Project Director: RJ De Vera
TP: So RJ, how did you guys come to build this CR-Z?
RJ: The CR-Z was a joint project with American Honda and Wraptivo/Meguiar's. I was initially blogging about the car before it was launched here in the US and had a chance to drive it before it's on sale date. I quickly fell in love with it and had put a proposal in when SEMA projects were being decided. Luckily American Honda decide to work with us at Meguiar's.
TP: How long did you guys work on this particular project? What would you say your build philosophy has been?
RJ: We only had a few months to build this car to get it to SEMA. They arrived in our hands right around the time they went on sale in August. The build philosophy is to take the great foundation that the CR-Z offers for a fun hybrid and evolve it into something even more capable of putting a smile of one's driving soul while still being green. As Wraptivo/Meguiar's we also wanted to showcase the new ways car wraps can be used as a component to protect and change the appearance of a new vehicle. Beside ourselves - we really wanted to work with our partners so they too could develop and showcase new products for the CR-Z.
TP: That's great. The car looks amazing. Will it be daily driven at all?
RJ: I do hope to be able to drive it here and there but it will be on the road for much of 2011 promoting the Wraptivo Designer Car Wrap line for Meguiar's.
TP: What was the first modification made to the car? Tell us about the build process and some of the major milestones.
RJ: I believe the first modification done was the Tein coil-over suspension. We had a set brought in from Japan and we test fitted it on the vehicle. Luckily there weren't any changes from the Japan and US models so they went right in. The build process was short and there were many people who really moved on the vehicle to get it done in time but it all came together. So many partners really pushed. Tein with the suspension, HKS with the exhaust and prototype supercharger system, Daley Visual for the wrap install, Mackin industry for getting the wheels, Evasive Motorsport for getting the Rando kit in time, Honda Accessories for all their aftermarket components, BF Goodrich for the tires, Brembo for the first set of brakes, Recaro for building the seats and making sure we have them, SPD for getting the seats in, and Street Concepts for putting it all together. The major milestone was getting it to SEMA.
TP: So who would you say did most of the work on this car? Is there a specific person and/or performance shop(s) that you guys took it to?
RJ: Quite a few players worked on this car including many of the partner companies (Tein and HKS), but most the car was put together by the team at Street Concepts in Anaheim with some fab work done by Scott at SPD Metalworks.
TP: How did the car do on the dyno? What kind of horsepower and torque to the wheels are you putting down with your current setup? Do you plan on improving the performance and adding even more power down the road?
RJ: I know the car did go on the dyno but I don't remember the results. I believe with the first basic tune for set up the car made 20-25 more wheel horsepower over stock. The car has already gone back to HKS for more tuning so I don't know where the numbers are now. I would be happy if we could get to about 165-170 flywheel horsepower and I believe we should be pretty close to that.
TP: Wow. That's still very impressive. So do you plan on doing any sort of racing with this car?
RJ: We wanted to take the car to Super Lap battle but we didn't have enough time to do more than the basic set up for the FCON so we decided that we'll take it at another time when it's complete.
TP: What modification(s) would you say is(are) the most rare or unique to your car? What do you think makes your CR-Z stand out compared to all the others that we saw at SEMA?
RJ: Hmm. I'd say the prototype supercharger kit is the most unique at the moment but then again everything on the car is a first. The Wraptivo wrap has gotten lots of attention along with the custom power coated Volk Racing G2s. People also really like the Recaro seats and are asking about the Brembo brakes and the Rando kit. Again it's all new for a CR-Z here in the US, so it's almost the whole car standing out and not one modification in particular.
TP: So what do you have planned next? Is this car going to see any more major cosmetic or performance changes?
RJ: We are working with Phoenix Gold for some audio items and then the car will go to E3. It was just at the LA Auto Show and it will do a full tour in 2011. Not sure what else we are going to do to the car. Word has it that HKS has a full build up package for the motor and a larger supercharger kit so maybe...
TP: Awesome, definitely keep us posted on how things go. Well RJ, we'd like to thank you for sitting down with us. Any last words before we wrap things up?
RJ: Thank you guys for featuring the Wraptivo/Meguiar's CR-Z. We hope some people are inspired by it.
Car Year: 2011
Car Make: Honda
Car Model: CR-Z
Car Color: Wraptivo Matte Black Designer Car Wrap
Rando/Tracy Sports Japan
Engine & Performance:
HKS Silent Hi-Power Exhaust System
HKS GTS4015 Prototype Supercharger Kit
HKS GTS 4015 Supercharger
HKS F-Con IS with OS-C Fuel Management System
HKS Super Megaflow Reloaded Intake
HKS Super Fire Racing Spark Plugs
HKS Radiator Cap
HKS Oil Filler Cap
Suspension & Brakes:
Full Coilovers by Tein
Lightweight Performance Brakes by Brembo
Wheels & Tires:
Volk Racing G2 Wheels
Front & Rear: 18x8.5 +44
BF Goodrich g-force Super Sport AS
Front & Rear: 215/35/18
Exterior & Interior:
Honda Accessories Front Chin
Honda Accessories Side Skirts
Honda Accessories Rear Diffuser
Rando/Tracy Sports Front Lip
Rando/Tracy Sports Side Sills
Rando/Tracy Sports GT Wing
Wraptivo Carbon Black Designer Car Wrap - Roof & Partial Hood
Gloss Black Side Mirrors
Gloss Black Roof Trim
Recaro Sport Bucket Seats - Red
HKS Limited Edition Shift Knob
Honda Accessories Center Arm Rest
Honda Accessories Compass Rearview Mirror
Honda Accessories CR-Z illuminated Door Sills
Alcantara Covered Panels
Photo & Video credits belong to Official TunerPlayground Featured Car Photographers: Jeff Cabacungan and Staff from Photoshootmycar.com