Outrageous for a Reason

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February 15

Ajay Varghese has spent the better part of 22 years inSingaporeonly to come back and start a business over here. And just as you would expect from any petrol head entrepreneur, his thoughts revolved around cars and before long, UrbanR Automotive Pvt Limited was born. From Brisk spark plugs, to Vogtland suspension and Carbon Teknics carbon fibre components, Urban R had everything in its products portfolio and lots of interest from new customers. But to really get the message across, he needed a demo car that would also be his daily driver.

He was looking for something Japanese and sporty to begin with and his search ended with this galaxy grey manual Civic. Ajay didn’t want loads of power that would deter from the original feel of the car and make it undrivable and unreliable. Besides, he want to show his potential customers how a set of well chose components can really set a car apart. First in line was deciding on what style to go for. It could be a subtle and classy job that is now being followed by the matured tuning scene, but then, not many would notice. And that, for a demo car, wouldn’t be doing its job. So it had to be outrageous and in a few months, he had a conversation starter.

The number of imported parts on this car boggles our mind. Everything was individually imported by Ajay, in a few months to complete his build. The styling is inspired by J’s Racing’s renowned project on their FD Civic. The front bumper, canards, bonnet and rear wing are all J’s racing products imported fromJapan. The front splitter is however different, but it has been flawlessly integrated into the J’s racing bumper. The rear bumper has a J’s racing diffuser integrated into it, but that rear bumper and side skirts are from a Type R. The bonnet, boot lid and the rear wing are all genuine carbon fibre stuff and Ajay reckons the weight saving (despite the addition of the wing) was noticeable when he first put them on. The vented bonnet also keeps the engine bay temperatures in control.

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The headlights have a custom smoked bezel to make them look sportier. The Honda logo at the front glows blue and has a J’s racing logo inside it. At the rear, the tail lights have been replaced with smoked units with LEDs in them. The wheels are 17 inch Hakken in matching bronze finish and with the correct spacers in place, they look smashing. Ajay has managed to lower the car on Vogtland springs, but he says that front splitter is too close to the ground, he’s got to remove the springs after our shoot was over. On a standard Civic it would be alright, but he ran the risk of damaging his extreme front splitter and side skirts on our roads. It was his daily driver, you see.

On the performance side, only the basic mods have been done. The R18A engine doesn’t allow headers, so it was down to a Red Rooster Performance exhaust system to improve the sound. A billion exhaust wrap is provided to retain the gad temperatures within the exhaust itself. An Apexi open pod filter sits in the engine bay, very close to the intake and an HKS grounding kit and EPS PowerCharger 3000 have been installed close to it. The car runs on Brisk LGS sparkplugs and has a D1 spec oil catch tank. The engine bay has several bright coloured elements including reservoir socks, Mugen radiator cover, Mugen oil cover, Spoon reservoir cover etc and that is the attention to detail we love.

Inside, the car gets newly upholstered seats in black with tasteful red stitching and matching trim on the door cards. We noticed the doors were not the usual beige that came up from the factory, but instead they were custom painted to match the rest of the grey interiors. There are a few custom bits and small Mugen trim on the inside and an Iconcept turbo/NA timer on the dash.

From behind the wheel, despite the little performance modifications, it felt noticeably faster than a stock Civic. Improvements are mostly evident from the mid range upwards. The exhaust did sound a bit crude and boomy at normal speeds and Ajay says it can be quite irritating on long drives. Before we left, we asked him what plans he have for the car next. “ I have achieved what I wanted. It is a good demo car” he says. Gauging by the response of onlookers and the number of cellphone cameras flashing, it looks like Ajay got more than what he asked for.

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