Earlier This Year, We Attended A Private Track Day With Dali Racing And A Group Of Hardcore Nsx Owners In Nevada. Joined By A Few Close Friends And Their Track-Prepped Civics, We Were Literally Surrounded By An Army Of Honda's Elite Rwd Dream Machines. Some Were Mildly Tuned, While Others Were Built And Boosted Monsters. If You've Never Witnessed A Boosted Nsx Tearing Up The Tarmac As It Slides From Corner To Corner Like An Angry Rattlesnake, You May Want To Add That To Your To-Do List. The Lethal Combination Of World-Class Handling Combined With Silky Smooth Supercharged Finesse Is Simply Intoxicating.
Alex Vizcarra of Rowland Heights, Calif., also attended that Nevada track event and although we didn't get a chance to meet him in person that day, you can bet we had to sneak a peek at what we feel is one of the cleanest and most aggressive looking NSX builds we've ever come across. The funny thing is, though it attacked the road course with ferocity throughout the morning, the outward appearance is one that would undoubtedly grant Alex a few trophies at any local SoCal car show. Showroom fresh shine with a ferocious bite? That seemed like a shoe-in for a cover car.
You may be asking yourself where all the exquisite aero enhancements come from. After all, you can't just visit your local Kragen or Pep Boy's and pick up some GruppeM aero parts for your NSX. However, when you're good friends with Mr. Mamoru Ogose of GruppeM Japan, you've got a bit of an edge and the possibilities are just a phone call away. To dress his project in the appropriate armor, Alex ordered a grocery list of GruppeM exterior upgrades through Ogose including a half cowl spoiler, Kevlar front splitter, fender flares, side skirts, carbon-fiber side ducts, aero mirrors, GT rear wing and a rear hatch carbon-fiber scoop ('00 version). To drop a few pounds out back, a Mugen lightweight Lexan engine hatch replaces the factory unit. The icing on the cake comes by way of custom HID headlights and a Euro trim package that includes a Honda front badge, taillights with foglight and center panel garnish.
Adding to the slick exterior in street trim is a set of 17x8.5 front, 18x10.5 rear gunmetal Volk Racing TE37 wheels shod in Falken street rubber. When track day rolls around, 17x8 front, 17x9.5 rear Technomagnesio super lightweight magnesium wheels currently wrapped in Hankook Ventus RSS Z211 medium compound tires are called for duty. Bringing the wild horses to a screeching halt are 13-inch Brembo cross-drilled rotors and four piston calipers with custom cooling ducts at all four corners. Tilton brake proportioning valves were also employed for additional control.
Well-known for its incredible handling, suspension upgrades for the NSX must be chosen carefully. A custom mix and match of components can sometimes be the key to creating a winning combo. Alex selected JRZ triple adjustable aluminum shocks with external canisters to accept Eibach's ERS race springs with tender/helper springs, adjustable sway bars and drop links, an NSX-R front chassis brace and rear chassis stabilizer bar.
If you've been mentally adding up the dollar amounts to go with all of the upgrades so far, you better break out that trusty calculator. Under the hood, no expense was spared in bringing the very best to this stateside supercar's powerplant. The fully balanced and blueprinted engine receives a massive gust of wind as the GruppeM supercharger draws air from the GruppeM air filter and oversized factory throttle body, connected to an Extrude Hone intake manifold. Dali Racing was called upon to create a custom water-to-air intercooler system and a set of custom solid motor mounts. RM Racing/B&B provided the exhaust manifold to assist the GruppeM version three titanium exhaust system in moving exhaust gases more efficiently, while Comptech adjustable cam gears allow some additional fine-tuning. To cool down, a large capacity aluminum radiator with integrated oil cooler/heat exchanger and remote mounted oil filter were added up front. Overseeing all of the mid-engine action is an AEM management system utilizing wide band 02 sensors. To get the power to the ground, an OS Giken race clutch and flywheel joined by an OS Giken LSD and 4.44:1 ring and pinion set made a home in the JDM (short gear) tranny.
Alex built the cabin to mirror that of the exterior, with an emphasis on functionality using only high quality parts. Bright red Recaro pole position seats with Sabelt six-point harnesses mounted to a Dali Racing harness add safety and increase driver confidence. A Momo Formula steering wheel with Mugen steering boss and NSX-R shifter were added for feel, while a Halon fire extinguisher was mounted for additional safety. In the carbon-fiber enhanced center console, you'll find a Euro head unit and climate control unit just under the JDM navigation pod and rear view camera system. To monitor the vitals, a GruppeM boost gauge was included, as was an instrument cluster from the Euro market.
HT: Is this your first Honda race project or have there been others?Alex: This is my first, though I've been fiddling with cars all my life. I don't think I've ever left a personal driver of mine stock, however they were mostly street cars. The NSX is pretty much what has given me the racing bug.
HT: At this time, is this strictly a track car or does it see some street time as well?Alex: It's still streetable, but just barely. It's a track car 95 percent of the time, not comfortable enough to drive on the street regularly. If I softened the suspension, replaced the brake pads for something a little less aggressive (that wouldn't squeal loud enough to make bystanders cringe) and changed the exhaust to something quieter, then yes, it would still make for an awesome street machine.
HT: What exactly is your relationship with GruppeM Japan?Alex: Mr. Mamoru Ogose, the owner of GruppeM Japan, is a very good friend of mine. We met in Japan during the mid-'90s and found that we had similar personalities and the same meticulous attention to detail. We agreed on the philosophy that NSX parts (or any high-end aftermarket parts for that matter) should be of very high quality and engineering. Ever since then I have helped him introduce his products in the U.S. and establish his name and image. I carry his line of NSX products in the U.S. exclusively through my company AV Motorsport (avmotorsport.com). It is decidedly a low volume company, given the premium pricing of the products, as well as the limited numbers of the automobile itself. If there's anyone interested in GruppeM products they're available and I have most of them installed and track tested on my "rolling catalog" if you will. Most of the GruppeM products consist of carbon-fiber intake systems and exhausts, for high-end automobiles and exotics. I purchased a Ferrari 355 with hopes that I might be able to extend my product line.
HT: You obviously have a sincere love for the NSX. In your opinion, what's the best aspect of any NSX on the track?Alex: Being a founding member and past president of the NSX Club of America, yes my love for the NSX is quite intense. The car is very special and actually opened doors for me, giving me an excuse to travel around the world and meet tons of extremely nice and interesting people. Driving at world-class and historic racetracks like Suzuka, Spa-Francorchamps and the Nurburgring, in NSXs no less, are experiences I will treasure for the rest of my life. Let's face it; on the track the NSX is probably not the fastest out there right now, especially with the introduction of super sedans such as the EVO and WRX STi. At almost twice the price, the NSX is hardly a bargain even during its day. But it was cutting-edge technology in the early '90s that forced all the major sports car manufacturers to wake up and play catch-up. It was a benchmark and I think it still is.
HT: This car is fully loaded inside and out. What, if any, are your planned changes for its future?Alex: I've gotten the car pretty much where I want it to be. The only thing I am planning in the near future is the installation of an AiM data logging dash display with track analysis capabilities so I can analyze my driving in the hopes of improving it. I am also constantly thinking of ways to lighten the car, without making it look trashed. Gutting the interior would be a last resort.
Bolts & Washers
Alex Vizcarra's 1993 NSX
Alex Vizcarra's balanced and blueprinted V-6 gets a big boost thanks to GruppeM's supercharger kit and intake system combined with an enlarged OEM throttle body, Extrude Hone intake manifold and Cantrell Concepts carbon-fiber ram intake. The exhaust route is much smoother with an RM Racing/B&B exhaust manifold and GruppeM titanium exhaust (version three) system. Cooling is handled by a Dali Racing custom built water-to-air intercooler system and large capacity radiator with integrated oil cooler/heat exchanger. A large capacity oil sump with internal baffles by Axel Japan and Comptech billet high-flow oil pump make sure the mill never runs dry. RC Engineering injectors quench the superchargers thirst, after orders are barked by the AEM management system. Finishing touches to the bay include a set of Comptech adjustable cam gears, DC Sports carbon-fiber strut brace, Hose Techniques red silicone hose kit and GruppeM carbon Kevlar engine cover trim. A JDM NSX short gear transmission was first imported then stuffed with OS Giken's race clutch, flywheel and LSD with 4.44:1 ring and pinion kit.
JRZ triple adjustable aluminum shocks with Eibach ERS race springs set the pace, with adjustable sway bars and sway bar drop links, non-compliance rear toe links, Comptech non-compliance rear beam, NSX-R front chassis brace, rear chassis stabilizer bar and Comptech non-compliance suspension brace give this Honda flagship a deadly handling arsenal.
Rims & Rubber
Brembo's big 13-inch cross-drilled rotors and four piston calipers (Porterfield R-4S brake pads for street, R-4 for race) sit behind 17x8.5 front, 18x10.5 rear Volk Racing TE37 wheels with Falken tires for the street and feather light 17x8 front, 17x9.5 rear Technomagnesio magnesium wrapped in Hankook Ventus RSS Z211 medium compound track tires. Custom Tilton brake proportioning valves add the final touch.
Exterior:Dubbed the "catalog car" for the track, you simply won't find another NSX on U.S. soil lathered in as much GruppeM flavor as Alex Vizcarra's. GruppeM upgrades include: carbon-fiber vented hood, carbon-fiber radiator duct (to direct radiator air through the vent on the hood and reduce front end lift), half cowl spoiler with Kevlar aero splitter, rear hatch carbon-fiber scoop, fender flares, side skirts, rear valence, carbon-fiber side ducts, electronic side mirrors and GT rear wing. Additional mods consist of a Mugen lightweight Lexan engine hatch, custom HID headlights and Euro market taillights with foglight, center garnish and "H" badge. To protect his investment, Alex installed a 3M clear bra on all leading edges.
Interior:Recaro Pole Position seats with Sabelt harnesses secured by a Dali Racing harness bar keep the pilot planted as he grips the Momo Formula steering wheel (Mugen hub) and NSX-R shifter while keeping an eye on the GruppeM boost gauge and EDM gauge cluster. A JDM NSX navigation pod was wired up, as was the built-in hot lap timer. EDM NSX console switches, metric climate control unit and head unit prove that this owner knows the devils are in the details. A Halon fire extinguisher mounted to the passenger floor adds an extra layer of safety in case of an emergency.
My very good friend Mamoru Ogose of GruppeM Japan, for making aftermarket parts for the NSX with truly exceptional quality and for his continued support. Jon Martin, Service Manager at Cerritos Acura and NSX tech extraordinaire. Mark Johnson of Dali Racing. Carlos Granados of Stuttgart Racing in Walnut, Calif., for the custom installs, fabrication and racing technology. Mike Greenwood of Frank's Auto Body in Huntington Beach, Calif., for the awesome paintwork.