Honda America's factory aftermarket racing division will start selling "street-oriented" performance parts for the first time, starting with tuning kits for the hybrid-powered Honda CR-Z.
Announced at this week's SEMA show in Las Vegas, Honda Performance Development (HPD) will give the Japanese manufacturer a street-legal, warrantied, parts division in the vein of Mercedes-Benz and AMG, BMW and its M arm and Toyota and TRD.
Previously focused solely on racing parts, HPD will provide street-legal tuning kits able to be installed either by dealers or customers, with the range kicking off with performance accessories for the Honda CR-Z.
A supercharger kit that boosts the 100kW/190Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid’s power and torque to 140kW and 232Nm respectively, will be available from March, but is restricted to manual models only.
HPD says it will investigate other models and platforms for future expansions of its street performance product line.
American Honda executive vice president auto sales John Mendel said with the launch of HPD’s performance parts, combined with advancements in standard models, “we are making a statement about our commitment to the fun to drive character of the Honda brand".
On display at SEMA, alongside the HPD Civic Street Performance concept and the HPD Civic Si Coupe racecar, the HPD CR-Z is equipped with a centrifugal supercharger, air-to-air intercooler, a sports exhaust, sports suspension, unique wheels and uprated sports brakes.
Factory warranties will apply to all dealer-installed kits, with Honda still determining if customer-fitted items will also be covered.
With the all-new Honda Civic Type-R due to go on sale in 2015, HPD could mean even more racing pedigree might yet find its way into the brand’s hottest hatch.
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