What just kicked in yo’?

Published on June 9th, 2014

Lame petrolhead jokes aside, adding a shot of forced induction to a potent concentration of VTEC is one crazy cocktail of mayhem and performance that will intoxicate your veins with that dark force known as horsepower.

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And we all know that horsepower is one of the hardest addictions to let go off; for once you just get a taste, you will forever find yourself wanting just that bit more of a fix every single time.

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Leaning back to the title though, it’s no play on a joke that is timeless but a reference to not just having one, but instead two, different boosts of power kick in with the throttle mashed to the floor. The traditional cam phasing VTEC shifts in first followed by the snail reaching peak performance and boost kicking in to complement the VTEC.

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Years ago though, adding any method of forced induction to a VTEC mill was considered sacrilegious and would cause uproar among the legions of keyboard warriors that fuelled the occasionally-falsely worshipped horsepower deity that was VTEC.

While switching the lift and cam profile was a tremendous way to give the engine good low end usability and a strong high end punch that allowed the naturally-aspirated camp plenty to write home about, the truth was forced induction opened the doors to introducing more air than ever possible into the combustion chamber.

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So unsurprisingly, the Americans started to bolt on turbos to their B-series, H-series and eventually K-series mills shortly after the birth of the import racing scene there. While many still cried blasphemy at the sight of a turbo or supercharger on a B-series, the Americans were churning out pretty damn reliable and powerful engine packages that naturally lead to bolt-on turbo kits for the Honda engines.

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Years on though, turbocharged VTECs gained acceptance and now you can find many sprouting out all over the place. Even here on our shores, turbo VTECs are becoming quite a norm. Heck, even the next Civic Type-R from Honda themselves will be sporting a snail under the hood from the factory.

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The Civic EJ6 here takes things to another level. What kind of level you may be wondering? Well how about a nice even 550 damned horses at the wheel? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, this car pumps out 550 wheel horsepower.

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Generally, the stock setup will support something in the region of 250-ish wheel horsepower. Hence, some much needed reinforcing was required in the engine bay to handle almost double that power figure.

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Starting with a B18B, M-Tuned Garage, the maestros behind this build, started by strengthening the block with S90 sleeves before filling them with a quartet of oversized 84mm CP pistons to handle the boost. The pistons are connected to the stock crankshaft via some Brain Crower forged conrods to complete the block package.

The head received the bulk of the enhancements. Skunk2 valve springs and retainers were mated with B16B Type-R camshafts to complete the valvetrain while a proven Garrett GT30 turbo is mated to a Tonnka exhaust manifold to add forced induction with a Tial 44mm wastegate letting out excess exhaust gasses. The intake air is channelled in via an Edelbrock intake manifold with an S90 70mm throttle body governing the compressed air.

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Fuelling is handled by a set of massive 1,050cc Fuel Injector Clinic injectors that are fed by the industry’s de facto fuel pump of choice, a Walbro piece. Keeping the ignition spark as strong and consistent as possible are Spoon plug cables.

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As the B-series wasn’t designed to handle such ludicrous amounts of power, cooling was a huge concern and fittingly, an ARC intercooler keeps the intake charge temperature down while a custom radiator keeps the coolant cool.

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Hasport engine mounts hold the entire package in place under the hood.

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Keeping all the engine parameters in check is none other than a Hondata ECU that ensures the fuelling, ignition and everything else under the hood is bang on target.

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Transferring that much power to the front wheels, let alone putting it down effectively, required plenty of aftermarket help. Beefing up the stock five-speed manual transmission is a Competition Clutch twin-plate clutch set together with a Quaife full-lock LSD to maximise traction.

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Keeping the driveshafts from grenading everytime a hard launch or track session comes around is a pair of The Driveshaft Shop driveshafts. An OS Giken close ratio set was also installed to improve acceleration.

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Handling is something the Civics become notorious for but you can never have too much of a good thing. Additionally, 550whp made this Civic a complete crazy bronco that needed to be reined in.

Tein Flex coilovers work hand-in-hand with Hardrace upper arms and Skunk2 lower arms to keep the tyres in contact with the ground as best as possible.

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A host of chassis stiffening bars consisting of a Carbing strut bar, Cusco pillar bar, ARC monkey bar and Spoon rear strut bar keep the key points in the shell tied together to prevent flex. All the bushings were replaced with SuperPro items as well.

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The wheels of choice to fill the four corners are the timeless Volk Racing TE37 finished in a shade of black to keep with the car’s toned-down theme.

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Filling up the cavities behind the front wheels are a pair of Spoon four-pot calipers clamping down on Project U rotors with Endless 500C pads in between.

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Stepping inside the office, a very minimalistic approach is taken with just a Bride Zeta full bucket seat and Recaro semi-bucket seat in a matching shade of red are added while the driver now holds on to a Sparco steering wheel.

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Black always works well in keeping under the radar and as anonymous as a 550whp Civic could possibly be. A complete C-West body kit complements the EJ6’ exterior while carbon fibre side-view mirrors and spoiler from Spoon finish up the cosmetic mods.

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From the outside, helped no less by the black exterior and wheels, this Civic looks extremely unassuming and would easily be mistaken for ‘just another VTEC’ on the road. However, looking down on this one and its 550 ponies could potentially be one of the dumbest things to do on the road. Even if you drive something Italian with the engine at the rear, you might not want to anger this hot hatch on the street.

SPEC CHECK: Honda Civic EJ6

Engine: B18B, S90 sleeves, oversized 84mm CP pistons, Brian Crower forged conrods, Skunk2 valve springs and retainers, B16B Type-R camshafts, Garrett GT30 turbocharger, Tonnka exhaust manifold, ARC intercooler, Fuel Injector Clinic 1,050cc injectors, Tial 44mm wastegate, Walbro 400lph fuel pump, Spoon plug cables, Edelbrock intake manifold, S90 70mm throttle body, custom radiator, Hasport engine mounts. Power: 550whp

Electronics: Hondata ECU

Transmission: Competition Clutch twin-plate clutch, Quaife full-lock LSD, Driveshaft Shop driveshafts, OS Giken close ratio

Chassis & Handling: Tein Flex coilovers, Hardrace upper arms, Skunk2 lower arms, Carbing strut bar, Cusco pillar bar, ARC monkey bar, Spoon rear strut bar, SuperPro bushings

Rolling Stocks: Volk Racing TE37 16-inch

Brakes: Spoon four-pot calipers, Project U rotors, Endless 500C brake pads

Interior: Bride Zeta bucket seat, Recaro seat, Sparco steering

Bodyworks: Complete C-West body kit, Spoon carbon fibre spoiler, Spoon carbon fibre side-view mirror

Garage: M-Tuned

Words: Dinesh Appavu |Photos:  Haznajims

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