The hunt for more power can be a seriously addictive pastime. Whether you’re the Formula 1 World Champion, a famous German dictator, or just an all-out petrolhead from remotest Norfolk, you’ll know that once you start on the road to power, you just can’t bloody well stop.
In Nathan Devlin’s case, he’s had a serious power craving from day dot – and there’s no better evidence of his addiction right now, than his bonkers, 347bhp tuned Honda Civic EG.
Born and bred in South Africa, Nathan bagged the car in standard form here in Blighty in 2006 and has since made it his mission to build a naturally aspirated monster that can be used and abused on a daily basis. “I wanted to build a flagship car for my I-Tuned company,” says the intercontinental car nut of his brainchild Civic, “and it had to get driven properly and not just sit around,” he adds.
Nathan first had the Civic completely stripped of any unnecessary parts to get it as light as possible. But he knew the original 1.5 engine needed to do one if he was to hit some heady heights of horsepower on the road.
As a massive Honda fan, he didn’t have to look far either, and, thanks to a dose of crap weather and a shrewd purchase a while back, it wasn’t long before the Civic was rocking a tuned H22a engine to be proud of.
“We had bad weather up here last year and I was completely snowed-in,” explains Nathan of how the swap came about. “I was walking round my garage thinking ‘what the fuck can I do here for a couple of days’ when it came to me. So I thought, sod it, I’ll do this engine swap.”
Nath had the engine just sitting around collecting dust for a year before the snow prompted him into action, after first nabbing it from a local scrapyard. “I got it for £125 with less than 50k miles use,” the workshop owner explains. “But when I got it home, it just sat under my desk doing nothing until I decided to re-home it in the Civic,” he explains.
The Thetford lad also mixes his addiction to power with a blatant appetite for carbon fibre. “Yeah, it’s true – I do like my carbon,” the man himself confirms. “People round here reckon I should start my own carbonoholics anonymous club with the amount I use.”
In fairness, he does use a lot. As well as the sills, tailgate, dash inserts, air intake and bonnet all being clad in cool carbon, a cheeky gander round his garage throws up more of the stuff. It’s on an iPhone as well as the body and even wheels of his R1 bike, while a spare 2-metre sheet sits chilling in the corner.
We did ask why the original plastic wing on the Civic hasn’t turned into carbon yet, but Nath reckons the duck tail style ones out there right now will cause too much drag, which shows just how seriously he takes driving this thing hard.
Function over form it maybe, but Nathan’s also got the Civic looking dapper with that awesomely tucked blue beaut of a ‘bay. And the genuine Work Equip split rims imported from Japan aren’t at all shy in the wheel stakes either.
It’s all a bit different inside though, where you’ll find a seat, a steering wheel, most of a dash, two NOS bottles and, well, that’s about it. Nath himself best describes the interior as “totally ghetto,” but it’s all part of the masterplan to unleash as much power on the road as possible.
“I’ve always had a thing for power”, he says. “I’ve never been into just looking good. It’s built for one thing and that’s going fast!”
And you can’t argue with that. Nathan has sacrificed comfort and company in the name of speed for his Civic, and judging by the way he drives this thing, we don’t reckon he’ll lose his appetite for horsepower anytime soon. Power hungry? This guy’s starving!
H22 Honda Civic EG TECH SPEC
Fiber Images carbon fibre bonnet, wing and boot; custom carbon side sills and mirrors; I-Tuned carbon spark plug cover and VTEC solenoid cover; J’s racing carbon intake scoop; JDM rear lights; bump strips removed; rear bumper drilled; flushed aerial port; full respray in Ibis white; engine bay wire tucked and resprayed in MGZR blue.
JDM H22a engine; AEM management including wideband sensor/gauge and fuel pressure regulator; T1 cam trigger setup; custom ignition system with MSD coil; NGK spark plug leads and iridiums; I-Tuned ported and polished head; I-Tuned modified ATR intake manifold; 550cc RC injectors; Walbro 255 fuel pump; custom modified fuel rail; 76mm throttle body (port matched); I-Tuned 4-inch intake with custom K&N filter; Crower stage 2 3/4 cams; Golden Eagle cam gears; RevHard dual valve springs and titanium retainers; standard valves; I-Tuned custom 4-1 manifold Zircotec coated exhaust manifold; I-Tuned 3-inch v-band exhaust system; Skyline GT-R radiator custom fitted; Wizards of NOS Street Fighter kit 100shot; battery & alternator relocated; I-Tuned clutch line kit; ACT light flywheel; RPS extreme pressure plate clutch kit; drive shaft shop 2.9 axles; Avid engine mount kit with custom rear mount; Royal Purple 10/40 oil; Royal Purple Syncomax gear oil.
Work Equip 03’s 8×15-inch all round, 22 offset; JDM fitment D2 coilovers with custom spring rates; front uprated ARB polyurethane bushings; fully polybushed including steering rack; Function 7 rear LCA arms; fully powder coated blue suspension arms components; Prelude 282mm brake upgrade; EBC discs and pads; rear disc brake conversion; Goodridge brake lines.
Renault racing carbon fibre seat; custom carbon seat rails; Bride dished steering wheel; AEM wideband gauge; 2x11lb NOS bottles; all other seats, brackets, fixings and sound deadening removed; wire tuck; interior harness; carbon air vent delete plugs; VC touch screen headunit; JVC 7×10-inch speakers.