Chief designer for Sunbeam, Louis Coatalen was once quoted as saying "Racing improves the breed." With Formula One racers that look like nothing on the open road, and NASCAR, whose cars only LOOK like what you can get in a dealership, its hard for the average Joe to see why motorsport is relevant to their daily lives.

Production-based racing is where you can truly find that connection of road car and race car, Cars that wish to enter in these types of race series must start life as a model that you can find at your local dealer. The folks at Compass 360 Racing have chronicled what it takes to turn your daily driver into a race winner, and according to the description, "it's easier than you think."

The team starts out with a 2012 Honda Civic Si and takes the necessary steps to ready it for race series like the Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The first move for racing mechanic Steve Stantidakis and the rest of the team is to gut the car almost entirely, removing interior panels, seats, accessories and the engine. The spread of parts along the shop floor in the video is quite remarkable.

Next, they separate parts that will return to the compact racer from the items that will be discarded. Once stripped down, a roll cage is installed, the car is painted, and necessary parts will be reinstalled.

A version of the Si's 2.4-liter VTEC four-cylinder tuned by Honda Performance Development engine is next to go in. According to HPD Senior Engineer Lee Niffenegger, the four-pot achieves roughly 25 percent more power than the standard Si engine through improved intake and exhaust flow, among other things.

And why go through all this trouble to convert a bone-stock coupe into a performance machine? Says Niffenegger, "The reason Honda races is to push our cars to the limit. You can only learn so much through what you do on the street."

Scroll down to see it all come together.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      David
      • 2 Years Ago
      i want m car to be transformed by these guys))
      David Donovan
      • 2 Years Ago
      They could have saved themselves a lot of time and money by just slapping NOS and VTEC stickers all over the car. Everybody knows each one is good for 15 hp to the wheels
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      And it's still garbage compared to the 8th gen car.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carguy1701
        [blocked]
          bazinga
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carguy1701 I agree, and it's not an interior I would willingly cut-out holes into just to accommodate a roll cage.
          David Donovan
          • 2 Years Ago
          So in other words it's a FWD BRZ? Stiff chassis, no power.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          Then how come all the teams fielding a Civic Si still use the 8th gen model while only one team has moved to the new one?
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          bazinga: your car also has a better interior than the 2012 model.
          Sugaki
          • 2 Years Ago
          Lol, lighter? The 2006 Si is the same exact weight as the 2012 Si. The 2011 is a whopping *18 lbs* lighter, whoopty doo. Plus, the K24 in the Si dynos lower. Steering is slower, the car feels more numb.
        MyerShift
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carguy1701
        Carguy, I agree. I own a 2008 Si coupe. I sat in the 2012 model, and there is so much that has been stripped from the car inside and out! Poor, poor interior quality and design compared to the previous model. Not as severe as MkV to MkVI Jetta, but close enough.
      s tom
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lol. Step one - pull the motor
      Mondrell
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The reason Honda races is to push our cars to the limit. You can only learn so much through what you do on the street." Too bad then that Honda/Acura's North American lineup is dominated by lowest common denominator cars most would never dream of pushing to the limit.
      Meltman
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like how they used a race prep'd older gen K series engine - Why? because the new factory SI engine has the exhaust manifold CAST INTO THE HEAD! What a load of crap in this video. Honda is doing everything wrong for enthusiasts. First the chassis were inferior to the old double wishbone cars, now the engines are too. Honda should write a book - "How to destroy your fan base by making what they don't want".
        AcidTonic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Meltman
        It's alright. Ford still ignores the AWD requests and thinks we want FWD with a fancy front suspension that barely handles stock horsepower without torquesteer.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AcidTonic
          The ST is not an Evo/WRX competitor. That job will fall to the Focus RS (if it gets built). The last RS had FWD and very few people complained, despite the absurd amount of power being sent to the front wheels. Please, stop fulfilling the arrogant Evo fanboy stereotype.
      OfDukes
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a joke, right? The guy explains that the race cars are essentially the same as the civic SIs that people drive on the streets. He claims it is interesting because very little is done to transform a showroom car into a race car. Then they show them replace the engine with a completely different engine Honda made for racing... Maybe I am ignorant, but this race car is as much a showroom civic SI, as Block's WRC hoon mobile is a standard Fiesta. I guess I just don't see the point of this video. Maybe I am just grumpy this morning.
        cdoan11
        • 2 Years Ago
        @OfDukes
        Well to be fair, Block's WRC car costs well over $500k to make and is on a totally different level of preperation. The biggest difference is that Block's car has been sent to a welder to be seam welded and swiss cheesed while this Civic is still using the factory spot welds, a huge difference in rigidity. I'm for certain this Civic doesn't even cost a quarter of what it did for the Fiesta.
          AcidTonic
          • 2 Years Ago
          @cdoan11
          Yet when the Evo is a different chassis with extra bracing, no fold down seats due to a big brace there, and not even the basic lancer body panels will fit (widebody), you guys say it's just an econo-car. I remember reading that something like 170 extra spot welds were added to the Evo IX chassis in 2006. With Aluminum body panels to reduce weight from having AWD, it still only weight 3270lbs bone stock. That car made nearly 150hp per liter and was available as cheap as $27,500 with a 6 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty getting 19city 25 highway. But you guys all said it was just a lancer with AWD and a turbo without even knowing it's a totally different frame that is so stiff you can jack up the left tire with a canister jack and watch the right tire lift off the ground. Not many production frames are that stiff, not even a 2013 Mustang GT will lift both front wheels when jacked from one side. But again you guys had no idea what it was because you were stuck on the looks. I doubt Ford's Focus RS if it comes here will have a unique frame or aluminum body panels. But you will eat it all up and love it because it's American.
        Joe Bo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @OfDukes
        Yea, they did all that work when they could have just put a coffee can on the stock muffler, added a few yellow stickers and called it a day.
        Fazzster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @OfDukes
        Don't worry I am grumpy too. Why? Because in one breath Honda is telling me the stock Si is a race car yet the car undergoes a heart transplant. I can see making the claim with a few bolt on's but come on...
        OfDukes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @OfDukes
        After reviewing the video again, my point is that the transformation is hardly simple, and they are in no way the same vehicle.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      All the Honda fans just bought BR-Z/FR-S cars..... That big surge in purchasing was the first Honda-like car that these guys have had a chance to buy for YEARS.
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        How ironic that the very thing driving Honda fans away from Honda are the Honda-like cars from Toyobaru (albeit RWD).
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cool vid, though.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Stook
      • 2 Years Ago
      This HDP car against FD2 Mugen RR?
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