When the FK8 Civic Type R debuted in 2017, people weren't only raving about its 306hp turbocharged 2.0-liter K-series VTEC powertrain. It was the sum of all its parts that made it every Honda fanboy's dream come true with things like a six-speed manual transmission, linear powerband and track-proven handling which helped clock a Nurburgring lap time faster than a BMW M2 and Z06 Corvette.
The FK8 hatchback was also the first Type R reintroduced to the U.S. market after what felt like an eternal hiatus following the DC2 Integra Type R. After a few years and tens of thousands of Civic Type Rs sold worldwide, we're beginning to discover modified examples evolve into much more than what any Honda engineer could've imagined, take for example this 2017 Type R owned by YouTuber HondaPro Jason.
First thing you're probably asking yourself is, "Wait, isn't Honda releasing the Phoenix Yellow Civic Type R in the 2021 model year?" You are correct! A Limited Edition Civic Type R of 600 units with BBS forged wheels and other weight reducing features will go on-sale later this year; however, this particular build was completed in the spring of 2018. From there, it went on a grand tour of attending car shows, local meets and even the SEMA Show where it continued to garner widespread attention as the only new Phoenix Yellow Civic Type R that pays homage to the 2000-2001 Integra Type R.
What most people don't know about this car is about what lies underneath the shiny yellow paint. First off, my bold statement in the article's title is no lie... A 2020 mid-engine C8 Corvette powered by a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 claims 495 horsepower, with a recent independent dyno test by Carlyle Racing showing 440 horsepower to the wheels. In the case of this Phoenix Yellow Civic Type R, we're talking about a dyno-proven 454whp thanks to well-designed bolt-ons, an upgraded turbo and a direction injection fuel system upgrade from Hondata. Okay, it's not a fair comparison considering we're talking about flex fuel, but truth of the matter is, this tiny turbocharged four-cylinder (while retaining all stock internals), makes nearly 200 more crank horsepower than stock, and could technically keep up with a C8 Corvette, given it's able to hold traction—and not to mention it's also 600 lbs lighter.
The second point I want to make is that this Type R owner is no typical Honda guy. HondaPro Jason doesn't just live and breathe Honda, but bleeds Honda (in fact, his son's middle name is Mugen!). The former Honda salesman turned Honda brand advocate and YouTuber is a fireball full of energy and I've had the pleasure of joining him on several media events (one of the last ones being the Talon side-by-side experience).
HondaPro Jason splits his time between Chicago and Florida so it's often hard to connect with him, but he recently left his car with Hondata, Spoon Sports and Titan 7 in Southern California. I decided to hijack his car for our photoshoot one afternoon and let me just say, "holy shit!".
I've had quite a bit of seat time in stock FK8 Civic Type Rs and I often rave about them for their incredible handling, six-speed manual and everyday drivability. But the moment I stepped inside HondaPro Jason's car, I couldn't keep my right foot off the throttle. I felt like I could've roasted the tires all the way into fourth gear! I wasn't able to do any triple-digit freeway pulls due to trying to maintain composure and maturity during our photoshoot, but if there's anything I remember, it's that I had to ease into the throttle so I wouldn't spin the tires each pull. I can imagine with enough practice; this thing would fly. Without a doubt, it begs for some straight, open highway roads.
Enough about my experiences though... Without further adieu, here's my interview with HondaPro Jason, a man who's not just built one of the most boost-happy and eye-catching FK8 Civic Type Rs around, but a man you also won't be forgetting anytime soon if you love any 'n all things Honda.
1-on-1 Interview with HondaPro Jason
In a nutshell, tell everyone who HondaPro Jason is and what you do for a living?
I've been a Honda fan since 1987 and became a brand advocate in late 1993, after I bought my first new Honda, a 1994 Honda Accord EX-L coupe five-speed manual. My love for the brand brought me to changing my career as a bartender to a full-time Honda salesman in 1996. I sold Hondas for 20 years and loved helping people better understand the product and history of the brand. Back in 2012, I thought if I made videos of the information I told people in person, maybe I could reach more people. That's when I started a YouTube channel. Today, that channel has about 160,000 subscribers and has also grown the "HondaPro Jason" brand to over 600,000 followers on all my social media platforms.
What do most of your videos cover and what's your most popular video?
My videos cover everything from tips and tricks on new Hondas to tours of Honda collections worldwide and walkarounds of new Honda dealerships and car events from all corners of the globe. I'm so grateful for the love and support from the Honda and automotive community. I remember the day when one of my videos reached 1,000 views and I was blown away. Now, I have videos in the millions of views with one of my most popular ones from the time I was able to fly the Honda-built jet (actually fly the jet myself!). I have always said passion can bring you anywhere and I am proof of that.
How about past project cars? I seem to remember you had a modified Civic Si before this.
I've owned over 58 Hondas in total, the oldest being a 1986 Civic Si. I have had many modified Hondas but most recently my 2014 supercharged Civic Si I called "Project Orange" which had many engine mods and custom paint accents. I had that up until my new FK8 Civic Type R, a car I dreamt about for 18 years!
And of course, that meant you had to get one of the first, right?
Yes! As soon as I learned that Honda would be bringing this Type R to America (that day was April 1, 2016), I knew I had to own one and make it very special. I started working on a plan and called many people at American Honda and Honda UK, wrote a few e-mails and made contact with a dealership in New York to purchase the car from. All my hard work paid off because I was able to join American Honda for a media-only preview and drive of the new CTR. Then I flew to the UK to see my own CTR getting built in the factory, finally taking delivery in New York at Mohawk Honda. That was just the beginning...
Your car was painted Phoenix Yellow well before Honda decided to reveal the 2021 Limited Edition model. Can you explain what went into your decision process?
Phoenix Yellow was only previously used on the Type R trim—Integra and Civic, and Honda wasn't going to offer it in the FK8 at launch. Was my car inspiration for the new Limited Edition Type R color combo? Yes, it was and I'm so very proud of that! So, after finding the perfect custom paint shop to take on this project, it was time to watch my grand plan come together. It took eight months of disassembly, paint, cutting off the roof to replace it with a carbon fiber one and reassembling the whole car. Every nut, bolt, glass and trim was removed down to the frame as I wanted this to look like it came from the factory in Phoenix Yellow. My car came out even more beautiful than the day I bought it, which was only 11 months prior. I took the car straight from paint in Missouri to Quebec for the unveiling at an event called Honda Fest. People went mad crazy and I really made an impact on the FK8 scene worldwide.
There are some little details about your FK8 that most folks might not pick up...
Overall, Honda did a great job with the new FK8 but there were a few things that I thought should have been different, so I changed them. This included cutting the front 'fake grilles' and making them more functional, painting the side trim gloss black to match the rest of the car, removing the rear wiper (for a cleaner look), and replacing the rear solid vents with actual vented pieces. On the on the interior I also replaced the leather wrapped steering wheel and shift boot with alcantara.
Nice touches indeed. What's "Experiment 891" mean?
I named named my Type R 'Experiment 891', #891 is the badge number and 'Experiment' because I'm always trying new things. It has had three different wheel setups, now with a one-of-one set of 19-in Titan 7 wheels, two different rear spoilers—I'm now running a Mugen carbon spoiler and many engine and suspension upgrades.
My current power is 454whp with 422 lb-ft lb of torque. This is the most powerful Honda I have ever owned. I love surprising other cars and usually get a big thumbs up from old school Camaro and Supra owners.
Can you go into more detail about the engine/turbo upgrades for us?
Yes, I started with an intake upgrade from Eventuri that's all carbon fiber. Keeping things simple, I've added a titanium inlet pipe and most recently upgraded the turbo from Pure Turbo. They upgraded the turbine wheel, billet compressor wheel and journal bearings while still using the factory case. To make sure it all flows correctly, I have a Dream Automotive downpipe with an AWE Touring black diamond exhaust. The whole system runs on a Hondata FlashPro tuned on E85 flex fuel.
How does the drivability and power compare?
After I installed the FlashPro, the car felt completely different with more power all over the RPM band. Then a few months later, we added E85 and again a completely different animal. Now with the fuel system upgrade and a tune, it's the most powerful and most fun Honda I have ever owned. I've actually had to slowly ease off the gas a few times because it was pulling so hard.
You're telling me... The thing can fly! Is there a different tune on pump gas?
Yes, the computer is setup to run either regular 91-93 pump gas or up to 60% E85. Power figures on just 91 pump gas are 385whp with 375 lb-ft of torque.
Noticed the car wasn't lowered. Reason for that?
I drive so much under all different conditions and since the car handles so well from the factory, I decided to keep the suspension stock height until someone releases a fully electronic adaptive suspension to replace the unit that Honda has on the vehicle. With that being said, I did install Spoon Sports rigid collars and stiff front brace that really tighten up the feel of the ride and made the handling much more crisp.
There were rumors you were going to do an all-wheel-drive conversion. Is that still happening?
Yes, my future modifications include rear wheel electric motors by a company called Orbis. These will replace the rear wheel assemblies with 75hp motors making the CTR all-wheel-drive. These are still in testing and should be available early in 2021.
Lastly, you just finished an epic road trip from California to Chicago to Florida. How many miles are on the car now?
I have fully enjoyed every one of the 42,000 miles I have driven this car, everywhere in the U.S. from Florida to California and back, and even to New York a few times. I hope to bring more smiles to everyone at events in the future.
More Civic Type R News & Features
- Ahead of this feature, we showed a sneak preview of the officially licensed Meister Honda Type R watch in Phoenix Yellow.
- We first caught a glimpse of HondaPro Jason's Type R at the HeRitage Car Show by Meister in 2018.
- Randy Lew of Evasive Motorsports 2018 Civic Type R looks stunning in HKS livery.