Photos: Alan Luy | Words: Danny Dai

Honda is a brand that has seen plenty of both love and hate among enthusiasts, and the Civic is no exception. With “only” a 4 cylinder engine under the bonnet, people often underestimate the potential of these cars, haphazardly labeling them as underdogs. However, this is what motivates Chris to get up every morning and head out to work in order to sustain the build for his pride and joy. Like many others, Chris sees an understated beauty in driving a car that doesn’t boast ridiculous amounts of power. Instead, it compensates with poise, balance and razor sharp handling. Although Honda decided to stick to its roots and keep the Civic naturally aspired, the 4 cylinder 2.0 litre engine still pushes out 200/212hp in EUDM/JDM spec from factory. This means it is capable of launching from 0-100 kph in an impressive 6.4 seconds flat.


Some people may be a little confused as to why the EP3R originally came with a UK flag emblem on the rear. It is affixed slightly to the left of the “Civic” badge, and its purpose is to signify the car’s place of manufacture – Swindon, England. The EUDM (European Domestic Market) spec Civic Type R was sold with a 200hp (150kW) 2.0L i-VTEC engine (K20A2) mated to a close ratio gearbox. It also featured a bigger, more powerful braking system than the basic model. The EP3R was then shipped to Japan to have a few things added to it; this was later released as a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) spec model which came with a helical LSD, red Recaro seats, a more track-oriented chassis/undercarriage setting and a 212hp (158kW) 2.0L i-VTEC engine (K20A) at its heart.


The EP3R really exemplifies the classic hatchback shape, both sporty in aesthetics and practical in nature. It seems like in this instance, Honda went out of their way to design a shape that was a little more interesting and unique, definitely setting it apart from other hot hatchbacks in the market.


Function over form is the motto for Chris’ build philosophy. Instead of going overboard with crazy offsets and super-wide wheels, he decided on a setup that delivers a perfect balance between the way it looks, and the way it drives.


Chris’ Rays TE37s measure 17×7.5 front and 17×8.5 rear, which are custom painted blue/purple, really add character and ensure that you always snap your head when you see this unique EP3R rolling down the street. Some may think that the yellow sidewall writing on the tires is a little excessive, but personally I think that it is a perfect touch as it contrasts very nicely with the blue wheels, and hints at the racing heritage of the car.


Chris is the type of person that is keen to ensure that his build is unique. Thus, his car was actually the first EP3R in Australia to have the Air Walker front bar adorned with ARC winglets. We hope he continues to set the creative benchmark in the EP3 chassis as his build progresses.



Chris’ motor remains relatively stock in terms of internals, but has some subtle modifications in the form of radiator hoses, a fuel rail and pressure gauge all sourced from Hybrid Racing.


The centerpiece of this car’s engine bay is definitely the custom fabricated Havoc intake arm leading to an exquisite Gruppe M intake system. It gives this EP3R a deep snarl that begins to sing, then scream as the revs climb higher and higher towards the stratospheric 8500rpm redline.



Air Walker Front Bumper
Buddy Club Rear Wing
Charge Speed Carbon Bonnet
TWS Blue Tow Strap

Stock Internals
GruppeM Intake System
Havoc Fabrication Custom Stainless Steel Intake Piping
Hybrid Racing Radiator Hoses
Hybrid Racing Fuel Rail
Hybrid Racing Fuel pressure gauge

All New Gears and Bearings
Synchrotech Carbon Synchros from 1st to 4th Gears
OEM FD2R 5.06 Final Drive Upgrade
EXEDY Heavy Duty Clutch
TODA Lightened Flywheel

J’s Racing Front Strut Bar
J’s Racing Rear Strut Bar
J’s Racing C-Pillar Bar
HOTCHKIS 27mm Rear Sway Bar
HOTCHKIS 25.4mm Front Sway Bar
Hard Race Rear Camber Adjusters
TEIN Monoflex Coilovers

Custom slotted rotors Front and Rear from RDA
EBC Redstuff Brake Pads
Mugen Micro Mesh Brake Lines Front & Rear

Wheels & Tires:
VOLK RAYS TE37 Wheels Finished in Custom Blue/Purple Paint
17 X 7.5 Front
17 X 8.5 Rear
225/45/17 all round

Recaro SPG Bucket Seat
OMP Four Point Racing Harness
Circuit Hero Shifter Extender
TEGIWA Solid Shifter Bushings

Soon to be fitted:
ATS 6 Piston Brake Upgrade (Front)
J’s Racing 25mm Wider Front Fenders
OEM Face Lift Headlights
OEM Face Lift UKDM SPEC Side Mirrors with Indicators
PERSONAL GRINTA 350mm Suede Steering wheel with Works Bell Quick Release Kit and Short Hub

Big Thanks to:
Jack Tai at REAL TUNE for his countless hours spent on my car
Roy & the gang at OTR motorsports for parts
Jensen Rozario at AVI for all the paint work
Laurence at WheelTech
My Boys – Leigh Nicolas, Matt Van Lindenberg, Christian Willer, Brett Swain and last but not least my girlfriend Lara Ohlmus for putting up with my JDM obsession.

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