VitR — The 2018 Honda Civic Type R Experiment Begins

Oh yes, it’s on. The car is just a week old and we’ve already baselined it and tuned it. On Monday I snuck into the Honda dealership I’m on good terms with and sent myself all the Type R electrical schematics and proceeded to whip out a patch harness. I updated the code in my CivicX MoTeC M1 firmware to adapt it to the features and sensors in the Type R, but about 95% of the electronic wizardry in the Type R is based on what’s there in it’s sibling’s vehicles (1.5T vehicles).

The patch harness and all my programming was tested late Friday evening, then a scant 12 hours later we took the car to the shop to finish tuning and testing of the M1 programming. It all went very smooth. The results were fantastic even.

Keep in mind — this is a 100% stock vehicle. Everything is OEM other than our ECU.

Dynos

I know everyone is waiting for the “numbers”. So I won’t hold out, and will address some of the finer technical points further below. The car was dyno’d in 4th gear, with a baseline of about 285hp. When using 3rd gear the car dynos about 10-12hp higher. I stuck to using 4th gear however, as we’re tuning and testing the car. If you want heavily inflated numbers, multiply by 1.15 and push them at face value, I’m sure it works great to attract the uninitiated who are then in for a rude awakening at a later date.

What did she make? Just shy of 390whp and 350wtq (400 if you want to use 3rd..). This is on E30 blend fuel. 100whp over stock!

But Vit, what about on gas? Well, here’s the 92 octane plot. Just shy of 360whp and over 330wtq — an easy 70whp pick up on gas with just a tune. And I know someone is going to ask “but what about below 3200” — I sped the dyno up a HAIR since I was not sure how much torque the stock clutch would take, so it moved peak spool about 200-300 rpm. I wanted to make it through at least one tuning session on a new car without destroying a Honda clutch… as seems to have been my habit lately.

As you can also see — no more mid range torque curve twerk. This is 100% Honda’s fault. The factory tune is absolute shit. In this respect, Honda took your money and kicked you in your jewels as a reward.

And yes, I fully expect to see “450hp tuned” numbers being pushed at face value eventually by miracle dyno operators.

Can It Make More?

Absolutely, especially torque! On the corn blend, things were starting to get sketch so I stopped there for now, but I think there’s a little bit left in the tune to push it a bit further. Due to not knowing how much the stock clutch would take, instead of aiming for big torque numbers I made the decision to tune for a “flat” torque curve.

The resulting boost curve demonstrates this — 17psi climbing to 26psi to give us the torque curve we see in the E30 graph. Can you make more torque? Yes, I think 400wtq is possible as I don’t see the turbo having any problem making 28-30psi in the 3500-4000 rpm area. This is where you may run into a snag, however….

All Things D/I

The injectors on the car are about 10-12% larger than what comes in the 1.5 turbo motors. However, the D/I pump isn’t a whole lot better. When pushed, it’s starting to peg out on how much fuel volume it can deliver, and when this happens fuel pressure drops. You can see this behavior at 6100 rpm on the E30 pull.

Why does this happen? Well it’s really not a whole lot different than when an in-tank fuel pump starts to run out of flow — pressure starts to drop. The exception with D/I is the pressure drop can be quite catastrophic if you’re riding the ragged edge. As seen on gas, we were using about 155 microliters of fuel. But when we bumped up to E30, the fuel demand went up to 170 microliters of fuel and the D/I pump skipped a beat. I have some D/I control settings I can tweak in the M1, but I think even with those we’re kind of right there with the D/I pump anyway.

Fortunately the injectors still had some room to go and we were OK. What’s this tell us? Pushing 400whp+ will become interesting and tuning decisions need to be made.

Cool Things

The auto rev match feature? Yes we have it in the M1 too. How does Honda do it? There is an input shaft speed sensor that is used for decision making and rev matching.

This engine also comes with an oil pressure sensor, something new for a K series.

I have tons of data to comb through, but the initial results are quite pleasing. I think a downpipe and tuning on gas will be the next stop — should make comparable power to what we just saw on E30 (or maybe a bit more?).