In primul rand, inainte de a incepe acest articol, am doar o singura precizare: lumea automobilelor este o lume magica, plina de oameni pasionati si speciali, oameni care se dedica intru totul obiectului pasiunii lor. Romain – initiatorul proiectului Okutan102 – este fix omul despre care vorbesc, care a strabatut lumea in lung si in lat in cautarea povestilor, oamenilor sau obiectelor de legenda. Dintr-un nou capitol al sectiunii Autopedia bazat pe istoria brandului Honda cat si a celor conexe, va prezint azi prima parte – vizita oficiala la sediul Spoon Sports din Japonia.
In Europa, definitia unei modificari aduse unei masini se rezuma la o combinatie de piese, numere si specificatii, rezultatul scontat fiind de cele mai multe ori “Harder, better, faster, stronger”. De cele mai multe ori se alege puterea in defavoarea altor detalii ori elementele de design exterior, menite sa schimbe aspectul autoturismului, fara a afecta (sau ajuta) performanta acestuia.
Insa pe cealalta parte se regasesc pasionatii, oamenii care isi petrec sute de ore testand combinatii, cautand solutia perfecta pentru a aduce un echilibru intre toate modificarile aduse autoturismului pe care il reprezinta, astfel incat rezultatul sa nu fie doar o cifra, cat si o senzatie aparte.
Prin 1988, Tatsuru Ichishima – savantul nebun din spatele Spoon Sports – are ideea destul de traznita sa puna pirostriile companiei ce astazi poarta blazonul Spoon Sports. Fiind un fost pilot de teste oficial al Honda Co. Japan, Tatsuru a crezut mereu cu tarie in ideea de ECHILIBRU. O masina nu are nevoie sa fie puternica cat are nevoie sa fie ECHILIBRATA si bine proportionata, fiecare surub avand rolul lui in toata aceasta istorie. Ba mai mult de atat, el a militat mereu spre modificarile cat mai in conformitate cu originalul, de aceea astazi el unul din singurii tuneri din zona Honda care si-a restrans paleta de produse doar la elemente de performanta, esentiale, necesare. Sau dupa cum el bine a zis intr-un interviu mai vechi, s-a rezumat mereu la imbunatatirea unei Honde, asa cum ar fi trebuit ea sa iasa din fabrica.
Filozofia din spatele Spoon Sports – echilibrul, calitatea ingineriei si seriozitatea acestuia au dus numele de Spoon Sports printre tunerii oficiali aliniati de catre Honda direct.
In afara Japoniei, numele de Spoon Sports a putut fi auzit undeva incepand cu sfarsitul anilor ’90, cand motorul de pe celebrul EK9 semnat de Spoon Sports – B16B – a reusit performanta celor 11,000 rpm, in Statele Unite devenind rapid de tot o vedeta, iar vanzarile tunerului au luat avant pe tot continentul. Europa l-a primit cu bratele deschise, doar ca putin mai tarziu, prin anii 2000, cu ocazia jocului Gran Turismo 2, unde printre masini gaseai Spoon Civic Type-R EK9, Spoon Integra Type-R DC2 cat si Spoon S2000.
Spoon nu si-a uitat totusi activitatea preferata – motorsportul – in ultimii ani, numele companiei nipone putand fi regasit prin competitiile 24 Hours of Nurburgring (Honda S2000), 25 Hours of Thunderhill (Honda FIT & CR-Z), sau multe alte participari in cadrul Super Taikyu, cea mai mare serie de curse de anduranta din Japonia.
Motorsportul reprezinta crema cremelor pentru Spoon, fiind totusi cea mai buna modalitate de testare in mediu si timp real a pieselor gandite, create si manufacturate de Spoon, inainte de a incepe instalarea si comercializarea acestora la nivel global.
In orice caz, atmosfera din cadrul sediului Spoon Sports cat si a garajului Type One lasa o amprenta foarte clara atat a filozofiei lui Tatsuru cat si a activitatii grupului, experienta acestei vizite fiind mai mult decat una speciala.
Honda has started the countdown for their most waited sport little fella – the new Civic Type-R which will make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, on 3rd March.
Just a few weeks left until we will see the final version of the hot hatch, so to kindle the fire in us, the Japanese constructor launched this morning a set of photos with some of the design enhancements that will feature the little one.
The front bumper was reshaped to inhibit air turbulence around the front wheel, cutting drag and enhancing high-speed stability, and was completed by a wide splitter and deep side skirts, all with the purpose to manage airflow and reduce lift. Also, enlarged upper and lower grilles, vents above the wheels on the front quarter panels and trailing edges on the front wheels and some other details more were specially added to provide greater cooling and ventilation for the Turbo VTEC engine – that “little” 2.0 l Turbo VTEC 280 HP one.
New Brembo brake kit was specially designed for the Civic Type-R, four-piston calipers and 350 mm drilled discs, all these completing the image of the newly-designed 19″ alloy wheels.
We’ve seen many pictures of the final form and we’ve heard numerous rumors regarding the new R member of the Honda Sports family – but this time, the Japanese say that this is it – Honda is revealing the final form of the 2015 CTR on the 2nd of October, at the Paris Auto Show.
They call it “the most powerful Type-R” ever created, with unmatched performance compared to all previous Type-R – excluding the NSX-R, of course. This blue little one is a mildly updated version of the CTR presented in March during Geneva Motorshow.
Technical speaking, the specs are similar with the ones we found out in March – a 2.0-liter turbocharged i-VTEC engine with an output of 280 HP, but with a lower redline – 7,000 rpm (compared to the 9,000 rpm we’re used to)…
In terms of novelties we can mention the magical “+R” button. Ehm, what is this? Something Honda says that when pressed, it activates the “+R” mode – heightened engine response by altering the torque mapping, makes the steering more responsive and tweaks the new four-point adaptive damper system for enhanced handling performance.
Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for the Civic Type R explained: “In default standard mode, the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile, an everyday sports car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration. The ‘+R’ button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, to set pulses racing. The difference in character is immense. The ‘+R’ mode is extreme; the car is ideal for track use and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.”
As we are already accustomed with, this TypeR version will be built at Honda’s plant in Swindon, UK, it will arrive in dealerships during 2015.
Just a few hours left until the official launch of the new Civic Type-R Concept, as they call it – but we mostly know that this one will be also the one that will hit the showrooms – ladies and gents, the new R baby from Honda is almost here.
She is described by the design team as a ‘racing car for the road’ rather than a high performance version of a road car – she is not coming with the most extreme CV or not even she’s not set to break all the records on the hot-hatches market (probably just the sales record, which is indeed a good thing). But she’s bringing something new on the market, and this time I am not talking just about design.
“Type R represents Honda’s racing spirit. It is built with a passion for motorsport.”
Masaru Hasegawa – Chief Stylist, Civic Type R
This appearance at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is something big for the Japanese constructor, indeed – not only the new Civic Type-R will be released, but also the new Castrol Civic will be revealed, version that will take its well deserved place in the WTCC competition.
As we already know it, the Type-R will be the first Honda that will feature one of the newest VTEC turbo-charged engines developed by the Japanese constructor, with a total output declared around 280 HP. So goodbye aspirated VTEC, welcome into the new era, which is not that new for Honda, if we take a far look behind…
Although turbo engines have not been seen in Honda’s production lines in Europe for some time, this is not something new for the Nippon company – Honda’s first turbo engine was seen in 1988 – the RA168E used in Formula One, which brought new heights for the Japanese constructor the most race victories (15 out of 16), the most Constructors points (199) and the most one-two finishes (10).
But the turbo-mania doesn’t stop here, because Honda featured the setup – or something similar – for some of the cars they sold outside the European market – the 1988 Honda Legend was equipped with a 2.0-litre 24-valve V6 engine with a variable “Wing Turbo” that could regulate exhaust stream and efficiently utilize charging pressure, followed by some Acura RDX versions, that were using combined Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) with Variable Timing Control (VTC). Also, the Japanese market had for many years the City Turbo version, which returned in 2012 under the name of N-One Turbo – 660 cmc DOHC, with a total output of 65 HP.
There are thousands of words that can be written here, stories about history and tales of the heritage behind – but one thing is for sure – Honda is bringing that quelque chose that was missing here, and I am more than anxious – in a good way – to see it in person.
Just a few weeks until Honda will lift its veil from the European version of the newest Civic Type-R during the 2014 Geneva Motorshow, but that’s not the only exponent – the FCEV concept will be revealed in Europe for the first time, the NSX as well (we are getting used to see it on display so far) but also the autopsy of the new 2014 WTCC Civic.
About the newest Civic Type-Rwe already talked and saw some pictures with the Concept in action – not spy shots, but not official either. The version presented was a hothatch in 5-doors setup, I am very curious to see if the official launchig product will feature a 3-doors version also.
Regarding the FCEV Concept, this one will be presented in Europe for the first time – it’s an appeal to the newest technology developed by Honda, well, in this case we are talking more about the potential styling direction of the next-generation hybrid / full electric cars developed by the Nippon constructor. The FCEV will be officially launched on the US and Japanese market starting with 2015.
About the NSX, there is nothing new to say – another Autoshow where they are going to display the car – nothing new to add since last year though.
But “la piece de resistance” in this case is – from my point of view – the WTCC Civic. – Honda has already created an important name in the Manufacturers’ Championship of the 2013 WTCC edition, so they will present the updated version of the 2014 Civic car.
Additionally, Honda will showcase the long history in the F1 championships, starting with 1964’s car – RA271, that debuted on the Nurburgring and the also well-known record-breaking turbo-charged RA168E engine which dominated the 1988 season.
We saw teasers, camouflaged cars, we heard rumours about it – right before the start of the Tokyo Auto Show, Honda reveals the new and long waited Civic Type-R, without any kind of inhibitions. And she rocks!
2.0 liter and an output of 280 HP – that’s what Honda is bringing new to the table, everything coming our from the newest turbocharged – VTEC engine from Honda, EURO 6 compliant. This engine is a bold move for Honda, and it will be in premiere on the European market.
The car was presented yesterday, in Japan, but the video presented below was filmed at the Nurburgring circuit , in Germany; Gabriele Tarquini, the pilot who took the new turbocharged CTR for a spin stated that: ” ‘The car and the characteristics of the car were fantastic. I was really impressed by the power and the torque of the engine but also by the set-up they achieved…The car is very pointed on the front and very fast to change direction’. ‘This car is very close to my racing car and you can feel very well the DNA of Type R.”
As many of you already know, the official launching of this car is postponed for 2015, but we will have more details later this week, from Tokyo.