Some say nothing boosts a car's reputation like racing. Honda seems to agree with that adage by turning the City Hatchback into a race car.
Over in Thailand, the humble hatchback will be hitting the racetrack soon. Honda's latest model will form part of a one-make series coming soon. It will be the third single-make series from Honda after the Brio and Jazz series.
Revealed by Grand Prix International (GPI) Motorsport at the 2021 Bangkok Motor Show, the track-ready hatchback features a modified exterior and interior, along with an upgraded turbocharged engine under the hood.
Apart from the racing livery, the hatchback has a custom aero kit, Enkei alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama tires, Sparco tow hooks for the front and back, and a custom rear spoiler.
The hatchback loses most of its interior parts and panels to keep its weight down. Meanwhile, a digital data logger now sits in front of the traditional gauges. Other upgrades include a racing seat and steering wheel from Sparco, along with a six-point racing harness and an FIA-approved roll cage.
Curiously, some creature comforts remain. The race car still has air-conditioning and its touchscreen on-board. It even kept the USB ports, perhaps for those who want to listen to tunes while on a qualifying run.
Under the hood, the racecar uses a tuned 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. The upgrade comes courtesy of a remapped ECU – giving it more power and torque. There is no mention of the new output, but the baseline figure is 122 PS and 173 Nm of torque from the stock version.
Aside from the engine, the City Hatchback also received the following upgrades – a transmission oil cooler, a racing muffler, a racing damper kit from Tein, and uprated disc brakes and pads.
We're curious why they chose to use a continuously variable transmission instead of a six-speed manual. Then again, the race car could highlight the durability of its CVT.
The question now is this: Will Honda Cars Philippines follow suit and make a racing series for the City? Fingers crossed.