GE Honda Fit – Import Tuner Magazine

16 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on GE Honda Fit – Import Tuner Magazine
Honda Fit

GE is go!

In terms of performance, there are some cars we love for obvious reasons (NSX, Skyline GT-R, Lancer EVO), others we love for their hidden potential (EG/EK Civic, 240SX, Impreza), and those we simply get stuck with and make the best of. Sure, four doors, a hatch, and seats that fold down a gazillion different ways to allow the transport of an entire apartment-sized Ikea furnishing scheme are definite benefits for a lot of us.

As is a $15K sticker price and 31mpg fuel efficiency (which, factoring in current gas prices, could save as much as $75K over a 100K-mile vehicle lifetime compared to a GT-R; $20K compared to that EVO). But lets face it-with a 117hp/106lb-ft 1.5L inline-four, McPherson/torsion beam suspension, and top-heavy(ish) design, the Fit would fall into the latter category for many of us.

Does getting stuck with such an economical, practical commuter have to be the end of your performance dreams? Fifteen years ago, those who shelled out comparable cash for a new Civic hatch with nearly identical specs wondered the same, but today we’re seeing them run eight-second quarter miles or take out NSXs, GT-Rs and EVOs around the circuit.

Being a product of Honda’s brand reinvention in 2001 gives the Fit some interchangeability with K-laden Honda/Acura platforms, but is going all-out on a K20/24 swap your only hope? Tuners in Japan would argue different.

Honda Fit

See that Racing Goes On lettering just above the J’s logo and slogan? It’s possibly the most time-worthy motto for a performance tuner to have. It’s been relevant to J’s since the company changed the game with their launch in 1988, then when they moved from the EF platform to J’s-equipped EGs and DC2s, then to their infamous S2000 and Civic Type R, and finally onto their first Fit on which, coincidentally, they did go all-out: K24 swap, stripped/caged interior, full aero package, and 1:00.459 lap times at Tsukuba in 2008. Today, with the world’s industrial populations increasing and energy supplies lagging-and the world’s disposable income at record lows-the priorities of today’s new car buyers and enthusiasts alike are shifting from performance and luxury to economy and practicality, and the J’s motif is more relevant than ever.

Let’s be real: The Fit is not a sports car. We’d be surprised if even one of our millions (sic) of readers recreates the J’s Racing GD (first-generation) Fit. Most would be happy simply elevating the performance of their cars enough to knock down the egos of rival import drivers. This mentality is so popular in Japan that it’s given rise to several racing series for lightly modded B-segment cars that maximize the potential of their original designs.

The rules are usually very basic: engines displacement and aspiration can’t be modified, and cars’ interiors and exteriors must remain largely faithful to stock. After that, it’s pretty much fair game.

J’s new GE (second-generation) Fit retains its native front-wheel-drive 1.5L inline-four (a 1.3L engine is also an option in the JDM, as is all-wheel drive), and its aspiration has been upgraded with a 60mm J’s Racing SPL throttle body, Max Flow air filter, and a full titanium exhaust. Staving off heat should be a concern in any track-driven car, and J’s addressed this in their Fit by swapping to a high-pressure radiator cap and low-temperature thermostat, Samco silicone hoses, and Billion Zero racing water (think JDM Water Wetter). But possibly our favorite underhood mod is the Seicle drive-by-wire controller, which drastically shortens the delay time between pedal input and throttle engagement inherent in electrically controlled throttles-hugely beneficial to heel-toe downshifts and minute throttle modulations.

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