Each and every year that I attend the big SEMA show, I seem to start the adventure off the same exact way: stop for coffee, head to the media center for a credentials holder, and then its straight to the back corner for the Honda mega booth. New cars, new accessories, a tuner build or two; I'm itching to see it all.
This year Honda didn't have a group of tuners tackle a specific vehicle like the 2012 Si and the CR-Z of years passed, however, they did rely on Bisimoto to build something unique, to which he answered with a turbo charged Odyssey. The release of the 2014 Si coupe, which saw dramatic restyling of the front and rear bumpers and some other minor adjustments, for some reason didn't warrant a tuner build-off, but HPD did bring a race version for viewing.
A Honda station was set up on the perimeter of the booth and housed various (very cool) video games and activities and the foot traffic was heavy throughout the entire week. Here's a closer look at some of the vehicles on display:
2014 Civic coupe
The Civic sedan, after taking harsh criticism from media about its interior built quality and other bits, saw a mid-model refresh, though the coupe was left untouched. Now, as we near 2014, Honda decided to update the look of the coupe as well. The most noticeable change is in the front and rear bumpers. The rear seems Accord-like, sculpted into amore aggressive appearance, while the front is what caused the most discussion during SEMA. The lower portion of the bumper utilizes 2 large, sharp angled grill openings on either side of the bumper, complete with large fog light bezels. The upper portion receives beveled plastic tie-in that links both headlights together with a chrome lower piece that essentially helps separate the center grill opening into multiple pieces. The look is awkward and I have to wonder how the public is going to receive it. Other changes include a reworked hood, front fenders, and headlight design.
Both the Si and the EX-L on display included passenger side mirror "blind spot" cameras and the EX-L was armed with an HFP aero kit and 18in HFP "diamond-cut" wheels, all of which are available through your local Honda dealer.
2014 HPD Civic Si
HPD put together an Si intended for the IMSA Continental Tire Street Tuner Series, Prepped by HART, the coupe relies on a stroked, HPD-spec K24 (2.7L), HPD cold-air intake, stainless exhaust, and an Accusump oil pressure accumulator. Suspension duties are handled by HPD-spec camber plates, rear anti-roll bar and bushings. Continental DR ST-spec tires in 225/45-17 accompany Enkei RPF1 wheels.
Acura Street Performance ILX
The CT Engineering supercharged Acura ILX that was parked in the Honda booth last year made a return, this time wrapped in 3M 1080 copper metallic vinyl and complimented with a charcoal metallic film. An Acura optional aero kit was also fitted and a set of 19in TSW wheels cover a Stoptech Big Brake kit. The CT-Engineering supercharger kit remains, and is backed by Hondata's FlashPro system, a Greddy SP Elite exhaust system and K&N intake.
HPD Supercharged CR-Z
With so much talk about the CR-Z needing more under the hood, HPD, with the help of Jackson Racing, put together a supercharger kit that pushes power output up to 187hp/171lbs ft tq. The Rotrex-based kit will be available for purchase to the public, meets 50 state C.A.R.B. exemption and can be a dealer-installed option. The bright red example on display features HPD wheels and 300mm disk brakes with 4-piston calipers and an ultra-slick center exit exhaust system and rear diffuser.
Once again Honda reached out to Bisimoto to build something interesting for their booth and this time around he shocked everyone by putting together a turbocharged Odyssey of all vehicles. Moments after the doors to the SEMA show opened; the Internet was buzzing with interest; some praising the outside the box thinking, with others absolutely ripping the car and its builder apart.
The van's J-series heart is built and boosted with a claimed 1,000+hp accompanied by a 6-speed manual transmission conversion. In stark contrast to what's under the hood, the air suspension and VIP style wheels and interior make a pretty bold statement. Though the van's engine bay didn't quite have the overall polished look that Bisimoto's SEMA projects typically possess, the build was completely surrounded by attendee's throughout the entire week and a huge hit for American Honda.
Not limited to just cars, Honda also displayed a few of their new Grom mini-bikes as well as this incredible custom bike dubbed "Slammer" by its designer Erik Dunshee. Using a 2010 Stateline as the foundation, the bike features adjustable air ride, a complete front-end conversion, 23in front wheel and an insane audio set up rated at 500watts! The most amazing aspect is that Dunshee was able to achieve all of this without modifying the frame or engine.