Turbo SOHC motors are fun. Really fun. But what would make that same single slammer, bolted into a hatchback, more fun? AWD, of course! That’s what Johannes Helgert of Burgbernheim, Germany, thought when he had the crazy notion to build this hatch. Johannes’ pride and joy started out as a virtually bone-stock Euro-spec Civic sporting a measly 90hp that was built for fuel economy rather than speed thrills. The only real modification was a cheap set of lowering springs.
That was all the way back in 2002, and since then, the car has seen a mix of body kits and various coats of paint. Over time, Johannes saw the proverbial light and has settled on an “OEM +” theme, as the dub kids would say, with a fresh coat of Dolphin Grey metallic paint and mostly Honda aero. The reliable little Civic was daily driven for two years until the 90hp mill was swapped out for a D16Z6, giving the Civic about 30 odd horsepower more. Johannes drove the Civic for another two years until the mod bug bit again, opting to design and install a handmade turbo setup that netted a very respectable 180 whp. However, that wasn’t enough for him. Swapping turbochargers to a Garrett T25 variant, rerouting some of the piping, and getting a more aggressive tune eventually garnered Johannes a healthy 340 horsepower.
That much power needs more traction than the factory Civic transmission can muster, and nothing makes more traction than a full AWD system. Johannes sourced two separate cars: a retired 1988 AWD Civic and a scrapped 1993 Civic hatch to test fit everything. After about a year and a half of cutting, welding, and fabbing, the conversion was ready to go. Johannes utilized most of the parts from the AWD Civic, since the existing D series bolted right up to the AWD transmission, and the front half of the car came together quickly. The rear differential and driveshaft had to be extensively modified and were all made by hand. Brake parts were cobbled together from anything that would fit, including Porsche!
Johannes’ new setup is exactly what he wanted, and a decade in the making along with a ton of cash invested, Johannes isn’t planning on ever getting rid of his unique build. In fact, he’s even planned to remove the passenger seat so he can fit his fiancée’s wedding dress in it to take them to the chapel this summer. Congratulations on the crazy build Johannes! Oh yeah, and the wedding, too!