The recent hoopla surrounding Honda Performance Development's Civic Type R crate engine and controls package is certainly warranted. If you're not in the know, cross-platform engine swapping in the Honda aftermarket community is as common as blinker-less BMWs. Honda's modular powerplants have been plucked and repurposed in home garages around the globe since the late 80s but having the ability to order a crispy new Type R engine right from the manufacturer is something fairly new.
The Type R crate engine program was actually introduced a few years ago during the massive SEMA gathering but at that time, was only available to registered and active race teams. In addition, it left the end-user to figure out the wiring and opt for a stand-alone engine management system. This latest iteration makes available not only the complete engine with accessories, but also an HPD-tuned ECU, universal wiring harness and even a gas pedal with the proper drive-by-wire necessities. To help get the word out about crate engine program, HPD supplied 3 different tuner outfits with the complete package. One of those engines will end up in a CRX, another in an S2000, and in the case of Fifteen52, it's a 1996 Accord. Not a likely chassis as most would expect an older Civic or Integra, but this group wanted to do something unique and to drive that point home, they've even opted for a wagon!
Fifteen52, if you're not already aware, is a wheel brand based in Southern California. Started back in 1996, today the group offers a long list of performance cast and flow-formed wheels as well as off-road options for the truck and SUV crowd. You've certainly seen their wheels used by high profile builders like Bisimoto and wheel ace Ken Block on various builds. In February of this year, the group announced they'd be embarking on a Japanese Touring-inspired Accord wagon build dubbed "Project 96" in a collaborative effort with engine performance specialist Mountune USA (Mountune is also an official dealer for the HPD crate engine and upcoming controls package).
Long time Honda nerds are well aware that Honda's H-series and F20B (derived from the Japanese Accord and Torneo, not the similar sounding S2000 F20C) swaps have landed in Accords for years. With a JDM counterpart, the swap is relatively simple and an effective bump in power. This, however, will be the first-time that modern Type R muscle is applied to a mid-90s Accord.
Beyond the tasty Type R swap that was just recently bolted in place with Hasport engine mounts, the wagon is being prepped for competition with a full roll cage that runs throughout the cabin and even snakes between the dash and windshield area. Rolling stock, as you might expect, consists of Fifteen52's own Podium wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes RR radials, which meet DOT requirements but are intended as a track and auto-x competition tire. Just behind the Rally White wheels up front you'll likely spot the signature red Brembo calipers and much larger rotors all around.
The wagon is a work in progress but as of late, has been moving along quickly. Next up, according to Fifteen52, is a trip to Wrap Legends this Friday for a completely custom livery treatment. We're excited to see this unique build-up reach completion and even more excited to see it in action on the track!
Engine - K20C1
Cylinders - 4
Displacement - 2.0L
Power - 306hp @6,500 RPM
Torque - 295 lb-ft. of tq. from 2,500-4,500 RPM
Crate Engine Contents (available now)
K20C1 long block
Direct Injection Fuel System
Controls Package (available May 1st)
ECU developed and calibrated by HPD
Stand-alone engine harness with flying leads
Clutch and brake switches
CAN data output