Spoon has put on some speed parts, mostly chassis related bolt-ons, to the 2011 Honda CR-Z. Photo Courtesy of Spoon SportsEnlarge Photo
The Honda CR-Z, a sporting hybrid that is neither fast nor very fuel efficient, is just being released in Japan. When any new car gets released, parts and tuning companies like Spoon Sports and Noblesse are quick to snatch up the car and develop parts for them.
Spoon is going to have their work cut out for them. Recent developments show the car being outfitted with a suspension that lowers the car, bigger brakes, nicer wheels, and an exhaust kit.
These are some decent upgrades, but Spoon is known in the tuning world for taking Honda’s motors making powerful, ridiculously high-revving beasts. The Honda Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system is probably not going to be developing any serious horsepower (or revving to 12,000rpm) anytime soon.
So how can tuning companies go about taking the 1.5 IMA drivetrain and making it perform better?The replacement for cubic displacement: forced induction.
An engine with a normal compression ratio can normally take low boost (around 5-8psi) with no problems, sometimes more when an intercooler is used. Turbocharging is the most efficient method of forced induction as it uses the exhaust. Installing a low boost turbocharger (and opening up the exhaust to let it breath a bit) will increases the power to decent levels, normally around 30-40 more hp.
It has already been done to the first generation Honda Insight, which uses the same IMA technology. LHT Performance (the same people that put a K20 into an Insight) installed a small turbocharger making 5 psi. The results include tire chirping, quicker acceleration, and an overall better mileage.
The best performance Hondas are the naturally-aspirated ones like what Spoon creates. Saddled with the hybrid system though, a turbocharger might be the way to go.