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2007 Honda Fit Sport - A Perfect Fit

Turning The Subcompact Into A Performer

Rodrez
Jan 14, 2010
Photographer: Henry Z. De Kuyper

Calvin Chan's '07 Fit Sport
Honda has a clever way of keeping pace with consumer wants and needs. During the 1970s U.S. oil crisis, as gas prices increased and oversized gas guzzlers ruled the road, the need for a compact market became obvious. Honda answered with its first-generation Civic and changed the way Japanese cars were viewed. With an emphasis on efficiency, reliability, and value, Honda developed a loyal following that's carried over to this day.

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In 2001, Honda unveiled the Fit/Jazz in Japan and Europe, but it didn't find its way to U.S. dealerships until late 2006. Once again, Honda seemed to strike at just the right time as gas prices had taken flight and Americans were itching for relief at the pump. The Fit walks the fine line between the familiar Civic and a "mini-me" version of Honda's Odyssey minivan. The gas-sipping subcompact body doesn't quite dip into that weird micro Kei car look, but it does flirt with it. Like most Hondas, its outward appearance is somewhat deceiving as interior space is abundant, despite the exterior's pint-sized people-mover persona.

For the most part, Honda enthusiasts welcomed the Fit with open arms, but beyond the usual wheel and suspension combos, there really wasn't much going on in terms of customizing. With power output right around 90 whp, many didn't bother emptying their wallets for bolt-on power that'd be lucky to net another 15 or 20 hp. Companies like HKS, T1R (Type One Racing), and Kraftwerks soon responded with boosted options for those willing to pay for it, but land speed records and dyno-breaking promises were not made. Until the K swap became routine, boost was indeed the only option that would land the Fit in competitive territory.

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Calvin Chan's been a Fit fan since the day it arrived on Canadian soil. Employed by A&J Racing at the time, Calvin saw hidden potential in the then unlikely platform and decided to be among the first to step out of his comfort zone and take one on. With a history of building more aftermarket friendly cars like his previous EK, Calvin decided to roll the dice and concentrate on building the ultimate Fit. "Everyone around me was driving AP1s, AP2s and DC2s, I just wanted something new and different. And I really wanted a four-door so the Fit seemed like good idea," Calvin says. Give Calvin's Fit a once over and you might not notice the subtle face lift that took place early on. The front end, side mirrors, and side skirts are borrowed from its Japanese counterpart and offer just enough change to separate his GD3 from the crowd but without overdoing it. The Fit's handling and nosebleed ride height were both addressed right from the beginning. With a mindset to consistently hit weekend track days, Calvin wasted no time in sourcing a set of T1R Max B dampers loaded with Swift springs. In fact, T1R fills most of Calvin's spec list with goods from its catalog sprinkled throughout his build.

The issue of power, or lack thereof, is a major one. The Fit isn't a screamer and it is in no position to impress with its dyno numbers. The little L15A at times has trouble getting the Fit out of its own way, which can translate into pure frustration on a road course, especially when running with the elite bunch at A&J Racing. The crew is legendary for its track days. Being left in the dust is never fun. Once again, T1R was the savior, this time with its Type S turbo kit. The kit includes every possible piece to the puzzle and is a complete bolt-on offering that brings power up to a respectable 145 whp. It's just the right amount of power to give the Fit a much-needed kick in the pants, while remaining reliable and streetable. Calvin assures us, "My setup is similar to the A&J Racing Time Attack Fit. I daily drive the car but I've tracked it numerous times without any issues. It's really the perfect setup for doing both and having fun with it." Though Calvin remains happy with the outcome and enjoys his masterpiece, he did mention that he prefers the natural route. "I really feel like Hondas are better when they're all-motor. Don't get me wrong, turbo power is great, but I'm just more suited to driving naturally aspirated cars, and I think Hondas belong in that class." Calvin plans to sell the Fit soon and move on to a new project. The fact that it took just three short months for him to complete the car means that we probably won't have to wait very long to see what he comes up with next.

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Bolts & Washers

Propulsion:
T1R Type S turbo kit
T1R intercooler and piping
Alex engine mounts
T1R Hyper silicone hoses
RC Engineering 310cc fuel injectors
T1R fittings and lines
J's Racing throttle body
HKS SSQV blow-off valve
T1R downpipe
TiAL 44mm wastegate
T1R ignition booster
T1R quick shifter
T1R/Exedy clutch
Fidanza flywheel
Spoon Sports LSD
T1R close-ratio gears (3,4,5)

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Stance:
T1R Max B dampers
Swift springs
T1R front antiroll bar
T1R alignment kit
T1R lower control arms
Custom C-pillar bar
T1R shock tower bars

Resistance:
T1R 2-piece, 335mm rotors
T1R 4-piston calipers
Motul 5.1 fluid
T1R steel braided lines
T1R rear disc conversion

Rims & Rubber:
17x7.5 Volk RE30 (+43 offset)
205/40-17 Nitto NT01

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Outside:
JDM side mirrors
JDM front end conversion
JDM side sills
Mugen rear tailgate garnish
J's Racing front lip
J's Racing grille
Spoon Sports carbon-fiber spoiler

Inside:
Spoon Sports seats
Momo steering wheel
Mugen shift boot
Mugen pedals
T1R titanium shift knob
GReddy Profec B boost controller
GReddy e-Manage Ultimate
T1R gauge pod
K's oil and water temp. and boost gauges
GReddy turbo timer

Props:
All who've helped Ben Leung and Fire Yung at A&J
Racing Jacob Ung at litzgear J's Racing North America
T1R North America

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Owner Specs

Hometown:
Vancouver, British Columbia

Daily Grind:
Blitzgear Graphic Works

Favorite Website:
www.hockeybuzz.com

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Building Cars For How Long:
7 years

Favorite Kicks:
Nike

Dream Car:
Aston Martin DBS

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Build Inspiration:
Fame

Can't Miss TV:
24

Fit Hybrid
Honda's Fit managed to make its mark with U.S. consumers after just a few short years of availability. Many encountered trouble purchasing the car at their local dealerships due to backorder congestion. With so much success, rumors soon began circulating about a possible hybrid-powered Fit that would coincide with the newly redesigned '09 model. Some chalked it up as Internet hearsay, while others were adamant that Honda was indeed working on the design. Months before the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda announced that the hybrid model would in fact be put into production sometime in 2010. The newer model will feature a different grille and taillights with subtle fender flares, and possibly a panoramic sunroof for deluxe models. No official word on the expected MPG but it had better be good. Conservative drivers are already yielding upwards of 40 mpg on current gasoline-fed models.

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Sources

A&J Racing
Richmond, BC. Canada V6V 0A4, CA
604-279-0329
http://www.aj-racing.com
GReddy Performance Products
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
Fidanza
Perry, OH 44081
440-259-5656
http://www.fidanza.com
By Rodrez
626 Articles

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