Lets be honest readers…this platform has definitely received its fair share of discrepancies over the past few years, and for obvious reasons for that matter—low power, unfamiliar hybrid engine and untraditional styling. Though the CR-Z is still a relatively new platform, it has already fallen into the ranks of the age-old debate of “Hot or Not”—but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no hope for the little hybrid that could. And while the majority of enthusiasts are still sitting back trying to figure out what Honda had in mind with this little platform, or what the hell they’re supposed to do with it, Bryan Bui of Houston, TX has been falling deeply in love and pushing his new daily driver to a level many of us thought would never be possible.
As many of you know (or feel), the CR-Z fell utterly short of resembling its proposed predecessor (the CRX)— yet, that doesn’t mean it’s a completely bad-looking car. A bit Hybrid-esque? You betcha—but that’s nothing a little proper aftermarket aero can’t fix, right? First things first, a full C-west body kit was installed to help break away from the pack of econo-getters. To bump up the aggression, a staggered set of Desmond Regamaster Promadas were added along with a set of full TEIN basic coilovers for an extremely functional, yet proper drop.
With the styling issues complete, it was time to tackle the power plant. Again, being a relatively new, untouched platform, Bryan was left with seldom options while seeking the improvements he desired. That was, until the day he was offered a JDM Top Secret 1.5 stage turbo directly from the legendary owner of Top Secret himself, Smoky Nagata. Lucky guy, ay? Purchasing the kit straight out of Smoky’s trunk at a Houston car show, Brian and some friends quickly pieced together the setup while cautiously working out the minor JDM/USDM conversion tweaks. After completing the install, the car was left to Johnny Tran of JTran Studios for a complete Hondata ECU flash and turbo tune. With all said and done, the new kit and tune increased hp nearly 100% from factory—all while still maintaining a daily driver friendly 33 mpg. Oh, and just in case Bryan starts flying off the wheel with his newly-found boost, a StopTech big brake kit was added to squeal the deal.
Still eager to show the car’s true potential while maintaining the JDM theme, the interior received an entire makeover flaunting a set of DC5 Recaros along with various other interior pieces being wrapped in Recaro fabric. Following the essentials, Bryan strayed into new territory once again and became one of the first to install an Cusco rollcage in his CR-Z. To top it all off, a few extra Mugen accents and a set of Takata harnesses and the package is complete.
From go-getter to heavy-hitter, the CR-Z will continue to make waves in our community—and with experimental enthusiasts venturing from the norm like Bryan Bui, we feel this platform may just have a chance.
2011 Honda CR-Z
Owner Bryan Bui
Location Houston, TX
Occupation Police Officer
Engine Top Secret/GReddy Stage 1.5 turbo, intercooler, header and turbo downpipe; Top Secret custom exhaust, oil cap and oil catch can; GReddy sandwich block adaptor and water sensor adaptor; Mugen radiator cap and reservoir cover; Password:JDM battery tie down and radiator brackets; NRG hood dampers
Engine Management GReddy E-Manage and F-Manage ECU; Hondata Flash Pro; DEFI ver.2 controller unit and boost/water/oil pressure gauges
Footwork & Chassis TEIN coilovers; Cusco front strut bar; Eibach camber bolts Brakes StopTech slotted big brake kit; Mugen rear rotors
Wheels & Tires 17x8" (F) 17x9" (R) Desmond Regamaster Marquis Promadas; Falken RT-615 tires; Rays extended lug nuts and stem caps
Exterior C-West Cr-Z/ZF1 full kit, carbon-fiber bonnet and protector; Mugen hydrophilic mirrors, carbon-fiber mirror covers and gas cap; Turbo Charge and JDM red emblems; JDM door visors
Interior Recaro DC5 seats, fabric door panels, armrest and rear panel; Takata Drift II belt harnesses; Cusco eight-point rollcage; Mugen mirror cover, Fit AT shift knob and floor mats; JDM red Honda steering emblem and hazard button; OEM carbon-fiber illuminated door sills
Thanks You My brother AQB, my girl Aubre, Team Emotion, Hajime Maki, Dirt and Mike from CVT, Underground Graphix, Aki from C-West USA, Prestique Collision, StopTech, Brad from Falken, JTran Studios, Wayne from HIN, Proper Garage, Mayday Garage, Pat Pham, and to my boys in blue!