Those of us with a little snow on the roof and shake in our cane distinctly remember when the first Civic Type R was released. It was Honda’s way of saying ‘we know what you guys want to do with this car, so here’s a head start’.
Type R editions have always been the best version of their respective Honda chassis, and the general idea is that they are lighter, faster, and more performance focused than standard models.
Unfortunately, every generation prior to the current model release wasn’t sold in North America. This was a serious downer for those of us in NA, but it made the hype around the Type R very, very real.
If one showed up to an event, particularly a Civic (this was peak Civic era), everyone – Honda fan or not – wandered over to see what made the red-badged cars so damn special.
When Honda announced that, finally, the next generation of Civic Type Rs would be sold in North America, Mike Chang and Tony Kwan of Evasive Motorsports immediately queued up for a chance to own one.
Of course, simply owning an FK8 wouldn’t be enough – it had to be modified in Evasive’s noteworthy function and form style.
Evasive’s approach to modifying their Type R has been a calculated one from the very beginning. Their intent was to address the weak points and emphasize the strong points, rather than blindly throwing the book at the car and hoping for the best.
The overall ethos for the car was actually inspired by Porsche GT3s. GT3 911s are a track focused model of an already great car that is still very streetable. Furthermore they look like a proper finished vehicle with attention paid to every aspect.
To ‘GT3′ the new CTR, the first place Evasive took it was the track. Testing the car in its stock form is simply the best way to identify its shortcomings, and it didn’t take long to find problem area one.
California is a notoriously hot state, and after a handful of laps it became clear the FK8 didn’t like the climate. To alleviate the problem, Evasive crafted a custom hood with a wide NACA-style duct riding high center.
The prototype vented hood solved the overheating problem nearly immediately, while further bolstering the car’s overall visual aggression.
Continuing down the path of blending function and form, Evasive also developed a high-flow carbon fiber grill for the CTR. Again, like the hood, it’s proven effective in keeping the car out on the track longer at comfortable temperatures.
With the carbon manufacturing tools already out, Evasive added splitters to the front and side. Carbon was also used for the rear wing and rear diffuser.Driver’s Delight
The iterative drive, tweak, drive approach to achieving balance was employed not only to the outside of the car but the inside as well.
Evasive developed their own roll bar and installed it along with a tidy carbon fiber rear seat delete panel. I’m not sure about you, but I prefer this approach to leaving the back half bare, or worse, leaving the seats installed as some sort of sick challenge to only the most proficient of contortionists.
From the roll bar forward the interior is a mix of business and pleasure. Honda niceties like the radio, HVAC, and power accessories are all retained untouched. This includes the factory steering wheel with its associated controls.
However, seating is an area that has been addressed, and in a throwback to the original EK9 CTR, Jersey red Recaro seats can be found for both the driver and the passenger.
Matching Schroth Clubman 6-point harnesses keep occupants where they ought to be when the car is pushed to its working limit.
Speaking of limits, Mike touched on the interesting topic of the car’s electronic driving aids. Though many would-be racers hate on the various ‘nannies’ cars come with today, he confirms the ones in the CTR are actually quite good.
Instead of limiting the driver and numbing the overall experience, they inspire just that extra bit of confidence that allows for quicker lap times and a more enjoyable overall drive.
Mike also admits to being pleasantly surprised by the tires Honda specified for the vehicle; they provided plenty of grip and showed decent tread wear after several R&D sessions. However, 20-inch performance rubber isn’t exactly cheap, nor are 20-inch wheels light, so they had to go.
In their place are Advan GT wheels. A classic white 5-spoke, visually these play well with the car’s current livery. Performance-wise, the tire setup varies ever so slightly between street trim and track trim.
Both setups use Maxxis VR-1 rubber and 265/35 tires up front, however in the rear the sizing drops down from 245 to 235 for track use. That little bit of extra room out back ensures there is no worry of rubbing under hard cornering.
Behind the wheels, the factory Brembo calipers have proven more than up to the task. The factory rotors and pads did leave a little to be desired, though, and have since been replaced. Tarox 2-piece rotors and matching Enduro race compound pads have been added up front, while the rear pads are Project Mu Club Racer pieces. Project Mu also provides the brake fluid running through the system.Know The Ledge
Under hood is where Evasive displayed some level of restraint. This is the second Civic Type R to get a turbo powerplant, and Honda didn’t leave all that much left on the table if you want a motor that’s still reliable. That said, Evasive did put in some work to enhance the K20AC1.
From their own catalog they selected a down pipe and front pipe, and from the GReddy warehouse came an intercooler, oil cooler and Supreme SP exhaust system. The aforementioned, combined with a custom tune, produces just under 400hp with nearly equal amounts of torque.
Evasive suspects there’s plenty more on the table for those who want to crack open the motor and replace the internals, but considering how versatile the car currently is, they don’t see the need to take things so far right now.
With the hood popped the external reservoirs for the AST 5300 Series suspension are visible. In addition to the coilovers, Eibach adjustable sway bars have been thrown into the mix, along with an Eibach camber kit to allow for the alignment specs Evasive determined suit the car best.
Concluding the suspension modifications are Ultra Racing chassis braces and a prototype Evasive roll center adjuster.
Evasive debuted their version of the Civic Type R at the 2017 SEMA Show where it received almost unanimous praise. Today, it remains as one of the most modified street/track FK8s around.
From here out Evasive’s plans for the car are to continue to develop their EVS Tuning offerings with real world performance testing. The next target in the Evasive cross hairs is some competition at Buttonwillow Raceway.
Given the meticulous modifications made to bring this car to the next level I can only imagine it will fare extremely well, and from there the sky is the limit.
Photographed by Jr Sang
Evasive Motorsport’s FK8 Honda Civic Type R
Honda K20AC1 2.0L DOHC 16V turbo inline-four, EVS Tuning down pipe, EVS Tuning front pipe, GReddy intercooler, GReddy oil cooler, Greddy Supreme SP exhaust, Koyo radiator, Hondata FlashPro custom tuned
Honda 6-speed manual gearbox, OS Giken 1.5-way LSD, EVS Tuning prototype transmission bypass/cooler
AST 5300 Series 3-way adjustable coilovers, Eibach rear camber kit (EVS modified), Eibach front/rear adjustable sway bars, EVS Tuning prototype front roll center adjuster, Ultra Racing chassis braces, Tarox F2000 2-piece front rotors, Tarox Enduro race compound front pads, Project Mu Club Racer rear pads, Project Mu 355 fluid
Advan GT wheels 18×10.5-inch front 18×9-inch rear, Maxxis VR-1 265/35R18 front 245/40R18 rear (street), Maxxis RC-1 265/35R18 front 235/40R18 rear (track)
EVS Tuning carbon front lip, EVS Tuning carbon front splitter, EVS Tuning carbon side splitter, EVS Tuning carbon rear wing, EVS Tuning front tow hook w/adaptor, EVS Tuning prototype hood vents, EVS Tuning prototype high-flow carbon front grill, EVS Tuning prototype carbon side skirts and rear diffuser, EVS Tuning prototype carbon GT side mirrors
EVS Tuning rear roll bar, EVS Tuning carbon seat delete, Recaro Pole Position Seats, Schroth Clubman 6-point harnesses