Let's be honest here, the majority of the JDM community have been modifying, developing and talking about the same vehicles for the past twenty years.
New vehicles are treated with distain, because they're "too safe", "impure" and lack the "raw driving experience" that the cars of the nineties and early noughties provided.
Imal Reza, Site Engineer living in Sydney doesn't want to hear any of that with his FK8. That's even with his upbringing closely tied with vehicle modification.
"My love for cars started with my oldest brother who shares the same passion with me. I also have a close friend, who I now consider a brother, who was one of the first people to run a 10 second car in NSW 15 years ago."
Motorsport has continued to evolve, and once Imal was in a position to purchase a "proper" vehicle of his own, he wanted something modern, and the FK8 fit the bill completely. JDM heritage, performance credentials and a capable, daily package, it might not be the hot hatch that the EK9 or EP3 were, but it's Honda's evolution of a legendary nameplate.
With his passion for modification, it was unlikely that Imal would keep the FK8 stock for long, "I knew I wanted to do something different and push the cars limits like no one else has done before".
He began with a relatively conservative target of 300KW, but after shopping around and having involving discussions with Aaron from Precision Racing, Imal's mindset was switched completely. Imal told us, "I had a chat with Aaron and he told me that nobody had gone this far with an FK8 before, so why not be the first?", and from there the plans were made to invest extensively into what was a brand new car.
Imal wasn't fussed though with the large investment and uncertainty of the project, "I thought to myself if I am going to do my car up, do it once but do it right".
With the goalposts moved from 300KW to 500KW, we last saw Imal's car a week away from going under the knife at Precision early this year, just before COVID took a stranglehold over our lives. It has taken seemingly forever, but the car is now finished, making 476FWKW and accomplishing the lofty goals that he, Aaron and the team at Precision Racing had set.
With all the work done (spec sheet can be found here), the car will be street driven and enjoyed for the rest of the year, with a set of wheels capable of drag use to be sorted out for testing and getting the numbers.
Imal is chuffed with the end result, "I told them that I wanted the car to feel relatively stock, with significant more power and we've ended up here. I'm very happy with how it drives, how it looks and its feeling".
COVID played its part in slowing down the development of the car, but as a new project with a new vehicle, the biggest challenge according to Imal was the research and development. He said, "everything was so new, so there was a lot of trial and error with off-the-shelf parts, putting things together and also the custom work involved across all areas of the car".
Often we're scared of trying something completely new, there is a lot more innovation than invention, reiterations of the same things over and over again. But, if we want to dive into the deep end one day and explore something completely left field, this is Imal's advice:
"You need to have your mind open that anything can happen and not everything will work out as not enough research and development has occurred. You will love the process, and gain a better connection with both the person building the car, and the car itself. Be ready for a lot of ups and downs, but the more you give, the more you gain."
So Imal's build is complete... for now, and he has a small group of people that he'd like to extend his appreciation, "my parents because they allowed me to putt around in their car until I purchased a daily. Aaron from Precision Racing for putting up with all of my questions and demands and coming through with a great car. Carbonetics for assisting me with the bodykit and answering little questions here and there. Last but not least, my partner who has seen me spend silly money but always having my back to chase my dreams".
We're proud to have been involved in Imal's world-first FK8 build. It all started so innocently with our discussions at the workshop about his plans, we all had our questions and doubts, and Imal was confident this entire time. When there is a will, there is a way, DODGY is testament to that. The task was already difficult enough, and COVID put so many more stumbling blocks along the way.
Even so, each time Imal dropped by the workshop with an update, he was all grins and happy to talk progress, no matter how insignificant. No moaning or whinging, but an understanding that good things take time, particularly world-first projects.
Excited to see how his future build plans unfold, FK8 or not!