The ‘I Heart Honda’ Charade

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away was a Daihatsu Charade.” That’s how Alex Parisi started off his mail to me when I asked him to tell me about his little time attack project. With a opening line like that, I knew I was in for an interesting story and despite this being only a little spotlight, I’ll do my best to let you know how it all came to be. The idea was always to create something that would surprise people, a little Daihatsu that would be capable of going really fast and getting itself noticed in the process. Back when it was still a street car it was running a turbocharged HD series motor, good for 350hp at the wheels. Decent enough power, except for the fact that it would constantly make the upgraded gear sets in the gearbox destroy themselves.


Looking at the car now, you can imagine the amount of work that went into making it look so functional – what was required to change a little compact Japanese hatch into a dedicated time attacker. Before the car even looked like this, Alex attempted to enter it in the 2012 WTAC, but missed out as all entry spots were literally taken up in 15 minutes. Not to worry, 2013 came around and that’s when he decided to go for it. “What the hell” as he put it. Never having even been to Sydney Motorsports Park, he wasn’t going to take any chances – he knew the high speeds that could be reached on the main straight and the importance of aero. Turning the little brick that was the Charade into something that would actually generate downforce proved to be a fun challenge that Alex tackled head-on. He created a one piece pre-preg carbon, nomex-cored flat floor and rear diffuser.


Here’s a better look at that massive rear diffuser which is there to balance out the downforce that the front end treatment with a big protruding splitter and carbon canards generates. Fender flaring followed; Alex needed to bump the front and rear tracks of the Charade so it would wear the widest wheels possible, settling on 10Js, allowing him to run 275 section A050s at each corner. Looking at the picture above, you may have noticed the big cut outs on the hatch lid.


Well those are there because what used to be the Charade’s trunk is now occupied by the radiator, mounted at an angle and armed with a pair of big extractor fans and fed by two massive tubes that fish air from the side windows. The reason the cooling has been moved to the rear of the car is because following the continuous gearbox failures, Alex decided to do things a bit differently up front…


He knew that an all-new engine and gearbox combo was the only way to move forward, and despite considering Honda’s K-series, the power that guys in the US were getting out of boosted B18s made his decision an easy one. Honda’s unmistakable, red-topped four-cylinder now resides in the Charade’s modified engine bay – you can see the stiffening bars welded onto the suspension turrets.


500hp at the wheels was not too difficult to obtain thanks to a fully built B18 courtesy of AMP Racing, mated with 25psi of boost supplied by the Garrett 3076 turbo which sits on a pretty awesome-looking manifold. And hence the need to move the radiator to the back, because with the blower sitting where it is, there’s just enough space to fit and clear the big front-mounted intercooler.


The cabin is built around functionality: fully stripped out, including the stock dash which has been replaced with a simple carbon panel.


Much work went into fitting the Charade with Motec M800 engine management, guaranteeing the custom-built motor gives its best under the hardest of use. Alex and his team weren’t particularly lucky at last year’s WTAC with small problems hindering their chances at setting a decent lap time in the Pro Am Class the car was entered in. 2014 will be spent sorting out the little issues, as well as perfecting the suspension geometry and shedding even more weight. It might not have been the fastest car out there, but it’s builds like these that continue to grab our attention. Thinking outside the box goes a long way!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Great Dino -- Love seeing the stuff from the roads less traveled -- they show how many truly different ways you can get to the finish line


Engine was built by AMP Racing...


MiguelPires  AMP? MP refer to miguel pires? :P


qaiyimoto1988 MiguelPires LOL not exactly but a good one none the less.

6 all I can say...


So the intake is right behind the intercooler?  WTF.  Why?  Cool car, but decisions like that make me scratch my head.  The germans do it better.


ADDvanced  I totally agree but hey the car makes more than the power required on what I would consider low boost levels. That aspect will be revised in the new tube front chassis that is being prepared.


I saw this at WTAC and couldn't help but wonder what was in it... What times did you run?


What wheels are on this?  

I am looking for some 16 x 9" & 16 x 10" wheels for my project :)


wheatgod AlexanderParisi ADDvanced  Now now play nice :)


Fiatdude  For sure, best of luck to Alex for this year :)


mazdaspeeder86  :)


James_Turbo  They look like XXR 527s to me (I'm not 100% sure though)...  Personally I would only run them on a street car, people question the quality of the wheels as they're pretty cheap


Looks like a mean little creation :D


Nice one dino, short little feature but anreal good one none the less


Another giant killer?  What a great read.  Would love to see vids of this thing in action.


Brings a little tear to my eye. I had one of these for a daily a few years ago. Such a reliable little soldier. With shortened KYB shocks, king springs and a fat selby rear sway bar it handles like a go kart and was more fun than it had any right to be lol.  Three cylinders, five speed and driven flat out everywhere and still stayed under the speed limit hahaha. Love what you've done to her!


What a beautiful little machine. Every part with a purpose and every purpose directly pointed at shaving seconds. I love every detail of this car. I wish you could have done a full feature but so glad to see what you've shown. Sweet write up and an even sweeter car. Love it.




KennethHay  Yeah full feature next time, it was literally dark when I started shooting on the straight!


LukeEVOLUTIONVIII  Thanks man:)


Congratulations Alex. Was great watching your build come together and share stories of scary budget$ vs deadlines. Hopefully we can both get some decent testing done this year and improve a good amount to show their potential. Your car certainly qualifies in the unique dept and must have a wicked power to weight ratio.


Dino, Alex, someone can point me where to find more information about the car? (facebook, blog, forum post...) i like kei-car racers a lot, and found it very intersting (also, if anyone has video...)


Very unique in its own fashion. The time attacker look gives this car a badass look, super aggressive. Nice feature Dino! speedhunters_dino


AlexBailey speedhunters_dino  Thanks Alex :)


mbretschneider  I'll let Alex explains it here:


speedhunters_dino mbretschneider  Grazie, signore


wheatgod AlexanderParisi ADDvanced  I own hondas too.  I'm just saying that location seems dumb.


Nice one lad! Big difference from when we used to race on great Western Hwy to now :P


Perfect car, and perfect build. Nothing is more mental than steering a fwd around a track by sliding the rear, and I've never had more fun than I had at Laguna Seca, passing many expensive rwd sports cars in a little $5k Honda hatchback.


dino can we have more photos of this? please buddy...


I love cars that punch above their weight! major props


DJDrifta  Thanks DJDrifta. Lets hope this year the punches get Bigger and Harder.


where can I get these fender flares?


very nice build,I'm busy with a similar project,I've got a Daihatsu charade g11,the 1984 model its my 1st car and i havent driven it in a while and i refuse to sell,just managed to save for a b20 low comp engine,when you fitted the gearbox,did you have to do alot of cutting?


PJ22 Thanks Mate :) If you have any questins send me a message on the AMP Racing Face Book page :)