Everyone knows what a Civic Type R is. The lineage of the ultimate FWD track monster that Japan has ever produced, at the expense of some comfort, of course. But, the Civic Type R isn’t the only member of the Type R family, it is joined by the Integra as well as the lesser-noticed Accord.
But we reckon that the Honda Accord Euro R (CL7R) is one of the few performance cars that can proudly proclaim to have the perfect balance between performance and practicality. It has 4 proper seats, a boot and a roomy interior. But beauty is only skin-deep, as the Type R models are differentiated by features such as a stiffer suspension and chassis, limited slip differentials, bigger brakes, sporty exhaust system, bigger wheels, Recaro seats and a Momo steering wheel.
It’s also a funny sign of how times are-a-changin. While it was not a crowd favorite due to its family-friendly four-door configuration, the configuration eventually won the Type R enthusiasts over. Pravin, the owner of this CL7R, knows his car well and appreciates the importance of balancing the need for more power, with the understanding that not all modifications will bode down well on the car, since it serves as both his track weapon and family shuttle alike.
Despite its family-oriented stature, this is a thoroughbred, out-and-out sports car. It’s blessed with a VTEC-fettled motor beneath the hood, which makes all the difference between a casual driver who wants to reach his/her destination in a fuss free manner, compared to a petrolhead who wants to embrace the notion of driving enjoyment, by gathering plenty of smiles per mile of driver-centric motoring. In fact, this fine example has been treated to many track sessions from Sepang to Malacca. (Flip to pg44 to see where it really goes!)
With most CL7Rs reaching the end of its lifespan due to the COE cycle, cars such as these will become a rarefied breed – those that have escaped the dreaded scrap word and continue to prowl the streets. There might be faster, more tech-laden cars on local tarmac, but any driver will not deny the satisfaction of driving a good manual gearbox and a well tuned naturally aspirated unit.
The focus with the upgrades, was mainly to enhance the handling of the “softer” Type R of the family. These upgrades help to boost the feeling of secure handling when Pravin pushes the car on track – for a large-sized vehicle, it feels live and nimble!
One of the downsides of the CL7R were its slightly weak stock brakes. Even though they work well on the street, a good hose, pad and rotor combination upgrade improved this car’s on track performance tremendously. Other personalizations came in the form of customizing the driving feel. First, the gear throw was shortened with a Mugen Short Shifter with a lighter feel with the carbon gear knob (as opposed to the usual heavier options).
The handling package came in form of the extra adjustable Tein Flex Z coilovers, which the chassis slop was taken up with the stiffer polyurethane bushings and hardrace camber kits. Keeping the flex in check were the front strut tower bar as well as the thicker anti roll bars to keep this executive sedan rolling tidily around corners.
As with any track aficionado, Pravin keeps two sets of rubbers: An Eagle F1 asymmetric 2 set for daily use, swapping it for the sticky Bridgestone Re070 for serious track days. And for the final touches, a long-waited J’s Racing rear diffuser with a curiously matching customized WRX STI front lip.
“This car has yielded me 5 trophies in one year. My biggest achievement with this car was to be the Novice class Champion for round 4 of the 2016 SMSA gymkhana. This family rocket has helped me build towards my racing driver ambition. Totally different from go karts!”
A car civilized enough for his mother to drive, a car that can cruise to the track, have fun and cruise home in comfort. Pravin considers his ride to be a fine example of one of the best performance all rounders out there, despite being one of lesser-known models in Honda’s iconic Type R lineup!
Honda Accord Euro R
Custom Simota carbon Fibre intake tube with 6” Simota stainless steel filter.
DC5 Integra Type R Hondata K-pro ECU
RBC Intake Manifold
Mugen OEM Titanium sports exhaust system
Raizin Volt Stabilizer
HKS Hipermax III Coilovers changed to Brand New Tein Flex Z coilovers, compatible with EDFC
Eagle F1 asymmetric 2/Lightweight Inforged Rims with Bridgestone Re070
Super-pro Polyurethane Bushings
Hardrace Camber kit
Spoon Sports Front Strut Tower bar
H & R Anti-roll Bar (front 28mm rear 22mm)
Acre light sport 550 deg. Pads changed to Dixcel Z-type 850 degree ads for track
Stainless steel brake hoses
Mugen Short Shifter
Mugen carbon gearknob
Custom Euro-R Red interior Carpets
Sabelt Belt covers
J’s Racing rear diffuser
Version 5 WRX STI front lip