Ichishima-san of Spoon Sports doesn’t seem so fussed. He’s confident Honda is at a crossroads right now and knows that whatever performance cars it will come up with in the future will continue on from where its greatest creations have left off. If you haven’t heard yet, for the best part of a year now the modern legend that was the FD2 Civic Type R has been out of production. It was a bold move by Honda Japan, but as they say even good things must come to an end. But it isn’t over quite yet. You see at the same time that the FD2 was axed in Japan, the European version of the Civic Type R, the FN2, was also given an unexpected salute, as the K20 powering it would not meet the strict Euro V emission standards that came into effect this year. This left Honda Europe with quite a few unsold cars still being built at its plant in Britain, just enough cars to make up a limited-edition run for the Japanese market—which is exactly how the Civic Type R “Euro” you see in these pictures came to be.
Well, OK, so the actual car pictured isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill FN2—this particular ride is Spoon Sports’ own demo car. We borrowed the Civic for a day and headed right for the twisty roads of Mount Tsukuba, not too far from the legendary track that shares the same name. If you spend enough time in Japan, it will become pretty obvious that the Japanese love limited-edition things. Standing out from norm is something that gives you instant cred, and just as Honda imagined, the FN2 has been doing pretty well. The initial run was supposed to be 1,500 cars, but we suspect it has sold quite a lot more, as they are becoming quite common on the roads of the capital. So there was no way Spoon was going to pass up the chance to create some cool new parts for this Euro-R.
Spoon’s demo car shares the same no-nonsense style of tuning the company is becoming famous for, where basically anything that doesn’t need to be altered in the pursuit of performance isn’t. The exterior is the perfect example, with only a lightweight carbon-fiber hood fitted to help shave precious weight off the front end. To add a touch of contrast to the white body, the whole lower trim section of the bumpers, side skirts and even fenders were painted in light silver, the same hue used for the new Spoon Sports aero mirrors which feature an integrated strip of orange LEDs. While a true dry-carbon roof would have been a very costly modification, some carbon-effect 3M vinyl achieves almost the same look as the real thing, at a fraction of the cost. Gone are the stock Type R wheels, replaced with 17-inch forged Volk Racing RE30s up front, and Prodrive GC-010G in the rear for a very time attack–inspired look. Tires of choice are Bridgestone Potenza RE-11s, some of the best and stickiest street radials currently available in Japan. Stance is, of course, extremely important, and Ichishima really got the look of the car spot-on with a very evident drop brought about by Spoon adjustable race dampers. These are adjusted for setting blistering laps on the track and have been dialed in with some pretty stiff bound and rebound settings. Peeking through the RE30’s spokes is the instantly recognizable blue color of Spoon’s very own mono-block calipers, fitted up front along with two-piece slotted discs.
Lifting the paper-thin carbon hood reveals the kind of engine bay we have all come to expect from Spoon. Don’t let the stock look fool you, this K20 was taken completely apart, the whole bottom end finely balanced and put together with much finer tolerances. The head was subjected to precise porting and polishing to allow more air to enter the cylinders in a more efficient manner while aggressively profiled Spoon cams help make the most of these changes, allowing the motor to churn out 250hp with the sort of blistering response one would find in a race car. The N1 exhaust system, which includes a stainless steel header, intensifies the concoction of sounds that the K20 develops throughout its rev range, while the intake side benefits from a bigger-diameter throttle and free-flowing panel filter. The whole thing is governed by a custom-mapped Spoon ECU. To really intensify the driving experience, the stock transmission has been replaced with a Spoon close-ratio gearset which turned the FN2 into a true rocket for the tight mountain corners we blasted through. A tight Spoon 1.5-way LSD makes sure every smidgen of twist is transferred to the ground, helping shoot out of even the most demanding of turns, in both wet and dry conditions.
Simplicity is the name of the game in the interior, and Spoon bucket seats help give a more focused ambience. Obligatory Takata harnesses keep occupants tightly strapped in, while the driver has the pleasure of interfacing with the car through the chunky Spoon steering wheel and stock titanium shift knob.
Ichishima has once again proven why his tuning philosophy is so appealing, concentrating on the parts that really make a difference in enhancing the whole driving experience. Sad thing is, we’ve come to the very end of the current Type R generation, and only time will tell what exactly will follow next. Ichishima remains confident that Honda won’t forget its roots, and exactly what enthusiasts crave.
Bolts & Washers
Spoon complete engine
Fully balanced pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft
Spoon ported and polished head
Spoon exhaust manifold
Spoon full N1 exhaust system
Spoon big-diameter intake throttle
Spoon billet oil cap
Spoon radiator cap
Spoon yellow engine cover
Spoon Kevlar plug cover
Spoon lightweight battery
Spoon clutch kit
Spoon lightweight flywheel
Spoon close-ratio transmission
Spoon 1.5-way LSD
Spoon adjustable race suspension
Spoon rigid collars fitted to front/rear subframe
Spoon 4-pot mono-block front calipers
Spoon 15-inch front discs
Spoon brake pads
Wheels and Tires
Volk Racing RE30, 17x8 front, Prodrive GC-010G 17x8 rear
Bridgestone RE-11 225/45-17 front and rear
Spoon carbon bonnet
Spoon aero mirrors with LED turn signals
Carbon vinyl roof
Painted silver lower section of front bumper, side skirts and rear bumper
Spoon carbon-Kevlar lightweight bucket seats
Takata racing harnesses
Spoon steering wheel