Short But Sweet: Selling My JDM EP3 Honda Civic Type R
Hello, fellow Hot Hatch Lovers! Yes, I've been away from here for quite some time as life has been - and continues to be - very busy. However, I really want to make an effort to return to some of normality on HHL. The post you would have seen before this would have been my POV video with 'my' JDM EP3 Honda Civic Type R, and the reason why I say 'my' in inverted commas is because, well, it's not mine anymore.
Yes, although I had this car a shorter period of time than some people keep their smartphones, the car is no longer in my possession, for a number of different reasons. The main reason is because my wife and I are expecting our first child, therefore we wanted something with five door practicality. Some other reasons include the fact I was missing having a turbocharged car in my life, and I never felt like the Civic 'suited' me.
Yeah, but VTEC is sooooooo cool
One of biggest allures of the EP3 Civic Type R is of course the 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine which makes use of the iconic and legendary VTEC system. There's a good chance you know of this system as you're an active user of DriveTribe, but in case you've spent you life living under a rock I will give you a very brief explanation.
The camshaft has two profiles; one that is used at lower revs to give better fuel economy and efficiency, and another one that allows the valves to open more at higher RPM to allow more air in to the engine. More air = more fuel, which, of course = more performance. This is when the engine really comes alive, coining the phrase "VTEC kicked in, yo!".
One of the best 6-speeds I've ever used
As a purist, the naturally aspirated engine is really the holy grail of motoring, and VTEC is a great demonstration as to how spectacular an NA engine can be, especially when it's mated to one of the finest gearchanges I've ever experienced in a hot hatchback.
What's the problem then?
The problem is, VTEC is activated at higher revs, meaning you have to drive the car hard to really extract the performance from it. That is as rewarding as a cold beer at the end of a long day, and the 2.0 litre four pot loves to be spanked - it's designed for it - but when you consider a lot of driving I do is in and around town you can predict I spend very little time chasing the redline.
This is one the reasons why I've been pining to have a turbo back, as they offer torque lower down in the rev range meaning you don't have to boot the car everywhere in order to make any decent progress. Another reason is because you remap a turbo to extract more performance, and whilst that IS possible in a naturally aspirated engine, the gains are going to be modest at best.
True, I could have modified the Type R, but given the fact it's a JDM - a facelift version at that - meaning it's a rare specimen I thought that would be borderline sacrilege, like trying to touch up the Mona Lisa. I did consider doing some mods that could be reversible if I were to sell the car, but even so, I wasn't sure.
Was it difficult to say goodbye?
Put simply, no. This is likely to be a shock for pretty much all of you reading, but handing the keys back over to Torque GT - the place where the car was bought - was surprisingly easy. It was an almost clinical procedure, which featured very little emotion. I enjoyed my time with the car and I feel fortunate to have owned that car, particularly as it always drew attention at car meets, but for me it felt like I had satisfied an itch.
How to replace such a special car?
Well, that is the question. I would tease you with various clues and titbits but if you follow my YouTube channel - if you're not, what are you doing with your life? - then you'll already know that I'm now the owner of a Mk2 SEAT Leon Cupra, which many would argue is a step backwards, but there are methods to my madness...