Honda today unveiled high performance kits for the Civic Si and Acura TL at the 2003 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas. The Acura A-SPEC package for the TL performance luxury sedan debuts in November while the Honda Factory Performance (HFP) kit for the Civic Si goes on sale in December. Acura also announced it has re-launched its Factory Performance program as Acura A-SPEC, a term signifying the highest level of engineering quality, to brand Acura's program and differentiate it from Honda Factory Performance.
Honda also debuted new stylized concept versions of the Honda Element and Acura TSX, as well as cars driven by standout drivers Stephan Papadakis and RJ DeVera.
"The vehicles we have on display at SEMA not only confirm Honda's and Acura's present commitment to the performance aftermarket, they also give a good indication of how important we expect this market to be to us in the future," said Jim Roach, American Honda vice president of the Parts Division. "Participating in SEMA is extremely important for American Honda because it lets us reach out to this influential group of customers at one of the most important trade shows of the year."
The Civic Si joins the Civic EX Coupe and the Accord Coupe in Honda's expanding lineup of Factory Performance models. The Civic Si package features suspension components including shocks and springs that lower the car approximately one inch, 17x7 alloy wheels, high performance tires, a rear spoiler, an aero kit and Honda Factory Performance badging. The MSRP for the Civic Si HFP package will be approximately $4,000 plus dealer installation.
American Honda launched its Performance Accessory program in 2002 announcing kits for the Civic EX Coupe and the Acura RSX Type-S. All Honda Factory Performance kits are engineered by Honda, must be installed at the dealership and carry the same warranty as the rest of the vehicle.
The 2004 TL, which went on sale last month, features a bold, new design, a powerful 270-horsepower engine, sport-tuned suspension and an assortment of leading edge technology. The TL A-SPEC kit enhances handling and styling with a track-tuned suspension package that lowers the car by approximately one inch, 18x8.5 wheels equipped with Yokohama tires, performance brake pads (for automatic transmission-equipped models), an underbody kit, a deck lid (or rear wing) spoiler and Acura A-SPEC badging. The TL A-SPEC kit will be priced at approximately $5,000 plus dealer installation and covered under a factory warranty.
In addition to the A-SPEC equipped TL, Acura division displayed a TSX A-SPEC Concept with modifications and accessories designed by Honda Access America, the accessory division of Honda, to showcase the car's high performance personality. The concept is equipped with numerous prototype components including, shocks and springs, Brembo front brakes and a deck lid spoiler. It boasts interior modifications including Recaro front seats and a Momo sport steering wheel. Also on display for Acura was the Skunk2 RSX Racecar. Built to compete in the NHRA All-Motor Class, this car features an alcohol injected 2.4 liter DOHC VTEC engine with a K24 block and K20 cylinder head package as well as suspension modifications including a multi-link rear design, racing shocks with titanium springs and Goodyear tires. Acura also showcased a supercharged NSX modified by enthusiast Duke Tubtim. Utilizing accessories from major aftermarket companies like Comptech, Sparco and Takata, Tubtim has taken the already formidable NSX to an even higher level of performance.
In addition to the Factory Performance Civic Si, Honda division displayed four other high performance models at SEMA. The Honda Element Concept takes Honda's hot-selling new model off road with an all-terrain, sport suspension, high performance Brembo brakes and huge 21-inch wheels and tires. The AEM/DriverFX.com Civic, driven by import racing legend Stephan Papadakis, features a 3.0-liter NSX V-6 engine and a chromoly steel chassis by Don Ness Racecars. In 2003, Papadakis drove this car to the World's Fastest Sport Compact and World's Quickest Honda titles with a 207.8 MPH trap speed and a 6.71 second ET. The King Motorsports Mugen S2000 features an assortment of performance accessories from Mugen and delivers intense performance designed for the street and the track. RJ DeVera's HFP/RO_JA Concept Honda Accord, powered by a 2.4-liter GReddy turbocharged i-VTEC TSX engine and featuring a Pure Styling Ro_Ja Ground Effects Kit, Sparco racing seats, 19-inch Ro_Ja Forged wheels and BF Goodrich tires, was also on display.
"The vehicles we're displaying show the full scope of Honda's participation in the performance aftermarket " said Roach. "From street-ready Factory Performance and A-SPEC kits to one-off concepts to record-setting drag cars, Honda and Acura products are out in force."
Honda also reviewed its racing contingency sponsorship program, which this year has paid out over $300,000 to competitors in various racing series including the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the NOPI Drag Racing Series and the Battle of the Imports. Next year, Honda will continue to support competitors in select racing series. It will also continue its ongoing support of Racers against Street Racing (RASR), a SEMA-organization that advocates alternatives to illegal street racing.