Family. Car. Alone, the two words are harmless, but pair them together and the phrase is enough to make grown men cry. Think "family car" and think faux wood-clad vans, station wagons, and SUVs so turd-like that their lap times are measured by calendars. Bing Lee held back the tears, kept his distance from the minivan forums, and instead looked toward Acura's entry-level sedan, the CSX. Yeah, that's "C-S-X"-Acura's Canadian-only version of the U.S.-spec Civic Si sedan.
Bing first looked toward the Honda Fit to fulfill family car duties but was quickly turned off due to the hatchback's looming body style change, which would ultimately leave him with a six-month-old car that's already been superseded by its maker. The Fit's fate made Bing's decision to opt for the Acura all the easier. The four-door sedan chassis fit the family part of the bill and its K20Z engine, six gears, and limited-slip differential was the light at the end of his performance tunnel. Bing says that Acura's CSX Type-S has "its own JDM look, unlike the USDM Civic." That's because the North American CSX is more like the Japanese-spec Civic than anything else. Actually, scratch that. The Japanese Civic is more like the North American CSX than anything else. Indeed, the CSX was developed first and Honda of Japan followed suit, modeling the JDM Civic after its Canadian sibling.
"I'm loving the car," Bing says. "The K20 has been a good engine...since the EP3, even the DC5." And why shouldn't he like his K? Bing stiffened his powerplant's fore-to-aft movement with Alex reinforced engine mounts and worked on the traction part of the equation with an Exedy clutch and flywheel combination along with a Spoon Sports 1.5-way LSD. But using a lightweight flywheel to reach redline faster isn't much fun if you aren't making any more power. Bing addressed outside air delivery with a T1R intake paired with a Spoon Sports throttle body and the exit side with a T1R Power header and exhaust. Once matched with the Hondata ECU reflash, the setup comes alive. Hondata's K20Z ECU reflash lowers the VTEC engagement point to a smoother and less detectable 4,500 rpm, advances the camshaft angle, and raises the redline to a lofty 8,600 rpm. Bing went on to address the ignition system with a T1R V-Power voltage stabilizer and grounding kit, which regulates the electrical system's voltage during acceleration and ensures adequate grounding, respectively.
There was a time when Bing said something to the effect of, "I started off not wanting to do too many things to the car," but such statements are often spoken in haste or for reasons of appeasement in regards to loved ones. Soon after buying the CSX, Richmond, British Columbia resident Bing followed suit with the Civic Type R conversion, which includes the front end, side skirts, and rear bumper. Rays RE30 rims were added next along with a J's Racing 3D GT rear wing, T1R B52 mono-tube coilovers, and a complete brake kit, also courtesy of T1R. So much for appeasement. "It never stops!" Bing says. And so the build progressed. T1R carbon seats replace the factory-issue as does a T1R shift knob, Momo steering wheel, and Honda Access pedals. And with the addition of bits like a Cusco anti-roll bar, a J's racing strut bar, and some dress-up bits underneath the hood (also courtesy of T1R), Bing had arguably accomplished what many set out to do yet never quite complete-finish what he started.