Have you ever wondered why this section of the magazine is called "Car Jacked"? We really don't jack anything. This department deals with companies that willingly give their cars to us. What the hell is up with that? There's nothing really interesting going on at all. If we're supposed to jack the car, we gotta really do it. But that requires some kind of well-planned scheme, which we're nowhere capable of plotting. That's why we had to call up our Florida hottie homechicks, the Barton twins, to do the job. Nobody on staff can be as persuasive as these two, probably because they're way hotter than we are. We also secured the evaluative services of Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada, who served as our guest editor.
We've had our eyes on the turbocharged AEM/DC Sports Civic Si for a long time now. Aside from the flashy Santini paint job, this car packs a mean punch under the hood. The factory Si motor was yanked out and replaced with an RSX Type S engine and a six-speed tranny. That engine swap alone would have been enough, but this is AEM and DC Sports, so they had to go all out. Over in Coronatucky, the DC Sports posse fabbed up an exhaust, downpipe, and a crazy manifold to mount the exhaust.
The rest of the engine was taken care of by Lawson and his boys. Cam sprockets, EMS, intake, fuel delivery--you know, the usual spiel. The boost was only set at 7 psi and the car made 263.7 hp, which is 123.7 hp more than a stock Si. Now you know why we want to jack this biznatch.
This is a street car, which means we put it through our usual Super Street style of testing. That means LA traffic, drive-throughs, parking lots, and all that real-world-type crap. In case you forgot, that's how we evaluate street cars. Face it, LA streets are bumpier than Jimmy's ass cheeks. With the Progress Group suspension set up and Toyo RA-1 tires, the Civic definitely passed our tests. It's not often you'll find a fast car that handles well and doesn't ride too stiff. The car never died or acted up either, which is a definite rarity. Yup, if you're going to jack a car, this is the one. Actually, we wouldn't recommend it because Al Bundy, er, AEM's PR thug Lawson Mollica will probably knock you out and use you as a cotton swab. That's why we sent our twins to get it. Now we just gotta figure out how to get it back to AEM.
For more on these beautiful twins, click on www.bartontwins.com
Not to publicly emasculate the EP3, but it is rather limp, from the styling to the performance. The HKS-boosted K20 is the perfect enhancement for this Civic's erectile dysfunction. The signage on this little Civ' may say Quaife, but the way the pumped-up powerplant peg-legs this car just screams stock diff. The motor combined with the well-sorted suspension brings this Civic from wet willie to full mast, but the funkadelic paint (Santini should stick to mini-trucks) overcompensates more than that guy at the end of the bar with the satin Ferrari jacket. (Hey, I own one of those.--JL) This car doesn't need to front; it already has the goods to intimidate everyone else in the locker room.
I'm usually not down with driving a flashy car like this, but it's fast, so I don't care. The DC Sports manifold puts the turbo on the driver side, so I could hear it spooling every time I mashed on the gas. That's when the torque steer would kick in, which reminded me why I hate driving front-wheel-drive cars. It was also running a little rich, so the car would backfire when I'd let off the throttle. That'll teach those chumps to tailgate me. With the smooth acceleration and tight handling, it's a perfect all-around street car, and I'm not just saying this because Lawson could use me for a toothpick.
Call me picky, but why is it that some fast cars are just plain butt ugly? To me, the AEM/DC Sports Civic Si fits the mold of a butter-faced chick. Everything looks good but the face, or in this case, the paint. Yes, the turbocharged K20 pulls nice and hard, but the exterior kills it. A low-profile appearance (maybe stock OEM paint or a single color change) would've suited my tastes better instead of these 1996-style tribal graphics--you can save that for the OC. Perhaps these efforts should have been left directed toward performance and not winning show trophies. After all, it's what you guys do best.
It would be hard for me to say anything terrible about AEM's Honda Civic. Aside from the fact that Lawson Mollica, AEM's marketing guru and Al Bundy reincarnate, might thoroughly kick my ass, the Civic, without any question, is a well-rounded car. And I'm sure three out of four dentists would agree that it would make you smile immediately after you pound the throttle. In fact, the motor is bumpin' so much horsepower that it feels like the car goes sideways at every push, in every gear. An amazing feat, considering it's front-wheel drive and it looks like a mini Honda Odyssey.
Sometimes when a company builds a car and makes it look all flashy on the outside, you can tell it put more money and time into graphics and paint than power and handling. When I first saw the AEM/DC Sports Civic I was afraid that was going to be the case--until I turned the key and mashed the pedal. This car is a major-league neck-snapper, with brakes strong enough to give you whiplash. The large turbo spools slowly, but when it kicks in you'd better not have anything important in the front seat because it will end up in the back. Acceleration, braking, and handling were all right on point, and to top it all off, the paint job was flashy but immaculate.
I'm used to driving Japanese tuner cars, which are built for circuit racing. They ride really rough and aren't any fun to drive on the street. This car handles well and is comfortable to drive. The small turbo helps give the car some low-end power that it's normally missing. As for the appearance, I'm not too fond of the EP3 body style. It looks like a small Odyssey, but the paint job is wild.