480 hp to the front wheels? We're up for the challenge.
Already one of the most raucous hot hatchbacks you can buy, the Honda Civic Type R is hardly what you'd call underendowed with its 306-horsepower turbocharged engine and brilliant six-speed manual gearbox. But like so many aftermarket companies, California-based Hondata makes it clear that the Type R is capable of even more with just a few modifications, and it's not the first time the tuner has enhanced the Type R's performance.
Hondata's latest fuel system upgrade has been tested with outputs soaring to 375 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque, increases of 22.5 and 43.7 percent, respectively, over the stock car. But that's just the beginning, as multiple calibrations are included and this particular car used 91-octane fuel. For instance, a blend of 46 percent ethanol and 91-octane saw outputs climb to 415 hp/448 lb-ft of torque.
The fuel system upgrade includes a new fuel tank pump, high-flow injectors, and a low-pressure fuel line, along with Hondata's FlashPro unit. Worth noting is that the kit is a direct bolt-on, so if desired, the Type R can be easily returned to its stock form. Thankfully, customers wanting everything from the milder upgrade to a hardcore bump up in power are catered for, with a Full-Race turbo upgrade and the replacement of the catalytic converter with a test pipe bringing outputs up to 477 hp and 438 lb-ft of torque. At these figures, a 40 percent ethanol fuel mix was used.
A Civic Type R with the upgraded fuel system, a couple of bolt-ons, an enhanced turbocharger, and racing fuel managed an insane 550 hp and 482 lb-ft, based on a Hondata dyno. Although this package isn't offered, it's an example of what Hondata can achieve with the right fuel and software tuning, although we have our doubts about how the Civic would cope with that much power going to the front wheels - we'd be more than happy to try it out, though.
What about price? Well, the fuel system upgrade goes for $2,850, which seems decent considering the increased outputs. Hondata also offers a $695 FlashPro kit that adds 33 hp and 39 lb-ft, although the factory ECU must be unlocked, which requires an additional fee of $500 - that's still less than half that cost of the full fuel system upgrade kit. Still, we think the full kit is worth it, and installation takes between four hours and one day, according to Hondata. The upgrade will cement the Civic Type R's position as the quickest front-wheel-drive hatch you can get your hands on.