only lasted a few laps before clutch
problems forced its retirement, it is relatively unknown. To caps things off,
that smaller brother is the legendary GT2 Kaneko Kunimitsu Honda driven by the
famous trio of T. Kunimitsu, world famous drift-king K. Tsuchiya, and A. Iida
which subsequently won the GT2 class for that year's race (and finished in 6th
place overall) so the relative obscurity of this GT1 Honda is
In this BM test, drift-King K. Tsuchiya took the Le-Mans GT1
NSX Twin-Turbo into the Twin-Ring Motegi circuit for its track-test. Add to the
whine of the sequential gearbox that from the twin-turbos and you will get an
indication of the quality of the soundtrack the car has to offer !
And needless to say, the car is extremely fast !
Indeed, Tsuchiya-san closes the review by disclosing that even a JGTC
GT500 car (like his NA 480hp ARTA NSX) is nowhere as fast as the Le-Mans GT1
NSX. It's speed around the Twin-Turbo Motegi can only be appreciated when
actually watching the track-review.
The new 2002 Honda NSX Type-S
Segment 2 is a comprehensive BM style review of the new
face-lifted and mildly modified 2002 Honda NSX Type-S. Gone are the pop-up
headlight replaced by covered recessed lights styled after the Ferrari Modeno.
More significant is the upgrade in the stock tyres that comes with the car. All
NSX models in the past suffers from being under-tired. In the case of the hot
NSX-R and Type-S versions, this is especially obvious and in the 5-lap Tsukuba
battles, the tyres starts to give up very early in the battle allowing the best
of the latest generations of the NSX's competitors the Mazda RX-7 and the
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution-7 to consistently beat the NSX in most of the recent
The new revised 2002 NSX Type-S has large 255/40ZR17 tyres in
the rear and 215/40ZR17 tyres in the front. However other than this and the
face-lift, the rest of the car remains basically the same.
For the review, BM conducted its familiar 'winding road' test,
0-400m drag-races, and the famous 5-lap Tsukuba battle. To get a good judge of
the 2002 NSX Type-S, BM conducted back-to-back test-drives on a windy mountain
road (actually a mountain bike track) against the 'old' NSX Type S, the NSX Type
S-Zero and the original legend, the NSX-R. This is followed by the 0-400m
drag-races between all the aforementioned previous models. This segment is
capped off with the famous 5-laps Tsukuba battle amongst the cars above plus
with the competition represented by the Mazda RX-7 Type-R Barthurst R and the
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 GSR. With proper tyres, the new NSX Type-S takes
on the 5-laps battle with superb confidence !
BM ends this segment by showing the brand new NSX-R that Honda
showed-off in the 2001 Tokyo Auto Show. The message is clear, 2002 is the year
where a new legend, the Honda NSX-R will be reborn !
VTEC Magic !
Unlike the past 3 issues, BMI Vol-4 is made up in equal parts
between BEST MOTORing and HOT VERSION. And the remainder of the tape is all
very serious 'VTEC-rumble' indeed. First, for segment 3, HOT VERSION,
ably lead via K. Tsuchiya and N. Hattori takes a look at 4 representatives of
the state-of-the art in today's street-tuned VTEC cars, testing them on
the Ebisu circuit.
First to come under their scrutiny is the Type-One EF9
Honda Civic SiR. This decade old car is given a complete "refresh" or
update make-over by the owner of Type-One Ichishima-san (the founder of SPOON
SPORTS). Out goes the 1G B16A and in goes a stock B18C Spec-R engine complete
with the ITR transmission and helical LSD. Various other SPOON parts complete
the package. However, I was rather surprised to hear from Ichishima-san that
fitting the B18C Spec-R into the EF9 chassis was a straight forward task because
I do know for a fact that it is not. Nevertheless, properly complemented by a
suspension and wheels/tyres package, the Type-One EF9 earned an firm 'OK' from
both Tsuchiya and Hattori, managing to clock a lap time that is as fast as the
EK9 Civic Type-R.
Next to come under scrutiny is the famous 268ps Prime
Garage Integra Type-R. VTEC fans will know this car well enough. The
B18C Spec-R is stroked up to 2.0l and the head is thoroughly worked over using
TODA components. The cams are the famous TODA "VTEC Killer" cams
with TODA valvetrain components, TODA pistons and the whole engine finished off
with the famous TODA 4-throttle intake system. The car is fitted with a titanium
exhaust system and an aftermarket suspensions-wheels-tyres combo.
Next up is a car that will put smiles on many a Honda owner's
faces. Though ignored and often forgotten by Honda enthusiasts in Japan, the
BB1/BB4 'shark-nosed' Honda Prelude is very popular outside of Japan. But
because of its lack of popularity in Japan itself, seriously souped up JDM
Preludes are very rare.
Prelude fans, quickly now, what would be the most famous NA
Prelude in the world ?
Yes, the 3rd car that Tsuchiya and Hattori tests is the world's
most famous NA Prelude, JUN's "Super Lemon" (yellow) 270ps
Prelude! As Tsuchiya exclaimed upon concluding this test, "the Prelude
is a fast car !". Indeed, the JUN Prelude delivered the fastest lap time
of the 4 cars in this test !
The last car in this "VTEC-Magic" group test is a rather
unusual car. VTEC-engined it is but it's FR and it's not the S2000. It is
the Force AE86 Toyota Trueno, powered by a stock 250ps F20C
S2000 engine !! Complete with roll-cage and a race-tuned package, the engine
swap alone costed 1.8 million yen while the whole conversion project costed the
owner 4.4 million yen or more than a brand new Honda S2000 ! But at over 400kg
lighter, the VTEC-86 is a very fast car indeed.
Grand Finale : Battle at 10,000rpm !
BMI Vol-4's grand finale is also the most mouth watering
segment of the whole tape ! A total of six NA-tuned cars, all capable of
screaming to beyond 8,000rpm and indeed to the magic 9,000-10,000 rpm band takes
to the Ebisu circuit for a 5-laps battle to determine the NA Champion !!
As with segment-3, Honda fanatics, especially those who owns
the entire Hyper-Rev series on Hondas will have their mouths absolutely dripping
with saliva. Yes, some of those wonderfully wildly heart-stopping super-souped
up Hondas we have been reading in the Hyper-Rev series makes an appearance in
To get straight to the point, I think the best way is to simply
list down the cars for this battle.
- SS-WORKS race EF8 CRX with a 2.0l B18C Spec-R delivering 240ps
- G-FORCE race City (!) with a 1.3l engine delivering 160ps
- JUN AUTO race EK Civic running a 2.1l B18C Spec-R delivering 246ps
- SPOON SPORTS Group-N Super Taikyu series race S2000 delivering 260ps
- REDLINE Group-N Super Taikyu Altezza deliverying 250ps
- ESPRIT street-tuned NSX with a C32B delivering 340ps !
The S2000 and the Altezza currently competes against each other
in the Super Taikyu Group-N series (i.e. they are real racing cars) but the NSX
is a street-use vehicle, complete with air-cond, car stereo and even a
computerized navigation system ! All the others are like the S2000 and the
Altezza, fully fledged race-cars.
I think it would be very unsporting of me to disclose the
result of the race. In any case, the eventual winner of the race is not the end
of it all but rather the real mouth watering piece is the actual action of the
race itself. So I believe the next step is very obvious - you have
to watch it on the tape !!
What can I say ? When the tape was en-route to me, I was
literally too excited to sleep. BEST MOTORing International Volume 4 is
VERY highly recommended. No, indeed it is a MUST-BUY for all VTEC fans !
Readers who are interested in learning more about BMI should
pop over to the BMI website at http://www.bestmotoringvideo.com/.
BEST MOTORING International is now available for sale online at
Amazon.Com via an TOV affiliation.
Latest update - March 14 2002 !! BMI Vol-4 is now available for
pre-order at Amazon.com. TOVA readers who are interested to purchase BMI Vol-4,
please follow the following link Best
Motoring International Volume 04 Amazon Pre-Order. The targetted date for
release is March 20th 2002.
© Temple of VTEC Asia
courtesy of Zig-Zag Asia Inc.
The photos of JUN's Prelude and SS-Work's CRX
are taken from the Hyper-Rev 'VTEC' magazine series.
All other photos are
copyrights of BEST MOTORING International and Zig-Zag Asia