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2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

From the ashes of a Super Taikyu race car, a time attack competitor rises

Aaron Bonk
Oct 11, 2012
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper
Htup 1201 01 o+2003 honda accord euro r+custom wide front fenders Photo 1/10   |   2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

5Zigen says that the giant boomerang-shaped wing planted on the hood of its 2003 Accord Euro-R time attack car is there for good reason. Coming from a company that’s been tuning and racing Hondas for nearly 25 years, taking its word for it suddenly isn’t such a bad idea. Still, wings seem to be finding themselves in all sorts of interesting places among race cars these days. World Racing’s fearless Scion tC and its Fwing (front wing) come to mind. The Osaka, Japan–based company’s logic is simple, though: The wing simply directs downforce above the front wheels, keeping its tires firmly planted during hard cornering. Makes sense.

Htup 1201 04 o+2003 honda accord euro r+custom piping Photo 2/10   |   2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

The folks at 5Zigen purchased its Euro-R nearly 10 years ago to take part in Japan’s Super Taikyu (Super Endurance) touring car series under Group N regulations. Following two seasons of Japanese endurance racing, the team retrofitted its Accord to time attack status, packaged it up, and shipped it off to North America to compete in the Super Lap Battle series. To date, 5Zigen’s Euro-R has seen four stages: its initial Super Taikyu version and three more iterations all built for time attack, one of which included a 2.4L, 14.2:1, normally aspirated engine featuring individual throttle bodies, and its latest, a 400-plus-horsepower, 2.0L, turbocharged mill complete with an updated aero package. In time attack garb, the 5Zigen crew’s gone on to secure multiple first-place finishes within the Super Lap Battle’s Unlimited FF class. But that’s no surprise; 5Zigen’s immersed itself in professional racing since shortly after its inception in 1987.

2019 Honda Accord
$23,720 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

Under the hood, 5Zigen makes use of an internally wastegated HKS GT-RS turbocharger mated to a stock-displacement K20A engine. HKS’s GT-RS features a ball-bearing center cartridge and an inconel turbine wheel for the ability to withstand the extreme temperatures and high endurance often associated with time attack racing. Toda components make up most of the internals and consist of camshafts, valvetrain, connecting rods, and the company’s own forged crankshaft. 5Zigen’s crew also elected to have the bulk of the engine’s internals WPC treated—another step toward ultimate durability. Controlling the 2.0L K series is a MoTeC M800 engine management system. A budget-minded engine program this most certainly is not. Although a no-nonsense race car, the extent of the Accord’s modifications are minimal. Öhlins Dual Flow Valve shocks and Swift springs sit behind a massive, four-wheel Brembo braking solution that brings a set of 5Zigen’s own 18-inch FN01R-C wheels to a halt when called upon.

Htup 1201 05 o+2003 honda accord euro r+custom carbon fiber headlight cover Photo 3/10   |   2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

Outside, 5Zigen’s time attack Accord has gone through multiple phases, its most recent of which includes a Spoon Sports front bumper and ducted hood upon which its “Devil Wing” rests along with side skirts and a rear bumper from fellow famed Japanese tuning company Mugen. Custom widened fenders also allow for ample clearance once the 245/40-18-inch Falkens are put in place.

The name “5Zigen” loosely translates to mean “five dimensions.” It’s served as the company’s motto for more than two decades, boding well for an organization that’s known for developing cutting-edge products and immersing itself in all forms of motorsports, including N1, JGTC, F3, Formula Nippon, and most recently, time attack. Following 5Zigen’s Euro-R’s two-year Super Taikyu stint, the Accord was stashed away for safekeeping and nearly forgotten about. Fortunately 5Zigen’s North American arm’s management had the foresight to request the company’s Euro-R for U.S. time attack duty. As such, and despite the team’s Formula Nippon efforts overseas, it was brought out of retirement and delivered Stateside along with one of the company’s top engineers.

Htup 1201 08 o+2003 honda accord euro r+battery box Photo 4/10   |   2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

When asked for advice for those looking to delve into their own time attack career, 5Zigen USA’s general manager, Tsuyoshi Inoue, simply says that “to race in Unlimited FF, more horses are needed to [compete] with Mr. Rado [World Racing].” From the mouth of the company that introduced the Devil Wing of the team that practically pioneered the front wing monstrosity, a more poignant statement there could not be.

Bolts & Washers

Custom air intake system
HKS GT-RS turbocharger
HKS Super SQV Racing blow-off valve
ARC air-to-air intercooler
Custom intercooler air duct
Custom intercooler piping
DC5 Integra throttle body
RBC intake manifold
Toda camshafts
Toda valves
Toda valvesprings
Toda piston rings
Toda connecting rods
Toda crankshaft
Toda oil pan
WPC engine treatment
5Zigen exhaust manifold
Custom downpipe
5Zigen SuperLap exhaust
5Zigen ProRacer oil catch can
Custom fuel rail
Toda 450cc/min. fuel injectors
Denso fuel filter
Bosch fuel pump
ATL fuel cell
Mugen radiator
Custom coolant reservoir
Setrab oil cooler
Earl’s AN fittings and lines
Custom aluminum radiator lines
Samco Sport silicone couplers
MoTeC M800 engine management
5Zigen ProRacer ECON
Odyssey battery
ATS limited-slip differential
Carbonetic clutch
Carbonetic flywheel

Htup 1201 03 o+2003 honda accord euro r+turbocharged K20 Photo 5/10   |   A turbocharged K20 with a long list of Toda internals pushes over 400 whp.

Öhlins Dual Flow Valve shocks
Swift springs

Htup 1201 07 o+2003 honda accord euro r+HKS super SQV racing blow off valve Photo 6/10   |   2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

Brembo 355mm rotors, front
Brembo 280mm rotors, rear
Brembo four-piston calipers, front
Brembo two-piston calipers, rear
Performance Friction pads, front
Endless pads, rear

Wheels & Tires
18x8.5 FN01R-C Hot Version, +38 offset
245/40-18 Falken

Spoon Sports front bumper
Spoon Sports hood
Mugen side skirts
Mugen rear bumper
5Zigen front Devil Wing
5Zigen rear spoiler
Custom wide front fenders
Custom carbon-fiber headlight covers

5Zigen rollcage
Bride bucket seat
Takata harness
MOMO steering wheel
5Zigen shift knob
Mugen digital display
FEV fire suppression system

Mr. Masaharu Kinoshita (5Zigen CEO)
5Zigen engineers and mechanics

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Aftermarket racing parts manufacturer

Htup 1201 06 o+2003 honda accord euro r+mugen rear bumper Photo 10/10   |   2003 Honda Accord Euro-R - Born Again

Favorite Site

Building Hondas
25 years

Dream Car
Accord Euro-R with 200 more hp

Inspiration For This Build
To participate in Super Taikyu series

Future builds
Time attack NSX

Accord Euro-R

Honda’s CL7 Accord Euro-R is to North American TSX fans what the Type R is to Civic and Integra followers. Sharing the same chassis as the first-generation TSX, and in no relation to U.S.-bound Accords, the Euro-R debuted in late 2002 and, in typical R fashion, featured premium versions of Honda’s already potent K-series engine and corresponding gearbox. Unlike larger-displacement U.S.-only TSXs, the Euro-R came equipped with a destroked, higher-revving 220hp K20A and a closer-ratio, six-speed gearbox. Inside, the Euro-R was fitted from the factory with Recaro seats, a MOMO steering wheel, and the sorts of accouterments you’d normally expect from Honda’s Type R lineage. Outside, Euro-R-specific bumper covers sit at each end along with special side skirts and a rebadged grille that help differentiate the Euro-R from everything else. Interestingly enough, and despite the Euro designation, the model was only available in Japan.


Carson, CA 90746
Falken Tire
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WPC Treatment
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By Aaron Bonk
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