Nimble and Refined: the DC2 Type R is a Well-Balanced Car

September 26, 2017

 

ABOUT ME

My name is Michael Chan and I’m a third-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Sydney. I currently drive a 2000 Honda Integra DC2 Type R in Milano Red (/pink), with about 131,000kms on the clock.
 

 

How long have you had the car for?

I have owned the Integra for almost two years now, having moved on from a 2005 Subaru Liberty. Prior to purchasing the Integra, I was at a point where I desired a drastic change as long drives had become an escape from daily life - I was craving a driver focused vehicle. The Integra thus had a huge appeal as every drive becomes an event and experience due to the raw and pure nature of the car. Originally the car was owned by a mate’s mate and was infamous in his groups, and so I sought to own it one day.

 

 

What do you like or dislike about the car?

The overall driving experience and engineering of the car are probably the biggest attractions for me. Considered as one of the 'purest' cars ever released by Honda, the DC2 Type R was a stripped out, focused ‘race’ version of the regular Integra. Honda went through the effort of stripping it out, strengthening the chassis, hand porting/polishing and assembling the engine in order to meet homologation race requirements. These alterations to the regular Integra resulted in a car which provides a raw and visceral experience that is only apparent after the tach swings by 5800rpm, when the notorious 90’s Honda ‘VTEC kick’ hits and the car becomes more manic and crazy as it enthusiastically climbs to the 8600rpm redline. Within these revs, the steering and chassis come alive and become involving unlike any that of any other car I have driven - the chassis becomes amazingly throttle adjustable despite the front-wheel-drive layout, followed by the purely mechanical sensation of the helical LSD as power is applied.

 

As my daily driver, these elements which make the car so special and refined have become grating on the daily commute. This is particularly due to the lack of sound deadening and the aftermarket exhaust when combined with jokingly short gearing, but also largely arising from the sad fact that the car has a whopping 178Nm of torque and thus requires quick dabs of VTEC just to merge, leaving behind a lot of unhappy commuters.

 

Overall these annoyances are quickly forgiven once there is an opportunity to start poking at the car’s limits on a backroad.

 

 

How does the car drive and handle?

Despite the physical disadvantages of a front wheel drive layout in overloading the front tyres, the compact and lightweight nature of the platform means that the car can weigh in at around only 1080kg, thus allowing it to celebrate its drive layout. Like other 90’s Hondas, the DC2 came with double wishbone suspension at all corners with the Type R receiving corner balancing from factory. Combined with its helical LSD, the car handles as a Type R should, inspiring confidence even after all wheels begin to let go. Armed with a lightweight chassis and a peaky high-revving engine with adequate power for the car’s weight, the overall drive and handling of the DC2 Type R is hard to beat.

 

 

What modifications have you made to the car? Do you have any favourite?

During my ownership, I have mainly taken out maintenance work. Luckily, the modifications made by the previous owner were tasteful and things I would have done anyway. These are the typical ‘Honda’ bolt-ons which include a custom 2.5” exhaust with a high flow cat, following a set of PLM 4-2-1 Toda rep headers (the Australian market received a poor flowing cast manifold), an Injen cold-air intake and Hasport 70A engine mounts. In the future, I may have the car tuned but overall I believe these basic bolt-ons are all that are required in order to enjoy, but not stray from, the original image Honda had for the car.

 

 

 

2000 Honda DC2 Type R

 

Price guide: $10,000 - $14,000 with approx. 131000kms on the odometer

Body: 2-Door, 4 seats, Coupe

Drive Type: Front Wheel Drive

Engine: Inline 4-Cylinder VTEC B18C 1.8L

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual

Power: 140kW @ 8000RPM

Torque: 178Nm @ 7300RPM

0-100km/h: 6.9 seconds

P Plate Legal: Yes

 

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