Parenthood has a funny way of reconstructing life's pecking order of what matters. All of a sudden, things like the consistency of diaper lumps are a whole lot more important than whether or not you might have a boost leak. Balancing the responsibilities of parenthood and your desire to slam your Honda Civic is essential to preserving any sort of sanity, though. And although parking a minivan in your driveway may not be easily avoided, mitigating whatever lameness is typically associated with the box-like platform can be - seen by this 1,000+hp Bisimoto Honda Odyssey.
Doing all of that isn't easy, though, and famed drag racer and engineer Bisi Ezerioha will be the first dad to tell you as much. You know Ezerioha because of his 2012 Civic Si that lays down more than 1,000hp, or maybe because of his turbocharged CR-Z that quadruples the amount of torque that any self-respecting, earth-loving hybrid owner thinks it should have. Ezerioha's power-building resume doesn't end there; nearly 20 years' worth of Hondas, world records, and drag racing victories assure as much.
But 1,000hp Civics and minivans couldn't be any more incongruent. Unlike Ezerioha's record-setting, all-motor CRX of the 1990s, the 2014 Honda Odyssey—the bedrock of his latest creation—has been peddled among patriarchs like himself under the guise of having three rows of seats, five of which any tot and his carriage can be safely strapped to. Quarter-mile and 0-60 mph data are not among the Odyssey's routine minivan marketing points. None of that matters all that much to Ezerioha, who, despite what Honda thinks its almost two-decade-old platform ought to look, sound, and ride like, saw fit to reverse engineer the family van exactly how you think any championship-winning drag racer would.
Despite Ezerioha's naturally aspirated heritage, 4,500lbs worth of family wholesomeness almost always means some sort of turbocharger has got to be integrated if power gains are to be detected. For this, the chemist-turned-high-performance-parts-purveyor turned to Turbonetics. Forced induction choices among the high-performance throng are many, but Ezerioha's rationale for partnering with the 36-year-old turbo firm who distributes its wares among the United States military, for example, is simple: "If it's good enough for the US government, it's good enough for me."
Plumbing the single BTX turbocharger into place within the Honda Odyssey wasn't terribly challenging, in part because of the V6 cylinder heads that incorporate internally casted exhaust manifolds. The results are a single pipe traversing from each head that join at the turbine. It's architecture unlike any more conventional log- or tubular-type manifold you're probably familiar with.
Directing the 3.5-liter engine's exhaust gases toward the turbine wheel was the easy part. Getting the Odyssey's rear-view and LaneWatch cameras, push-button starter, and CAN-BUS protocol to play nicely with AEM's Infinity 8 engine management system was, as Ezerioha conveys, his most challenging electronic undertaking to date. It's true that the van could've been stripped of all of that technical wizardry for the sake of more power, but such are the things that keep engineers like Ezerioha up at night. According to Ezerioha, it was critical that everything Honda built into its top-of-the-line Odyssey remain intact. Except for its Variable Cylinder Management. Because shutting down two or three cylinders on a 1,029hp V6 would just be silly.
Not that a 1,029hp minivan isn't just as silly, but the absence of traction in every gear with the boost cranked up to full tilt is a whole lot more exhilarating than disabling a couple of cylinders in hopes of a reward at the gas pump. This was, after all, Ezerioha's impetus for all of this: to put together something quick and powerful yet capable of assimilating within the confines of the pre-school pick-up zone. Ezerioha doesn't take credit for the idea, though. A colleague at American Honda—who awarded the Honda Odyssey to Ezerioha's firm, Bisimoto, under the auspices of helping lure in an entirely new segment of minivan buyers—suggested the chassis. A short time later, contracts were signed and the 2014 EX was delivered to Bisimoto's back door.
The whole racket was completed quicker than most builds' engine blocks sit at the machine shop. In just seven weeks, a spare engine was fortified and assembled at the hands of Ezerioha, the turbo system integrated, and the airbag suspension installed. A week and a half was spent just sorting out the electronics. That's mostly because standalone engine management systems like those from AEM aren't yet compatible with some of Honda's latest J-series sensors. For this, Ezerioha was forced to modify each cam's pick-up wheel that communicates with the ECU, for example. "One of the biggest difficulties was with the ABS," Ezerioha says, as he conveys all sorts of technical speak and gobbledygook about sine waves, square waves, and Honda's all-new active sensors that are, for all intents and purposes, neither of these. "They say, 'Oh, you're so lucky' when they see it, but they have no idea what we go through," Ezerioha says of the hordes of fans who admire the van.
Minivans arguably weren't on Ezerioha's radar 20 years ago when he first began setting records at the drag strip with a carbureted single-cam engine. Times change, though, and a family can all of a sudden make almost 210 cubic feet of interior space more important than gutting the doors on your CRX to shed 30 lbs. "I wanted something that I could race that could also be a true family hauler," Ezerioha says, "and I think that's exactly what the Honda Odyssey minivan did."
2014 Honda Odyssey EX
Owner Bisi Ezerioha/Bisimoto Engineering
Hometown Ontario, CA
Occupation Horsepower Chef
Engine 3.5-liter V6; Arias 9.0:1 pistons; R&R Racing Products connection rods; Golden Eagle Manufacturing sleeves; WPC Treatment-coated internals; Port Flow Design modified cylinder heads; Supertech valves, springs, and retainers; ARP head studs and hardware; Bisimoto/Web Cam level 2.4 camshafts; Bisimoto head gasket, oil cap, reservoir shocks and cat-back exhaust; Turbonetics BTX7265 turbocharger, RG45 wastegate and Godzilla blow-off valve; Spearco front-mount intercooler; Driftmotion aluminum intercooler tubing; Vibrant Performance Vanjen clamps and stainless-steel hardware; Burns Stainless muffler; Young Guns Performance exhaust coating; Deatschwerks 2,200 cc/min fuel injectors; MagnaFuel Products fuel pump; G&J steel-braided hose and AN plumbing; NGK iridium spark plugs; Odyssey PC950 battery; AEM Infinity 8 engine management system and boost control solenoid; PurOl Elite Series 5W-30 engine oil
Drivetrain 2008 TL Type S six-speed manual transmission conversion; Spec stage five clutch and aluminum flywheel; custom Bisimoto axles
Footwork & Chassis Air Ride Equipment airbag suspension
Wheels & Tires 20x9.5" fifteen52 Tarmac R40 wheels; 225/30R20 Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tires
Exterior Design scheme by Denmatic; Honda roof box; Rueda paint and body work
Interior Racepak IQ3 display dash; custom dash-mounted shifter; Bisimoto four-point roll-bar (powder-coated by RJ Coatings); Recaro baby seat and restraint; leather re-skin by SOS Upholstery