Besides some of Honda’s more regular lineup, they have also produced some one-off models for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) which are totally awesome.
With the exception of the Honda Civic Type R, the Honda brand is mostly considered a brand that sells family and economy-friendly cars. And it makes sense, considering the majority of Honda’s sales come from these types of vehicles.
Still, many of their “regular” vehicles still were considered ‘sporty’. The Honda Civic was often considered enjoyable to drive, even before the Type R was a thing. So, Honda already knew from the start how to make great handling vehicles.
Honda is also one of the largest and most experienced engine producers in the world. Making engines for boats, motorcycles, lawn movers, and cars. And it is when they combined their practice of making great handling cars and powerful engines that Honda managed to create some wonderful sports cars.
Despite both Europe and the US receiving some performance models, the most exclusive and hardcore sports model were kept to the Japanese Domestic Market, making them what is considered ‘JDM’.
Here are 8 of Honda’s most awesome JDM cars.
The DC2 Integra Type R was introduced in 1995 and was only sold on the Japanese domestic market.
The Integra Type R became immensely popular due to its high-revving B18C engine and great handling. And although the Integra Type R eventually would make it to the U.S. it was in a de-tuned version.
Powering the Integra Type R was the mighty B18C engine, the 1.8L inline-4 with its VTEC system produced 197 hp @8,000 RPM mainly thanks to its very high compression ratio of 11:1 (the U.S. version only had 10.6:1.)
The Integra Type R was equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission and came as standard with a Helical limited-slip differential. Large strut tower bars and numerous body reinforcements made the Integra Type R very rigid which made it a suitable track car.
The very first Honda Civic Type R was the EK9, and it was only sold in Japan. This little hatchback was one of the first cars which had an engine producing over 100 hp per liter.
The EK9 Civic Type R used the B16B engine which was a 1.6 liter inline-4 that utilized Honda’s famous VTEC fuel system. The 1.6L engine produced a respectable 182 hp and redlined at 8,400 RPM with the rev limiter fixed at 9,000 RPM.
The EK9 Type R quickly became popular among Japanese tuners. One of these tuners, known as Spoon Inc. modified the EK9 Type R to 230 hp and an astonishing 11,000 RPM redline.
Believe it or not, Honda had a fantastic reputation for creating superb sports cars during the 1960s, owing mostly to the Honda S600 and, later, the S800.
The Honda S800 was a lightweight sportscar that weighed only 740 kg (1,631 lb.) and featured an engine with a redline of 10,000 RPM. The S800 had roughly 70 hp and was Honda’s quickest automobile at the time, with a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph).
The Honda NSX-R was a limited production version of the standard Honda NSX with only 483 production units made. The NSX-R was meant to act as the track-focused version of the NSX lineup.
Despite an increase in the final drive ratio, the power output was the same as in the regular NSX, producing 270 hp from its 3.0L VTEC-powered V6. But the NSX-R has an ace up its sleeve, it’s very lightweight.
In order to make the NSX-R significantly faster than its standard model the NSX-R was kept on a diet. Heavy use of aluminum allowed the NSX-R to shed about 200 kg (441 lb.) from the standard model. To truly understand the length which Honda went in order to loose weight the NSX-R ‘feature comforts’ such as air conditioning, audio system, sound deadening, and traction control system were removed.
The Honda Beat is considered a “Kei Car” and is an extremely lightweight sports car weighing in at just 760 kg (1,675 lbs.).
Despite only making 63 hp from its 656cc inline-3 engine it still is a surprisingly quick car on twisty roads. In spite of only having three cylinders, the Honda Beat’s engine can power through all the way up to 9,000 RPM which produces a fantastic sound.
Another upside is that the Beat is very reliable and cheap to own and maintain. You can go full throttle and not worry about getting in trouble, either with the police or from gasoline prices.
The Honda Accord SiR is for wagon lovers, this one-off JDM model is one of the coolest Accords ever made.
The 2.3L H23A DOHC VTEC engine was the only one available for the Honda Accord SiR, making it the sole 2.3L in the Honda lineup. This engine produced 200 horsepower, making it the most powerful Accord after the Type R.
The Accord SiR, however, was only offered with an automatic transmission. However, if the money and time are available, it is certainly possible to switch to a manual transmission from another Honda model.
Despite Europe also receiving a Type R version of the Accord (Accord Type R) the Japanese version was given a bit more performance.
The Euro R used the H22A engine which was a 2.2 liter naturally aspirated VTEC engine. Power was sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission and Torsen limited-slip differential. In terms of power, the Japanese Euro R had slightly more horsepower than its European counterpart with (217 hp vs. 209 hp).
The Accord Euro R also got various exterior body modifications such as a rear wing, side skirts, and wheel arch extensions.
The Mugen RR was an extremely uncommon Civic Type R that the Mugen Tuning Company thoroughly modified and revised. The Mugen RR was limited to only 300 units, making it one of the rarest JDM automobiles in the world.
The Mugen RR’s engine received all-new Mugen tuning parts such as a new camshaft, exhaust manifold, and intake system, as well as a free-flowing twin-exit exhaust and ECU remap, which helped improve power from its 2.0L K20A engine to 237 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. It also featured a redline of 9,000 RPM.
The substantial usage of carbon fiber in the Mugen RR, along with an aluminum hood, helped cut weight to 2,767 lbs (1,255 kilograms).
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