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Honda Civic Hatchback - Editorial


Sep 1, 2009
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First Major Challenge...
Ever since I first stepped foot into Honda waters, I found myself bombarded by options. In fact, I'd say I was pretty much spoiled. Aftermarket support for the various Hondas I've owned has been nothing short of amazing. Civic hatchback, CRX, EH chassis, they all had an abundance of options, whether it be power, appearance, or suspension related. Of course there weren't quite as many manufacturers in the early '90s, yet there was enough activity to keep my savings account in the red. When the B series/VTEC phenomenon finally struck the U.S. with the introduction of the GS-R, things momentarily slowed down. There were plenty of exhaust, header, and intake options available, but anything beyond that was thought to be a waste of money. "These engines will never make any more power than the simple bolt-ons. Cams won't work, and you can't boost a high compression motor" they would scream. But after the initial fear wore off, and envelope pushers got their hands dirty, our industry once again began to blossom, with new upgrades popping up almost weekly. Quiet were the naysayers once cam makers unveiled their newest offerings. Bolt-on turbo and supercharger kits were being produced in mass quantities. Realistically, once the initial B series fears were put to rest, we didn't see another major roadblock for a number of years.

The Next Hurdle...
The K motor presented an interesting dilemma. First off, it wasn't widely accepted as the next in line replacement for the B series motor. The fact that our first taste of Special K was presented in the form of an EP or RSX chassis meant that not very many enthusiasts would even want a sample. Many strayed away from these cars due to their abandonment of somewhat traditional Honda lines, as well as their hefty curb weights. The two liter blocks and six-speed trannys did cause a flutter in the hearts of those who had dreamed of more torque and less angry bee buzz on their local freeways. Again, the fear of a completely new power plant scared off aftermarket support in the beginning, though they warmed up to the idea once the explosion of swaps started hitting both coasts. Now we've got wall-to-wall parts ready and available at every turn.

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New Guys Showing Some Signs Of Aging...
So here we are in 2009, and over the past ten years, the majority of hardcore Honda fans have relied almost exclusively on the older models for their builds. It's no secret that '89-'00 represents the hay-day of our favorite automaker's offerings. However, the RSX and S2000 have seen a decrease in sticker price due to their age, and they're finally getting a bit more recognition by those looking to build something newer. As always, with increased popularity comes more aftermarket support (If the Accord and Prelude owners reading this are wondering why I've left them out of the mix, read my last sentence over again).

The Next Wave Of Transition...
This brings us to my current dilemma; our '09 Project Fit. This is a car that many felt would make a huge impact on the tuning market. Small, light, nimble, and begging for upgrades, it was almost like a throwback to the early model Civics. Though it didn't send enthusiasts running for their local dealership, it did find acceptance by the masses. However, the '09 model hit a growth spurt and consequently negated any possible carryover from the previous generation. Shock tower bars, intakes, lips and spoilers weren't interchangeable and once again, the ball stopped rolling. This came as no surprise to some of us; we've seen the process of "introduce and wait" occur every time a major change takes place. Meanwhile, we get quite a few emails complaining about the lack of available parts for the newer model cars. Hey, I hear you; I'm in the same boat. I'm waiting around impatiently for someone to introduce something beyond a reservoir cover or HID "style" bulbs so that we can personalize our little Project Fit. I searched high and low and interestingly enough, found that the small independent business owners are the ones doing their best to cater to the '09 model.

Yeah, But What Can I Do?
Like any industry, if the consumer speaks up, the parts manufacturers might just listen a little closer. Let your favorite company know that you're willing to fork over a little dough if they'd just develop a few parts for your chassis of choice. If enough people show an interest in a particular mod, we might just see some results.

By Rodrez
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