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 |  Aug 03 2010, 9:44 AM

Hybrid tuning is about to take on a whole new face now that Honda‘s CR-Z has hit the market. Tjin Edition has been building plenty of SEMA showpieces including their most recent Chevrolet Camaro, and this year they have teamed up with Fortune Motorsports out of Miami, Florida and American Honda Motor Corporation for this year’s SEMA show.

Proving that Honda is adamant in pushing CR-Z sales to the masses, including tuners and builders, Fortune Motorsports and Tjin Edition have already teased their upcoming project well in advance of November’s SEMA Show. From what we can gather, the CR-Z will be sporting ADV1 wheels with Falken Tires, Status Racing seats and Air Lift suspension. With how successful the Prius and Insight are doing in Japan, we can only imagine the potential of the CR-Z. Will this generation of tuning catch on in America? We sure hope so, it’s always refreshing to see something new and exciting.

Official press release available after the break.

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 09 2010, 6:03 PM

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While most of the popular aftermarket manufacturers in Japan are welcoming the hybrid craze with open arms, Spoon Sports has been quiet as of late. This can mostly be attributed to the fact that Spoon focuses and specializes with the Honda platform, and quite honestly, Honda hasn’t had an attractive enough hybrid platform in the recent years.  But this is all about to change, with the CR-Z gaining a lot of momentum as the new “hot-hatch” appealing to passionate Honda aficionados worldwide.  Needless to say it’s a perfect fit for Spoon Sports and their tuning prowess.

We’ve seen the entry from Mugen and in typical Spoon Sports fashion, they’ve thrown down the gauntlet as well. Going back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mugen and Spoon Sports were the most respective pair of brands for JDM Honda fanatics stateside. In fact it’s easy to argue that Mugen and Spoon Sports delivered a rivalry on its own with their prestigious and rare parts, many of them carrying a hefty price tag once they were on American soil. There’s no mistaken that this CR-Z has been Spoon-inspired.

There’s none of the traditional yellow and pastel blue to be seen, yet, but the CR93 wheels have been refinished in a stylish dark blue in true Spoon fashion.  As with almost all of Spoon Sports’ projects, the focus is on excellent tuning and track-ability.  They paid close attention with suspension and brake upgrades lowering the vehicle with coilovers in the front and a traditional shock/spring combination in the rear.  15-inch slotted rotors along with upgraded calipers are probably overkill for the hatch, but we believe Spoon has much more in terms of performance up their sleeve.

Specializing in naturally aspirated performance over the years, Spoon is currently tuning their staple N1 exhaust system along with ECU upgrades for the CR-Z. No concrete numbers have been released yet, which is understandable given how new the technology is. We have faith though and it will be an exciting time to see two of Honda’s most notorious brands battling it out on the track again, this time with CR-Z hatchbacks hopefully flying the colors we’ve grown and love over the past decade.

GALLERY: Spoon Sports CR-Z

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[Source: Spoon Sports]

 |  Sep 28 2009, 12:07 PM

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As the shift to environmentally-friendly vehicles continues, the aftermarket has begun to recognize this emerging market and begin catering to owners. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Toyota Prius’s home turf, Japan.

On his blog, Japanese tuning industry insider Ben Shaffer (owner of parts importer and tuning houses Bulletproof Automotive and Bespoke Ventures) is increasing awareness of this trend, while also lamenting it. Several well-known Japanese tuners have already taken to modifying both the Prius and Honda’s Insight, with both ASI and Tommy Kaira having recently released tuning packages for the former.

While a strong believer in environmentally responsible transportation, and in making those sorts of cars look cooler or even perform better, Shaffer indicates that according to his sources this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon will be half hybrids – with modified Nissan GT-Rs making up the rest of the show.

“I understand Eco is the future for the masses, but can we keep our sports cars too,” says Shaffer. “I thought the point was to have a sports car for the weekends and a Prius to daily drive. Lets keep it that way, keep the R&D coming on sports car tuning parts too please!”

Either way, it looks like hybrid tuning is here to stay and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on some of the new modification options from the Tokyo Auto Salon.

GALLERY: Tommy Kaira and ASI Tuned Priuses

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[Source: BespokeVentures]