We have deep roots with Honda. For those of you who have been with us since day one, you'll know that our first-ever cover car was in fact a Honda, and every year we put together a Honda-specific issue. The backbone of our entire industry can be traced to Hondas, and it was only a matter of time before we got our hands on another project Civic; this one, however, though short term, is extra, extra special.
If you're unaware of the 10th generation's brand-new Sport trim, it's positioned between the LX and the Si. It has a slightly more powerful 1.5L turbocharged engine than the LX and includes a sporty center exhaust, aero kit, and that six-speed manual we can't live without. All of that is great, but you know we wouldn't leave it stock.
The name Modified should automatically conjure up thoughts of our old sister magazine of the same name. Kicking around ideas for a video series that could successfully highlight various facets of the import community, we came up with — you guessed it — Modified. The series will be aired through motortrendondemand.com and will take you to various parts of the country for a first-hand look at meets, shows, drifting, and more. During each episode, our Civic build will make brief appearances as we work on power, suspension, and appearance upgrades to show you the potential of the Honda's new turbocharged hatchback.
Stage I: Hondata FlashPro
Our first stop was World Motorsports in Torrance, California, to get a baseline dyno run on the company's world-class wind tunnel dyno. In completely stock form, the Sport model produced 168 hp and 169 lb-ft of torque at the wheels—and with a factory-rated 180 hp/177 lb-ft of torque, our numbers were pretty much on par.
The next step was an easy one as we called Honda tuning guru Doug MacMillan of Hondata to get hold of the newly released (and fully CARB legal) FlashPro system for 10th-gen Civics. A simple plug was run from the FlashPro unit to the car's factory OBDII diagnostic port, and using Hondata's user-friendly FlashProManager software, Doug was able to bring the power output up to 176 hp. But much more important was the 205 lb-ft of torque—a significant jump for just a reflash. Along with the improved low-end and midrange grunt comes increased throttle response. In terms of bang for your buck, it's tough to outmatch Hondata's plug-in, street-legal dynamo.
With our FlashPro upgrade now complete, we'll be adding a few other bolt-ons to see how they stack up on the youngest generation of the Civic family. Stay tuned!