Sure, this Honda Integra is the ’98-spec Type R model, and yes they do come with a B18CR engine from factory. So, why would we call this a sleeper? After all, everyone knows Type R Integras go well from factory so no, this isn’t a true sleeper, a daily-driver with steel wheels and stock ride height. But this particular case brings a whole new category to the term sleeper — by applying it to the modified bracket. For example, if you were to pull up next to this Integra in a 300kW Evo on a theoretical highway in Mexico, said Evo would not stand a chance.
Alihan Asan has owned his über-rare DB8R for four years now. The sedan was originally purchased from a young gentleman down in Napier, and back then it sported the factory B18CR engine, chrome wheels and a big-bore exhaust, so was certainly nothing to write home about. Once back in Auckland, with slightly depleted hearing, Alihan sent the Integra straight to one of the best Honda tuners in the country — Jtune Automotive. Following a very comprehensive service with new fluid throughout, filters and a good once-over, the Integra managed to punch out a whopping 138kW at the wheels.
“It was fun, but not enough when there were five people seated in the car, the 1800cc motor just lacked the torque,” Alihan says. “I have always been an NA nerd, I wanted a car that could tease a few turbo owners. The original B-series engine was not enough, so into Jtune I went and started talking K-series with Jacky.”
As he’d been inspired by Jacky’s K24-powered Honda Civic EP3 monster featured in a previous issue, a K20A engine from a DC5 Integra was purchased. Before the engine was dropped in the hole using custom engine mounts supplied by Jtune, Jacky and the team convinced Alihan that what he really needed was a K24 block if he truly wanted to cause an upset. Soon after that a K24 block was purchased and installed into the bay, and the rest of the swap was completed.
The decision was made to run a Hondata K-Pro ECU from the get-go, which allowed the new swap to lay down an impressive 173kW at the wheels. After a few more additions and a modified intake, the numbers increased once again to 183kW, with so much torque that traction on the motorway is difficult in nearly every one of the six gears the DC5 Type R LSD gearbox has. With the power and torque it was now making, combined with a measured weight of 1060kg, Alihan knew that what he had created matched spot-on with his initial intentions.
To maintain the super-sleeper appearance, only a handful of aftermarket additions were made to the exterior. A Mugen rear spoiler, Spoon bonnet and C-West sideskirts are the only modifications that give any hint of the extent of the engine work.
Given his previous experience as a panel beater working for a well-known shop, Westside Panelbeaters, when it came time to get the repaint done, it was a no-brainer where to take it. Alihan prepped the body himself, and Dr Bob sprayed the paint and completed the final touches. To complete the new look a set of 17x8-inch Volk TE37s were sourced through Jtune, and coated in a custom blue.
For Alihan this Honda was not only intended as a powerful streeter to use for simple daily driving, but also aimed at regular abuse. So the Integra was originally employed as a bit of a NA drag monster in which he’d normally blow the doors off the C3 class, with times dipping under the 13-second bracket and as low as 12.8 seconds. Unfortunately, with this much torque in a front-wheel drive, the factory axles soon found their limit, and Ali went through numerous sets before making the switch to circuit racing, which is less harsh on driveline components. A set of Fortune Auto 500 Series coilovers were installed along with nearly every off-the-shelf arm or brace available to aid his new circuit passion.
Going for a ride in his Honda blew our minds — how can something this fast be so reliable, and fuel efficient. It’s safe to say Hondas don’t seem to be dying off any time soon, even tried-and-tested chassis like the DC2 and DB8R keep getting faster and more reliable to this day. Has the K-series engine revamped the Honda community for the better? We think Alihan’s Integra is proof of just that.
1999 Honda Integra Type R (DB8R)
- Model: Honda K24A, 2400cc, four-cylinder DOHC VTEC
- Block: Factory
- Head: K20A Type R
- Intake: RBC intake manifold port matched to 70mm, S90 throttle body, Hondata intake manifold gasket, three-inch custom intake, Blox velocity stack filter
- Fuel: AEM fuel pump, K-Tuned fuel rail, D1-spec fuel regulator, K20A injectors
- Ignition: Factory
- Exhaust: K-swap Hytech headers, three-inch Jtune stainless exhaust system, custom twin-loop muffler (street), Kakimoto muffler (track)
- Cooling: Alloy radiator, D1-spec radiator cap
- ECU: AEM Series 2
- Other: D1-spec oil catch can, braided fuel and clutch lines, Mugen eight-point strut bar, Buddy Club oil filler cap, OBX K-swap engine mounts, NZKW and Skunk2 washers
- Gearbox: DC5 Type R six-speed, CL7 ratios
- Clutch: ATS single-plate clutch, lightweight flywheel
- Diff: Factory LSD
- Struts: Fortune Auto 500–Series coilovers
- Springs: (F) 8kg (R) 10kg
- Other: K-Tuned traction bars, underbody Hardrace bush kit, Buddy Club front camber arms, Hardrace rear toe and camber arms, Skunk2 rear control arms
- Brakes: (F) 300mm Honda CL1 Euro R rotors and calipers, Bendix Ultimate pads, (R) factory
- Wheels: Volk TE37 17x8-inch
- Tyres: 205/40R17 Achilles 123S semi slicks
- Paint: Full respray Nighthawk black, paint Code B-92P
- Enhancements: Factory front and rear bumpers, C-West sideskirts, Mugen gen-two rear spoiler, Spoon carbon fibre bonnet, Sparco bonnet pins, tinted windows, HID headlights
- Seats: DC5 Type R Recaro seats
- Steering wheel: Sparco steering wheel
- Gear knob: Mugen gear knob
- Instrumentation: AEM wideband gauge, D1 SPEC oil pressure gauge
- ICE: Pioneer head deck, Pioneer 6x5-inch speakers, Kicker 6x9-inch speakers, Fusion 10-inch subwoofer, inbuilt amplifier
- Other: K-Tuned billet shifter arm
- Power: 183kW at the wheels
- 0-400M: 12.8 seconds
- Weight: 1060kg
- Driver/owner: Alihan Asan
- Age: 23
- Location: Auckland
- Occupation: Student/apprentice mechanic
- Build time: Three years
- Length of ownership: Four years
- Thanks: My girlfriend Melissa, Jacky, Colin and Kevin at Jtune, Dr Bob, Fiaz Khan (Moe), Mikey and the Backyard boys, BJJ master Rafael, Matt Edwards (EVLVTC) and all my crew in Roskill city