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Honda VTEC Type R

Motorcycle Technology

Honda are well-known for their motorcycles and over the last decade, their high quality cars. There's no doubt that they can build incredible engines. As an example, they've been building 4 cylinder bike engines that rev up to 20,000rpm for years. Their bike engines use revolutionary technology for power output, reliability and lightness. The latter is of course, fundamental to the design of cutting edge sports bikes. You can see this technology in their car engines. Engine design is all about compromises. Sure you can design an engine to give high power output but usually at the expense of economy. Honda use variable valve timing in their engines, to avoid having to make this compromise. Variable valve timing means that at low revs, the engine can give optimal economy and at high revs, optimal power output. All you need to know really though, is that the VTEC is an engine designed for both road use and for racing.

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The following example of a round-fronted Mini with a 16v 1600cc VTEC demonstrates that it's certainly possible to fit the VTEC and still maintain the Mini's original looks. Note that the car doesn't even use a flip-front however, a considerable amount of work has been done to achieve this. John (miniandme@aol.com) managed to track down the owner of the car, Norman Gowers, via a long process of message relays. Norman is not hooked up to the web but John was able to speak with him for a few minutes. The car has been finished for about 5 months now, it is a regular Mini subframe with every thing cut off in front of the suspension towers. He used box section tubing to fabricate what he needed from there. A relief section was cut in the firewall, boxed and welded up to allow room for the intake manifold. The only body modifications were opening up of the axle holes. He's running a Wolf (http://www.wolfems.com.au) engine management system that's programmable from a supplied keypad. The radiator and a thermostatic fan is located on the opposite of a stock Mini. The radiator is a custom job and new axles had to be fabricated also. He uses 13" wheels with the largest custom brakes he could fit. The car took a total of 6 months to build and is used for hill-climbing and circuit racing. The car wheel-spins all the way through 3rd gear!. More info and hopefully some pictures when it arrives...


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