Nothing in Honda’s present four-cylinder engine lineup comes close to outshining the Honda Civic Type R’s mighty turbocharged K20C1 engine, which makes it the perfect candidate for an engine swap by amateur and entry-level professional race teams looking to wring more performance out of the their Hondas. And now Honda Performance Development (HPD) has made it even easier for those teams to do just that thanks to the addition of a more complete Civic Type R crate engine package that includes the ECU, wiring setup, and more.
HPD first announced the availability of the Type R crate engine back in 2017 and even displayed an example in the Honda booth during that year’s SEMA show week. The difference now is the addition of the HPD Controls Package that will make the process of getting the car up and running much easier. In the past, it was up to you to deal with the ECU, engine wiring harness, and other obstacles, whereas now, HPD has taken all of that into account and is offering the Type R crate engine as a very complete package.
So What’s in the Box?
The crate engine itself includes the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter block, starter, alternator, turbocharger, intake and direct injection fuel system. The additional parts you’ll need are the transmission, clutch, flywheel, low pressure fuel system, intercooler and cooling system. Depending on what your plan is and what sort of racing you intend to do, things like an exhaust system and air box, for example, would also need to be sorted. Additional parts can be purchased through HPD or one of its selected, approved vendors via their open wheel and touring car catalogs.
The difference between the original crate engine program and this updated version is the aforementioned HPD Controls Package. The meat of the package is the ECU, which has been developed and calibrated by HPD. It’s designed for track use and offers safety parameters you likely wouldn’t find with an aftermarket standalone. HPD has also designed an engine harness that includes flying leads for power, ground, and ignition, and even incorporates external engine support systems like the radiator fan/s, fuel pump, etc. An accelerator pedal along with brake and clutch switches are included as well to make for a seamless conversion. In addition, standard CAN data output is included to relay vitals to your choice of digital dash or logger system.
Honda Racing Line Members Only
Sadly, the Type R crate engine is intended for racing use only (check out our drive of the HPD Civic Type R TC race car to see what Honda and HPD have been up to) and isn’t available to just anyone. Eligibility includes being a Honda Racing line member-a club dedicated to nurturing amateur and entry-level professional racers who compete with Honda/Acura platforms. To take part, you’ll need to be a member of a nationally recognized sanctioning body and produce current/official race results from a minimum of two events in the last year.
Swaps So Far
We’ve seen a few Type R engine swaps underway from privateers, including the swap gurus at Hasport, who’ve dabbled with multiple chassis in order to develop their swap mount kits (also available through HPD), Evasive Motorsports and its Honda 2000, and Dai Yoshihara’s Toyota Corolla. With the HPD Controls Package added to the crate engine program, we expect that number to increase. HPD has also hinted that a group of well-known builders are already well underway installing this new, complete swap package in some special Honda chassis that we expect should be pretty wild. The crate engine is available right now and the complete Controls Package will be available starting May 1. No word yet on pricing for the Controls Package, but the Type R crate engine itself started at just over $6,500 when it first launched.
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