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The Honda Fit Dynamite was a forgotten experiment with a 260 PS DC5 Type R engine from 20 years ago

CY Foong · Jul 4, 2024 07:10 PM

The Honda Fit Dynamite was a forgotten experiment with a 260 PS DC5 Type R engine from 20 years ago 01

The Honda Jazz might be a sorely missed name among fans but its replacement, the Honda City Hatchback has been a healthy seller for Honda Malaysia. That said, the first-generation Honda Jazz was a game-changer when it was introduced in 2001.

The Jazz would go on to become a worldwide smash hit but over in its home market, the Fit as it was called in Japan would go on to be a literal superstar for Honda. It won numerous awards including a sweep of two of Japan’s major car of the year awards in 2002 as well as snatching the title of Japan’s best-selling car from the Toyota Corolla which stood on top for 33 years.

The Honda Fit Dynamite was a forgotten experiment with a 260 PS DC5 Type R engine from 20 years ago 02

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But all those achievements are not as exciting as what Honda’s motorsports and tuning arm presented at the 2004 Tokyo Auto Salon. Ever since the Fit’s introduction, Mugen has supplied body kits and accessories for the hatchback which certainly warms it up visually.

20 years ago, the team over at Mugen unveiled what should be considered the ultimate tall-shape hot hatch. Dubbed the Fit Dynamite, the explosive name was no joke as under the hood laid a detuned K20A from the Acura RSX – the American version of the DC5 Integra – SCCA race car.

The naturally aspirated 2.0-litre i-VTEC produced 260 PS and was paired to a 6-speed manual transmission also lifted from the same race car.

The Honda Fit Dynamite was a forgotten experiment with a 260 PS DC5 Type R engine from 20 years ago 01

Photo credit: Web Option

In order to fit (badum tss) the massive powerplant under the hood, the Fit Dynamite was given extensive body modifications and aerodynamic enhancements. Still, the crazy hot hatch looked tasteful.

Mugen wisely let the technical enhancements of the Fit Dynamite do all the fast-paced action. Aside from the powertrain, other DC5 bits laid in include the Brembo brake callipers and rotors.

The width of the hot hatch was widened to 1,725 mm which was as wide as the DC5 while the driveshaft and suspension had to be custom-made for it. Mugen also paid extra attention to improving the aerodynamics with a smooth front grille and a proper rear diffuser. Even the tailpipes were hidden within the rear diffuser panel.

The Honda Fit Dynamite was a forgotten experiment with a 260 PS DC5 Type R engine from 20 years ago 02

Source: Response.jp

Inside, the Fit Dynamite was given red and black Mugen front bucket seats, a Mugen-badged steering wheel, gauges in the middle, and a redesigned meter cluster. Yet, the rear seats remained so it could still function as a daily.

Sadly, this was merely an exciting one-off for Mugen as there were no plans for the Jazz/Fit to be given a hot hatch Type R treatment.

The Honda Fit Dynamite was a forgotten experiment with a 260 PS DC5 Type R engine from 20 years ago 03

Two years later, Mugen created another Fit hot hatch called the Mugen Fit Spec D and while it shared the same 1.5-litre L15A as the regular Fit, Mugen fitted a supercharger to it.

Power was boosted to 145 PS and the engine was hooked to a 5-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front. It wasn’t as wild as the Fit Dynamite but the supercharged Fit was also not put into production.

Though it might sound sad that these Jazz hot hatches were never put into production, Mugen did envision an appealing thought. In a review from Japan's Option magazine at the time, a representative said:

"As a Mugen brand, we aim to eventually become a company that creates special models using our own unique technology and know-how, like AMG and Alpina. But we have a strong image as a racing company. So we wanted to make interesting modified cars using cars that are familiar to end users, and showcase our technology."

20 years later, the idea of a K20A-swapped Jazz might not sound too far fetched but as this one-off experiment proves, it is an inspiration for tuners all over the world

 

CY Foong

Writer

Traded advertising for a career that fits his passion for cars. Enjoys spotting cars during his free time and has a soft spot for Japanese Kei cars but drives a thirsty manual sedan.

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