So are we having fun yet? Is it just me, or is it far too easy to get so wrapped up in whatever it is youre doing that the fun (or any appearance of it) is quickly sucked out of it? The quest for power, or to beat the next guy at the strip, can lead to all kinds of trouble. Bad attitudes. Obsessing. Single-mindedness. Lots of posing and hard-guy fronting. Crossed arms, looking tough, traveling in posses. When did hopping up your car get so serious? What the hell happened to just plain old having a good time? Playing with cars, going fast, making something better with your own two hands, monkeying around with your buds its supposed to be fun. Maybe its just something about the triangulation of guys, cars, and macho posturing that brings this ridiculousness to the forefront, but unless theres some bizarre masochistic angle involved, it doesnt really look like theres a lot of fun, per se.
So, leave it to a lady to take a pin to the balloon of poseur artifice and pop it flat. Kitty Chan at AutoLink Motorsports has taken a CR-Vthat lowly, slightly knobbly-kneed-looking trucklet thats really more of a tall station wagon than a serious off-roader (call it a soft-roader)and tricked it out to such an extent that, despite not changing or altering a single bodyline, it barely looks like a CR-V. Unsurprisingly, a hot CR-V is not an idea that has been pursued much by our nations aftermarket tweakers, despite any number of mechanical bits that interchange with Hondas new and old, and despite the growing number of these little cubes moving along our nations interstate arteries. Frankly, after seeing this one, were at a bit of a loss as to why: hopping up trucks has been a car-culture mainstay for years, and hopping up Hondas is where everyones head seems to be at right now. Kittys CR-V combines both worlds. As popular as these little runabouts are, wed expect to see more of them slammed, tweaked, and worked into a lather. Imagine the stereo you can fit in the back
Kittys ride, in particular, is a smooth enough execution to make you wonder why Honda doesnt scheme up one of its own. A VTEC CR-V? A CR-V GS-R? The factory could have a field day. Sell one for under $25K, with 16- or 17-inch wheels and VTEC under the hood and I bet youd get a whole generation of families who cant stomach minivans hopping into one of these. Kitty calls hers a Honda CR-VTEC all of the stock CR-Vs tall-and-narrow visuals disappear when slammed and shod with a set of 18-inch RH CP8s; suddenly a sedate design looks rather aggressive.
No, the CR-V isnt about to turn a 10-second quarter-mile. It gets scooting just fine, though, thanks to the Integra GS-R head, GReddy turbo kit, and some custom fabrication. Pizza pie-sized brake rotors and a rear sway bar contribute to stopping and cornering abilities that are more NSX than CR-V. (Alphabet soup, anyone?) Inside theres all of the necessary gauges plus waterproof seat covers, all the better when returning from the beach, and easy to clean. A nice touch.
Ultimately, however, all-out speed is not its purpose. Instead, its a clever combination of aftermarket and factory parts in an unexpected box. This is the genesis of hot rodding: not just buying parts and slapping them on, but taking parts from disparate sources (factory and aftermarket both) and making them work together for a faster, more stylish whole. It could even spawn a style revolution. Who knows? At this point, Kittys CR-V unquestionably stands out in a sea of anonymous Civics. Its fun. Kittys smiling every mile of the drive. We would be too.