I knew well before I ever arrived at the Berg Cup that I was going to see some very interesting and unfamiliar cars. What I hadn’t expected was to run into car I know virtually inside and out – the Honda Civic. With all the videos and research I’ve done in the past I had never once come across someone climbing European hills in a Civic so you can imagine my surprise when this EF was the second car I spotted while driving into town.
The first glance I got of the car was from 200 meters or so away catching a brief glimpse between two large buildings as it darted down a street dissecting mine. “Hmm, that’s strange” I thought to myself, “I think I just saw an EF…” Later when I cleared the buildings that had obscured my view I realized I had in fact seen a hatchback and I wasn’t just suffering from delirium. But the strangest part was yet to come. I began to further investigate the car and awkwardly approached the people surrounding it and hoped that at least one of them spoke English. Luckily for me a man who introduced himself as Erik Thönnissen knew a word or two.
As it turns out this car is one of two EFs Team Krüger operates, both obscure factory racers built by Honda in Japan to compete in VLN races on the Nürburgring in the early ’90s to provide R&D for their then new VTEC B16 engines. The car you’re looking at now is the sister car to their primary vehicle which still serves as an endurance racer. This car was originally purchased for spares, but when the team went to pick up the car they realized that they had acquired the only other remaining factory works chassis from the ten examples imported by Honda.
Clearly this car was too valuable to disassemble for parts so instead the team decided to put this car to use in another form of motorsport – hill climb. After racing for twenty years driver Thomas Krüger began looking for another type of racing to compete in and after only one event he was hooked. At this stage the car hasn’t been changed much for Berg Cup and still closely resembles the endurance-spec car Honda originally built. From what I am told the B16A2, which I thought was a North-America only engine, is still the original from 1991. Decades of racing and it’s still churning and burning, Honda at it’s best no doubt.
While the only hill climb specific item currently on the car were the Avon tires, the team assures me they will continue to develop this car and modify it specifically for Berg Cup. The first on the to-do list is a set of ITBs and a new ECU map with the rev limit bumped to 10k. Also on order is a full set of light weight body panels and I’m told that the 90L endurance spec fuel cell will likely be replaced with something of a more appropriate size.
Finally I’ll leave you with this video of the car at last year’s Wolsfeld Berg Cup, the first time the car competed in hill climb. Enjoy.
It looks and sounds amazing!
Imagine how cool it must have been that moment when they got to know how special the car was.
thanks for the feature sean, its good to finally have a honda guy on speedhunters
i didnt know that honda sent over works ef9's to compete in vln, id be interested in the spec
did you see a vin number on the firewall?
B16A1= 1990-1991 Honda Civic i-VT (EE9) and Honda CRX i-VT (EE8)
B16A2= 1992-1995 Honda Civic VTi (EG6/EG9), Honda CRX DelSol (EG2) and Honda Civic VTi 1996-2000
So if that EE9 has a B16A2 it´s not its stock engine... That car should have a B16A1!!!
does anybody know what the green wheels are on this car? i have exactly the same but no idea what they are. this sticker says OZ wheels but its not stamped in the wheel.
Sorry for the super late reply! I plan on featuring more Hondas in the coming months, not a ton of them, but the ones I do feature should be pretty good ;)
I didn't know that Honda ever sent these cars over either, it was all news to me. I did get a look at the VIN and it looked just like a typical JDM VIN and read "EF9-100XXXX" except the Xs were numbers (replaced for owners privacy).
@andre_DC It is a EF9, because RHD, if so it's a jap car, so comes with B16A.
and B16A2 american is different than B16A2 euro, not the same VR ;)
@andre_DC Actually the B16A2 was a 99-00 North American motor (Civic Si coupe in US, Civic SiR in Canada). I have never heard or seen a B16A2 outside of the US so this was news to me. The Del Sol had a B16A3, not A2 and the VTi had a single cam D16B5. I'm not a newb when it comes to Hondas ;) but at the same time I can appreciate something rare like a works chassis. I have seen some pretty crazy stuff over the years and it wouldn't surprise me if Honda had put an A2 iteration of the engine into this particular test mule.
@d15b2 Technically he's right. Most Japanese market Honda engines from that era had only one letter after the displacement numbers slot.
B16A, B18A, B20B = Japanese market
B16A2, B18A1, B20B4= USA market
@sean klingelhoefer thank you for the reply sean, im going to give the shop a call to find out more about the history of this car.
i thought this might have been a car that was originally intended for competition in the one make race series (japan) but since it has a vin number, that cant be the case.
i would love to get my hands on one of these :)
@Yapudo The car is English, in England they drive RHD cars like in Japan, so it can be a EE9 (B16A1) or a EF9 (B16A first gen) if is an import, but i thin Team Kruger cars are EDM so they are EE9, which should have B16A1 in the engine bay
@sean klingelhoefer In Europe is just like that... I´m european and i have a CRX i-VT. B16A1 is in Europe since 1990, B16A2 is from 1992 to 2000, USDM got the B series later than us and the Japanese.
B16A2 is the motor for EG6/EG9/EK4 Civic, and EG2 CRX Del Sol
@andre_DC @Yapudo This car is in fact a JDM EF9, I'm positive of that much. I was told that the car was built by Honda for further R&D on the B16. Of course I realize that the JDM motors didn't have any numerical suffix, I've been building Hondas myself for over a decade, but it is my understanding that this was in fact a test mule. Therefore it doesn't take much stretch of the imagination to come to the educated guess that in 1991, Honda decided to test a pre-production version of the second generation EDM B16 called... wait for it... the B16A2. Make sense? :)
@Yapudo that´s right, EF9 ;) So the car should be with a B16A first gen!!! :D
@andre_DC EUDM like UKDM it's glass, JDM plastic. there is another mark: rear "civic vtec" sign, sticker or as cast of rear center panel.
Oh wait ! a JDM dashbord, with the 3 round shapes and small rpm.
@Yapudo UKDM ones aren´t made of plastic?
@andre_DC like all EUDM EE8/9 in my knowledge.
@andre_DC Agree for B16A2, comming from (for me) a VTI EUDM.
For brown windows look through windscreen in first picture ;) for imported, i wanted to say a JDM car imported, not an EUDM (already imported) XD
@Yapudo BTW Portuguese EE9 and EE8 has glass front lights ;)
@Yapudo Every Honda from that time is imported :D Yours like mine EE8 is from Suzuka factory... I don´t see brown windows but either way the B16A2 is not from that car, don´t you agree? ;)
@andre_DC "they realized that they had acquired the only other remaining factory works chassis from the ten examples imported by Honda."
that's why i think it's a JDM example, plus don't think they buy specificly the JDM rear bumper to do races, plus Brown windows as JDM examples, ican't see if it's glass front lights too ... i've got an EE9 ;)
@sean klingelhoefer The problem here is that most Americans only know USA and Japan, Europe got everything first than USA, i.e. we´ve got Honda new technology at the same time that Japan has. That engines took a lot of time to get in american market.
For Europe is like i said:
B16A1= 1990-1991 Honda Civic i-VT (EE9) and Honda CRX i-VT (EE8)
B16A2= 1992-1995 Honda Civic VTi (EG6/EG9), Honda CRX DelSol (EG2) and Honda Civic VTi (EK4) 1996-2000
This is EDM not JDM, in Japan the B engines have more 10hp than the european cars, so EF9 has 160hp and EE9 has 150hp, then the EDM EG6 has 160hp, and the JDM has 160/170hp the same for de EDM/JDM EK4.
@d15b2 EU market, we have only:
B16A1, B16A2, B18C6 (ITR), B18C4, and some B20
so for us B series are all vtec, not for B20, too much versions...
@d15b2 not sure about euro hondas. It's been so long since i've owned one. the best honda motor when i was around them was the B series. I was a pre-K series honda guy. you may be right.