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Honda OSM Concept - News

Tony O'Kane
Dec 17, 2008 SHARE
Turp_0812_01_z+honda_osm_concept+vq35hr_engine Photo 1/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

VQ35HR-Equipped Zs And Gs Get Some Tuning Love
While its symmetrical inlet manifold and redesigned internals endow the VQ35HR with enviable amounts of power and strength, the enormous amount of revisions made to the basic design of the VQ35 were enough to effectively make the VQ35HR a completely different engine. That means most aftermarket parts designed for the venerable VQ35DE won't have a chance in hell of bolting up to the VQ35HR's castings, limiting the choices available for modifiers. Sure, there's the GReddy's turbo kit and HKS's GT supercharger currently available, but what about those who (for some inexplicable reason) want to stick with good ol' naturally aspirated power?

Turp_0812_02_z+honda_osm_concept+greddy_easy_camshafts Photo 2/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

For those people, GReddy and Impul have come to the rescue with GReddy releasing a more aggressive camshaft set and Impul announcing its new tuned-length exhaust manifold for the VQ35HR.

GReddy's Easy camshafts feature 264-degree duration on the inlet and exhaust, while lift for both sides is 11mm. Impul's VQ35HR headers are made out of stainless steel and retain the O2 sensor mounting bosses, so you'll stay compliant with emissions regulations. They ain't cheap though, and you'll need to shell out some serious Yen -approximately 207,900-to get your hands on a set. The GReddy cams will set you back a relatively cheap 132,300, and are compatible with the VQ35HR's variable cam timing system.

Turp_0812_03_z+honda_osm_concept+hyundai_genesis_coupe Photo 3/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

Hyundai Tunes The Genesis Coupe
Up until recently, if you wanted to modify a cheap, turbocharged rear-wheel-drive coupe, you invariably would've used a Japanese car like the Nissan's 240SX as your starting point. With the introduction of Hyundai's Genesis coupe that's all changed because the low-cost Korean has opened up new avenues for modification on the cheap.

Hyundai knows this, and decided to bring along a few examples of its newest sports offering to SEMA to illustrate this fact. Tuned by Rhys Millen Racing (RMR), the souped-up "Art of Speed" Genesis coupe rocks a 2.0L engine with an RMR-designed turbo kit hanging off the side. A heavy-duty HKS sequential gearbox swaps the cogs, while K&W coilovers keep the Genesis coupe off the deck. Brembo braking hardware and Bridgestone Potenza RE-01 tires keep the coupe out of the weeds.

It's a promising sign that Korea's manufacturers are taking the performance aftermarket seriously. Gone are the days of neon-equipped Tiburons and GT-winged Excels, and if the "Art of Speed" Genesis coupe is anything to go by, having a modded Korean car will no longer be something to be ashamed of.

Turp_0812_04_z+honda_osm_concept+front_view Photo 4/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

WRX To Get Power Hike For 2009
After a shaky start to sales of its new GH-chassis WRX, Subaru decided to up the ante by applying a number of aesthetic and mechanical improvements to the WRX hatch and sedan for the '09 model year.

Thankfully, that silly chromed egg crate of a grille has been tossed into the dumpster and replaced with a much less embarrassing STI-style mesh grille. A front and rear under-spoiler and a pair of side skirts add some beef to the WRX's image, while the hatchback now gets an STI-ish tailgate wing and the chrome center strip deleted.

Turp_0812_05_z+honda_osm_concept+engine_bay Photo 5/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

Power is up by 42 hp to 266 hp, while torque has also increased by 18 lb-ft thanks to a bigger turbo, low-restriction catalytic converter, and larger-diameter exhaust plumbing. Handling has also been improved, with the WRX receiving the STI's upper-strut mounts on the front and thicker swaybars, springs, and retuned dampers on each corner. Tires are now 225/45R17 in size too, meaning the '09 WRX should have no problems putting its extra ponies to the ground.

It took a while, but it looks like Subaru has finally got the formula for its all-new WRX right.

Turp_0812_07_z+honda_osm_concept+mazda_mx5_front_side_view Photo 6/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

Mazda Says "No" To Mazdaspeed Mx-5
If you've been patiently hanging out for Mazda to drop a hard-core turbocharged Mazdaspeed version of the NC MX-5, then you may as well not bother. Word from Mazda is that it has no plans to release a factory-tuned version of the popular roadster and, even if they did, such a car wouldn't feature the turbocharged 2.3L MZR mill from the Mazdaspeed3 due to compatibility issues.

The problem stems from the Mazdaspeed3's direct-injection system, which utilizes a cam-driven high-pressure fuel pump mounted at the back of the head. When mounted longitudinally in the NC's engine bay, it fouls on the firewall, necessitating expensive (and therefore unviable) sheetmetal changes in order to make it fit.

Looks like MX-5 fans will need to wait for the aftermarket to bring them some forced-induction thrills.

Turp_0812_10_z+honda_osm_concept+front_side_view Photo 7/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

Honda Reveals Osm Concept, Denies It's The New S2000
Honda recently displayed its OSM concept car at the British Motor Show, prompting many to speculate that it represented the next-generation Honda S2000.

Designed to showcase Honda's idea for a futuristic low-emission sports car, theOpen Study Model (OSM) actually has very little in common with Honda's iconic S2000. The OSM's hybrid drivetrain is pretty limp-wristed compared to the raucous F22C that beats beneath the hood of the S2K, while the OSM's overall proportions suggest it's a front-wheel-drive cruiser rather than a rear-wheel-drive bruiser.

So if the OSM ain't it, then when will Honda replace the aging AP2 S2000? A successsor is due next year, but Honda's keeping quiet on whether or not they'll actually proceed with an all-new car. With the new NSX on its way and the CR-Z reviving the spirit of the CRX, Honda will have both the low and high end of the sports car market covered, but the real question is: What will they put in the middle?

Turp_0812_11_z+honda_osm_concept+mitsubishi_lancer_sportback Photo 8/11   |   Honda OSM Concept - News

Mitsubishi lancer sportback
Goes to dakar
Mitsubishi's hard-core rally raid vehicles have traditionally been based on its Pajero off-roaders, however for the '09 Dakar rally they've decided to go for something a little different: a Lancer Sportback with a serious case of 'roid rage.

Of course, that Sportback body is but a carbon-fiber facsimile of the actual car that the European market (and perhaps ours) will get, and the car (dubbed the MRX09) actually rides on a tube-frame chassis with a 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 mounted up front-worlds away from the Lancer Sportback's 2.0L 4B11 and stamped-steel unibody.

With 255 hp and a stonking 479 lb-ft of torque coming out the rear of that diesel V-6 and a bulletproof five-speed sequential gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive backing it up, the MRX09 should have little difficulty overcoming whatever obstacles the Dakar may put in its path. Will this Lancer-bodied monster be able to prevail? We'll find out this January.

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By Tony O'Kane
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