The Civic has come a long way – It was a frugal little city car when it was introduced in the 70’s, delivering great fuel economy in a practical (albeit, little) package. It was in the 80’s that Honda got serious about building little racers with more power and handling to match, ending the era with the extremely potent EF9 SiR.
The 90’s saw the arrival of the ground-breaking futuristic look of the EG models, and the widespread adoption of the legendary DOHC VTEC engines. The EK continued on with the legacy of high-powered N/A engines while introducing economical models to satisfy the fuel scrooges.
The 2000’s saw quite a significant shift in the Civic design philosophy, with Honda gunning the ES model to become the “benchmark for compact cars,” with maximum cabin space, great fuel economy and a smooth drive. To the enthusiasts, Honda’s decision to replace the front double-wishbone suspension setup with a McPherson-strut setup, was… far from welcome. Also, it was the first time that the Civic was available with a hybrid powertrain.
So, with the eighth generation Civic, code-named FD, Honda completely revamped the Civic. Just like the EG, the designers completely did away with the old chassis and the accompanying design elements. Honda also dropped the bomb with the FD-based Civic Type R.
The FD could be considered to be spiritually following the footsteps of the EG. They both were built on the strengths of their predecessors, with additional improvements done to ensure that it warded off competitors when it came to driving performance and fuel economy.As a result, the FD Civic saw plenty of enthusiastic owners, be it the layman or enthusiasts. With such widespread adoption of the new platform, the explosion of aftermarket parts for the new Civic soon occurred, giving owners a virtually unlimited and easy customisation for their FD rides.
Everyone dreams of owning a thoroughbred like the Type R, but sky-high insurance premiums as well as a rock-hard ride will deter all but the most hardcore drivers. Thus, it is not uncommon to see the family-friendly FDs becoming the base of many customization projects in Singapore.
Alfred’s striking blue FD is a prime example, if the colour doesn’t grab your attention, it’s how unique it looks, created after spending days of trying to visualize the various exterior pieces to determine if they gel well with one another. Starting from the front, this Civic presents itself with a new front bumper from M & M Honda. Besides giving the Civic a more aggressive front end, the bumper also gives the FD additional airflow into the radiator.
As our eyes wandered upwards, we feasted on the pair of aggressive looking headlights, complemented with the aggressively styled J’s carbon bonnet with large vents helping to keep the under hood heat under control. The sides get the same treatment too, with more aggressive vented front fenders from Feels, a Type-R side skirt with an additional lip that adds down force at speed.
Finally, we reach the rear end, where we were greeted with a unique M & M Carbon GT wing mounted atop a carbon fibre boot. Below, we find a RR-style rear bumper with customized side vents. Initially considering going for a M & M rear bumper, the decision for a RR-style option is to keep the rear end more subtle. Also gone are the stock FD’s huge side mirrors, replaced with spoon carbon fibre options.
The list doesn’t end there. Opening the doors presented an interior that’s as blue as the exterior with custom optic fibres that run across the dashboard and doors to achieve the “Tron” effect. Expect mushy yet comfy seats? Nope. The front seats have been replaced with Sscus Euro’s, fully recline-able for comfort, yet with body-hugging shoulder and lower back supports. Monitoring gauges are an enthusiast’s staple, and this FD1 is no different; with the standard gauge cluster set of Defi gauges that display water and oil temperatures as well as oil pressure.
Firing up this Civic is an occasion thanks to the Type R engine start button that replaces the boring key turn sequence. Immediately, our ears were filled with the boom and rumble of the Fujitsubo Legalis-R cat-back exhaust system.
From the strong induction sound heard in the cabin, we were super curious to find what’s under the hood. Instead of finding miles of shiny piping, we were greeted with a very inconspicuous looking stock air box. However, on closer inspection the diddly black box has been clad in custom heat shielding to prevent heat soak from the engine next to it. Giving the car a few revs, we traced the induction sound to another small modification to the stock air box, effectively turning it into a cold air intake!
Extra cooling is always welcome in our tropical environment, and the thicker Mishimoto radiator that Alfred chose helps in keeping the coolant from completely boiling over. The R18 engine employs an intelligent VTEC system that adjusts the valve timing for maximum efficiency during startup and acceleration to achieve powerful, torquey performance, and helping it attain the maximum power output are the Q-max Turbo Power charger and grounding cables, coupled with the Splitfire Dspark ignition cables for the best possible spark.
While power gains are minimal, Alfred spent his money on giving his Civic superior stopping power with a set of Runstop 4-pot brakes for all four wheels – coupled with 355mm slotted rotors and sporty brake pad material for the best possible braking power!
While shopping for a set of coilovers to lower his car properly, Alfred eventually settled for a set of API Racing RS-R frp, a coilover brand that is famous for producing quality shock assemblies that give the best of both worlds. It may feel “softer” than a hardcore Type R, but the comfort levels are definitely much more livable.
The upgraded brake kits would not have been possible if the wheels weren’t big enough to accommodate them, hence the weapons of choice – Rota IKR’s in 17 inches that complete fill the wheel arches. Pairing the wheels with wear premium Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R’s, this car was able to grip and brake harder with all the sticky rubber!
Though there may be a large number of FD’s on the road today, owners like Alfred are constantly looking for ways to stand out from the crowd! Alfred’s Honda Civic FD1 is one that encompasses both style and a bit of performance boost. He’s currently waiting impatiently for a suitable track day to fully find out what his ride’s limits are!
Honda Civic FD1
Whitesnail Heat shielded sj-cai
Fujitsubo catback exhaust
Q-max Turbo Power charger and grounding cables
Splitfire Dspark ignition cables
Runstop 4pot BBK
API Racing RS-R coilovers
17″ Rota IKR
Yokohama Advan AD08R
Candy Blue Custom Paint Job
M&M front bumper
Feels carbon fibre fenders
J’s carbon fibre bonnet
Type R side skirt w/ Chargespeed carbon fibre downforce lip
RR rear bumper w/ side vents and 4th brake light
OEM carbon fibre boot
M&M carbon fibre GT wing
Feels carbon fibre side vents
Spoon carbon fibre side mirrors
Carbon fibre stick on door handles
Eagle eyes headlamps
Carbon fibre dashboard w/add on carbon fibre hood
Type R Push start button
Defi gauges (Water temp, Oil temp, Oil press)
Sscus Euro seats
Back lit Momo metal heel plate
Metal accelerator and brake pedals w/mugen foot rest
Mugen gear knob
Blue optic fibre inlaid in dashboard and 4 doors
Blue legroom lights