Going over to the Spoon HQ in Tokyo is always an experience. Apart from being one of the most top-of-the-line workshops around, there is always an infinite amount of eye candy to feast on. But the best part is, without a doubt, that you get to hang out with the man himself, Tatsuru Ichishima. He is a true character, with a million things rushing through his brain at any given time, he gives you short bursts of attention before disappearing into some obscure corner of the workshop trying to find God knows what. Once he appears he gives you a deep explanation of the fine balance between intake and exhaust pressures in a K20A, before shooting off with one of his many cars to the other Spoon workshop farther up the road. All great minds function in similar kinds of semi-chaotic states, but there is no arguing that Ichishima, or "Ichi" as he likes to be called, has created something special. He has perused his passion for motor racing and managed to create an extremely successful business from it; I mean, who out there with even the smallest interest in Honda hasn't heard of Spoon?
The reason we are here is that we wanted to see one of Ichi's latest creations, the Street Spec version of the FD2 Civic Type-R. As most are aware, the JDM Civic is somewhat different to the car we get here in the U.S., being built around the sedan body style offered in the home market. As history has shown us, Honda likes to keep the little gems it creates for its home market and this new Type-R is yet another to join the list. It comes with 220 bhp out of the box, very tight handling and a limited-slip differential.
When Ichishima-san got his hands on his, he knew that he would have to make his version even more extreme, something that would keep up with even the fastest sports car around the right twisty road. Work soon began on the engine, which was fully rebuilt by Yoshida-san, the chief mechanic in charge of the engineering department. The whole bottom end was fully balanced to far higher tolerances than factory to make sure the harmonics are just right when revving all the way to the redline. A Spoon oil pan was then fitted, a part which features substantial baffles to allow good oil pick up even when the car is under heavy lateral loads. The head got some special attention with a stage 1 port and polish job to clean up the intake and exhaust ports, along with some high-performance Spoon valvesprings and polished valves. High-lift Spoon camshafts were added and the engine was sealed up with a Spoon head gasket, which slightly increases the compression ratio.
The obligatory yellow Spoon valve cover was thrown on, complete with a carbon-Kevlar spark plug cover. A one-off 4-2-1 stainless steel exhaust manifold was fabricated to allow the engine to expel gases far more efficiently, with just the right amount of backpressure. This was joined by a straight-through center pipe, which then connects to a rather loud N1 rear silencer. The sound is pure Spoon, with a very deep idle which transforms into a raspy scream as the revs rise.