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RJ De Vera and Hondas have become synonymous with streetable performance for over the past decade. De Vera is one of Honda’s most avid enthusiasts, building some of the cleanest, daily-driven projects we’ve seen over the years. So it’s no surprise that Honda has partnered up with RJ yet again for their newest and greatest creation, the Honda CR-Z.
We’ve been preaching since the Tokyo Auto Salon that the hybrid tuning craze is inevitably going to take off in America. While it may never reach the heights of what Japan has done in the last couple of years, the release of Honda’s CR-Z could help shape the new trend.
For SEMA this year, Honda has given away several Honda CR-Zs to car builders around the nation to show off what can be done to the fun, hot hatch. We’ve already teased the Fortune Motorsports and Tjin Edition’s build, and now we’re getting a sneak preview of what RJ De Vera has planned for his CR-Z build.
We spoke to RJ briefly and he stressed to us the focus of the CR-Z is to be a clean and fully functional street car that is fun, hence the name CR-Z Type-F. Naturally the CR-Z wouldn’t quite pull its own weight (for now) as a Type-R model, and naming it as such would just be foolish and downright silly. De Vera told us that he wants it to be fully functional so it can compete in the Source Interlink Super Lap Battle shortly after the show.
The CR-Z will be showcasing Wraptivo’s brand of products, a new division of Meguiar’s that focuses on custom car wraps. On the outside will be a matte black wrap with glossy black accents to contrast. Carbon fiber film wrap will be used on the roof, hood and part of the center section of the front bumper to show off just what Wraptivo can do for you.
Naturally a clean aero kit will be utilized along with a set of lightweight Volk Racing TE-37s in an awesome F-Zero Red color. Suspension looks like it’ll come from TEIN while Brembo will be handling the aftermarket brakes. De Vera disclosed to us that he is working closely with HKS on getting a supercharger for the hybrid, while Hondata has been working hard on cracking the ECU to eke out every bit of power.
As always, AutoGuide will be on hand at the 2010 SEMA Show in early November to bring you complete coverage.
Get more Honda CR-Z News and Info at CR-ZCraze.com
Official press release available after the break.
Before Tein made their way to North America in the form of Tein USA, the green-branded suspension products were a rarity and collectibles amongst the JDM-fanatics. Oddly enough, when Tein did get established in America it seemed that the goodness of their products got diluted. Once items like their srings became readily available, the prestige of having some of the world’s finest suspension products didn’t seem to be as great. But at the end of the day, Tein still produces some of the world’s finest suspension products and today they’ve turned their attention to what all other JDM tuners out there are also beginning to focus on – hybrids.
The Tein 06 Honda Civic Si was one of those projects that garnered a ton of attention here in North America, especially after it was reported that it got stolen. But it was one of Tein’s finest projects, touching on all bases and perhaps made North Americans associate Tein to its eye-catching graphics found on their project cars. One thing to be aware of however is that Tein only designs and manufactures suspension products. This ranges from regular lowering springs to full coilover systems with in-car dampening control (EDFC). So most Tein projects are often unlikely to see any other major modifications unless they plan on hitting the track to showcase their suspension goods.
Thanks to the power of Google Translate, we have been keeping our eyes out on Tein’s CR-Z Special Blog page where the tuner has been showing off its testing and tuning on the new hatchback from Honda. Tein currently has Mono Flex suspension out sporting 5.0k spring rates in the front and 5.0k spring rates in the rear while lowering the car 40mm front and rear and supporting EDFC.
They also announced that the Super Street dampening system isn’t far out – a release in mid-May that has softer spring rates of 3.0k (front) and 4.0k (rear). These will have similar lowering profiles as the Mono Flex but will not support EDFC. These are probably catered much more to the street.
For regular lowering springs offerings, Tein has their High Tech springs available lowering the car 25mm in the front and 30mm in the rear unless you have an automatic, in which it’ll be 30mm in the front and 30mm in the rear. Spring rates on those are 2.2k and 4.0k for the front and rear, respectively.
It looks like by the time the Honda CR-Z goes on sale here in North America there will be plenty of products readily available for the tuner market.
GALLERY: Tein Honda CR-Z
[Source: Tein Japan CR-Z Special Blog]
Unlike the past two years, Lexus will have a more low-key presence at the SEMA Show for 2009. In the past, Toyota’s luxury division had significant outdoor exhibits, centered mostly around the IS and IS-F performance sedans. Last year the automaker distributed four of its IS-F sedans to four different companies (Fox Marketing/Artisan Performance, MotorworldHype, 0-60 Magazine and Import Tuner magazine/TEIN). The year before that Lexus contracted Five Axis to build a very impressive matte-black widebody IS-F (shown above).
With industry cutbacks Lexus isn’t handing out cars any more, but it will have a display. What will they put in the display then? The answer is: your car… if you’re lucky.
If you have a highly modified Lexus that you think is worthy of the SEMA Show, please send photos and a description of the car to firstname.lastname@example.org . Submissions will be received until October 8th at midnight. Winners will get paid transport (for them and their ride) to the SEMA Show, which runs from Tuesday November 3rd to Friday November 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
GALLERY: 2007- 2008 Lexus SEMA Cars