This past summer, the staff of Honda Tuning magazine was asked to serve on the judging panel for the television series "Street Tuner Challenge," a program on our favorite network, the Speed Channel. The show documents the construction of three "tuner" vehicles by three different builders, and then pits those rides against one another in a variety of race and show disciplines. For the 13 episodes airing in this second season, "STC" will be following ABD Racing's VW GTI project, Sony and Syndicate's Ford Mustang V6, and Skunk2 Racing's Honda Fit.
With this last entry in the mix, how could we possibly say no to the offer?
So in the heat of SoCal July, we schlepped it to Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, Calif., to take part in the on-camera assessing. We were greeted by members of the production company, Doc Charles with the S2 boys, and a smattering of what appeared to be other automotive journalists. Our task that particular afternoon would be to determine how the customized whips stacked up against one another in terms of cosmetics and function, both exterior and interior. Unfortunately, we don't know the final outcome of the show, because that info has been embargoed until the final episode airs. What's worse, this issue won't be out until after the episode has aired for the last time, which is in early October according to Speed's program schedule, so we can't even tell you to check your local listings. Long story short, if you're lucky, you caught the programs when they first ran and you already know the score. If you're not, the best advice we can give is to check out the Speed website.
Bolts & washers
Skunk2 Racing's 2007 Fit
Skunk2 has made a name for itself building over-the-top project vehicles, so we knew the little Fit was in for a shake up. In the engine bay, the 1.5-liter L-series motor has been ripped apart and put back together with a polished crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, and Wiseco pistons in the bottom end. The rotating assembly was reinforced in preparation for the Skunk turbo system, which consists of a manifold, downpipe, custom PWR intercooler, and an Innovative Turbo Systems snail and wastegate. The Skunk team also ported the head, bolted on one of its throttle bodies, and attached an S2 stainless Mega Power exhaust to the Magnaflow Hi-Flow cat. Fuel is provided by a foursome of RC Engineering injectors, while an MSD ignition and NGK Iridium plugs give up the spark. A Hondata ECU program regulates the combustion events.
Crank power is transferred from a custom ACT flywheel to a custom clutch, spinning the stock 5-speed gearbox. Torque then transmits out of a Quaife LSD to a pair of Driveshaft Shop custom high-performance level 5 axles.
Skunk2 dropped the subcompact with its coilovers, and then did some lightening and strengthening of the chassis, employing a harness bar for lateral support among other measures.
Brembo 4-piston front calipers grab onto 12-inch 2-piece GT slotted rotors. Brembo discs are out back, too, and all four calipers get fluid via Brembo stainless lines.
Rims & Rubber
Volk Racing GT-7 18x7.5 rims in gunmetal don BFGoodrich g-Force Sport 215/35 ZR18 radials and are secured to the hubs via Skunk2 lightweight alloy lug nuts.
Outside:Auto Werks ironed out the body mods on the Fit, including creating and implementing the custom widebody fenders, and sprayed it in House of Kolor paint. Vinyl Mayhem came up with custom graphics.
Inside:Form N Function Car Audio handled the cabin embellishments, including mounting the RaceTech brackets, seats, and harnesses, and using RaceTech material to match the rear seat and door panel upholstery. FNF also did up the headliner in suede and installed the RacePak UltraDash Extreme gauge cluster and Skunk shift knob.
With its choice of Sony Xplod gear, Form N Function created an elaborate system without making it too obtrusive. Highlights include a 10-inch sub, a trio of amps, 3 pairs of speakers, 2 source units, a TV tuner, navigation unit, 3 video monitors, and a CD changer. We'd say that covers all the bases.