Aug 30, 2016

Super Compact | Kenneth's Suzuki Swift Sport

While to most people, cars that will be the choice as a tuning platform usually is shortlisted to a group of particular models. Reason for that is because it is proven to perform with modifications, it has the basic traits of a performance vehicle and the availability for parts is high which makes it convenient to modify and tune. Which kind of makes sense why cars like a Civic Type R, or a Nissan Silvia or a Mitsubishi Evo always become the platform of choice.

But what about those sub compact cars which usually end up being a student's first car or a mother's shopping car? Apparently, aside from the usual performance cars, there is a crowd of those who have taken interest in the city subcompact. Among one of the reasons is the relatively small size and wheelbase which equals to an agile machine if driven by the right driver. Even though some may be driving a sub compact due to financial limitations, but the rest who already have a proper performance car find themselves being drawn to the subcompact.

For Kenneth's story, it started of when he was working with the Singapore Air Force. He was always a car enthusiast as far as he could remember. But given the situation of how ridiculously expensive a car can be in Singapore, the options he had was very limited. At first he wanted to look for a Civic EK4 but he eventually he settled for a Suzuki Swift Sport. Similar to the EK4, the ZC31S was a very light packaged car which only weighed just a bit more than one ton. But unlike the base model, the Swift Sport is equipped with a high revving 1.6 liter M16A motor which made 123 horsepower in stock form.

Under the hood, Kenneth decided to keep the naturally aspirated set up and decided to focus on modifications that would be suitable for an all motor setting. For the bottom end, he replaced the pistons with a custom set from Carrillo while keeping the rods and the crank stock. For the cylinder heads, everything was taken out and replaced with R's camshafts, valve springs, and head gasket. R's also provided the supporting parts for the motor like the reflashed ROM  and water pump pulley. The motor was tuned with a Greddy e-Manage ECU by Jun Furukawa at ST Powered.

Despite not being at the performance level that is similar to something like a Civic Type R, Kenneth also made sure the aesthetics is at a level where he can feel satisfied with the overall look. Aside from the midnight blue body colour, the amount of carbon parts that his Swift has is somewhat impressive. To be exact, the Swift is equipped with a Chargespeed carbon hood, a Sunline carbon GT wing and a HKS Kansai rear diffuser. If that's not enough, the theme of carbon fiber continues on the dashboard as well. It actually feels like a real race car.

The thing that I like the most about Kenneth's Swift is despite him being more focused on the aesthetics of the car, he doesn't just do it for showing it off at a meet or car show. In fact, Kenneth is also a regular at the Sepang circuit. Though he may not be able to clock a time under the benchmark 2 minutes and 40 seconds due to the limitations of the car, but it is evident that he thrashes the Swift at track days whenever he is free to do so. Though to do so, he made sure the Swift's footwork was well equipped with a set of Advan AD08R tires and API coilovers.

A subcompact car may not be for everyone, but for those who don't put such a high expectation with numbers and driven with an unbiased mind, a subcompact like a Swift Sport can be a fun and enjoyable car to drive. It was once said that anyone can drive a fast car, but not anyone can drive any car fast. At least in my opinion, if a good driver is given a basic car like a Suzuki Swift, he can still drive the car hard with a smile on his face. But it's also thanks to cars like this, a novice driver can use as a stepping point before going to a  proper performance car.

Owner: Kenneth Ang
Model: 2011 Suzuki Swift Sport ZC31S
Location: Kallang, Singapore

1.6L M16A Inline-4,
CP Custom Pistons,
R's Racing Camshafts,
R's Racing Valve Springs,
R's Racing Metal Head Gasket,
R's Racing Water Pump Pulley,
R's Racing Hyper Kevlar Belt,
R's Racing Reflashed ROM,
Okada Plasma Direct Ignition Coils,
NGK Spark Plug Cables,
HKS Super Fire Racing Spark Plugs,
Sunline Racing 60RRS Muffler,
Choon's Fat Tummy Intake with Custom Carbon Fiber Heat Shield,
Greddy E=Manage tuned by Jun Furukawa,

5 speed manual,
ORC Clutch with Lighten Flywheel,
R's Racing 4.7 Final Drive,

API Racing Coilovers,
Hardrace RCA,
Hardrace Reinforced Strut Mounts,
Cusco Anti Roll Bars (F & R)
Cusco Front Strut Bars,
ART2 Rear Boot bar,
PJS Rigid Collar,
PJS Fender Brace,
VTTR Mini 6 Pot Calipers,
N Brake 800 Degree Brake Pads,
PJS Slotted Rotors,

Buddy Club P1 15 x 7 (all round),
Yokohama Advan AD08R 205/50/15 (all round),

Sunline CF GT Wing,
HKS Kansai CF Rear Diffuser,
Chargespeed CF Front Hood,
Chargespeed FRP Side Skirts,
LS CF Front Grill,
Ganador Side Mirrors,

Beatrush Foot Pedals,
Beatrush Foot Rest,
Razo Gear Knob,
Momo Handbrake Knob,
AEM Air Fuel Ratio Gauge,
Defi Advance CR + ZD,
Nardi Torino Steering Wheel,
Works Bell Quick Release,
Bride Zeta III Bucket Seat (driver side),
Takata Harness (driver side),


Aug 26, 2016

Street Demon | Jeff's Mitsubishi Evo

Throughout more than two decades, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has made such an impression. It may be introduced to the world from the rally discipline, but it is clear that the Evo isn't limited to that discipline. In fact, when a person says 'ultimate street machine', the Evo isn't too far from the mind. In fact, when asked among any tuner enthusiast, each and everyone will have a particular generation of the Evo that they favour. At most cases, the favourite generation that one prefers also says quite a bit about the person as an enthusiast.

While most of the general public prefer the CT9A, the 4, 5 and 6 is known to make quite a presence on the streets. Seen to be as a beefy looking car with its wide fenders, big spoiler and slightly intimidating front bumper, it is also known to have the kind of driving feel that fits perfectly. The reason to this is because the CN9A and CP9A has a lighter chassis compared to the CT9A. Combined with the super intelligent four wheel drive system which makes sure the car has grip at all times, it results to a car which is capable to deliver G-forces that not many cars can deliver.

For owner Jeff and the previous owner before him, it was clear they understood the true essence of the Evo. So when it came to set up and purpose of this Evo, both owners made sure that the Evo would perform best in its handling. In fact, this Evo seen most of its days on the local mountain roads just outside Kuala Lumpur. Hence, it would only be fitting to modify the Evo to compliment the scenario of constant cornering.

Most know very well that the turbocharged 4G63 motor under the hood is capable to make some serious power, but the motor in this Evo is kept at a certain level where the power is manageable and predictable. Running on a stock bottom end, some of the bolt-on parts that's on the motor can be found on later model Evos like a Greddy TD05 turbocharger that can found on the Evo 9 and camshafts from the Evo 8 MR. With this set up, Jeff sets the boost at 1.8 bar which currently produces an estimated power output of 330bhp and 41 kg-m of torque.

With some relatively decent numbers, it was mentioned by Jeff that he wasn't going for peak power numbers. For that reason, most of the power was kept at the lower to mid RPM range which delivers instant response and boost. This would make the motor perform well on twisty mountain roads where there are not many straights and the driver doesn't have much time and distance to wait for boost to engage. 

While the motor is kept at a decent level, the handling department also gets its fair share of mods to keep the cornering tight on the road. Knowing that this Evo will spend most of the time on the street especially on less than perfect mountain roads, The worst thing that someone will do to it is to install super hard suspension which might be ideal for track, but it will make the car a nightmare to drive on a street surface. For a streetable ride with sharp handling capability, a set of Aragosta Coilovers paired with some Bridgestone Potenza RE003 street radials.

Even though Jeff have only had this Evo for a very brief period of time, he describes the car as being one the best car he ever had. The enjoyment that he gets from driving the CN9A can't be compared to anything else. Despite having experience owning many other cars from a Subaru Impreza GC8 to a Honda Integra DC2, he still claims this CN9A is still the best when it comes to driving pleasure. However, after 10 years driving modified cars, it has came to a point where Jeff needs to concentrate on raising a family. So at the end of the shoot, he told me that he's putting the Evo up for sale. Hopefully the next owner will fully enjoy the capability and unleash the potential this Evo has to offer.

Owner: Jeff Siow
Model: 1997 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution CN9A
Location: Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

2.0L 4G63 Inline-4,
Stock Internals,
Evo 8 MR Camshaft,
Brian Crower Valvesprings,
Works Engineering Adjustable Cam Pulley,
Works Engineering Fuel Rail,
FIC 750cc Injectors,
AEM Fuel Regulator,
S90 Throttle Body,
Synapse Blow-Off Valve,
DD Aluminum Radiator,
Blitz Air Filter,
Ralliart Intake Pipe,
AEM Water Methanol Injection System,
Greddy TD05HRA Turbo with 20G Billet Fin,
Blitz Downpipe,
Blitz Nur Spec Exhaust,
CeddyMods Ecu Flash,
Links 3 bar Map Sensor,

5 speed manual,
Ogura Twin Plate Clutch,

Aragosta Coilovers,
Cusco Front And Rear Strut Bars,
Cusco Anti Roll Bar,
Project mU Brake Rotors,
Endless CCRG Brake Pads,

Enkei RP01 17 x 7.5 Offset +32 (all round)
Bridgestone Potenza RE003 235/45/17 (all round)

Full Evo 5 CP9A Conversion,

Bride Seats,
Sparco 215 Steering Wheel,
Sparco Harness,
Apex'i Boost Meter,
AEM Air Fuel Ratio Gauge,