Wickfest Japan’s biggest surprise: a 4-cylinder NSX

I’m going to start this year’s Weekfest Japan coverage in a somewhat unusual way. We’ll get to the root of this great event in later posts, but I need to share it with you right now.

After covering the Japanese music scene for two decades, you might understand why I’m not too surprised nowadays. This is not to say that exciting events are not happening in Japan; I have seen so much automated madness here that it has become almost normal.

But every moment something surprises me. This is one of those times.


As I exited the Port Mess Exhibition Center to see what I could find on the outside of the show, a speculative Honda NSX caught my eye.

As I walked past and looked at the engine bay, I immediately thought that someone had adapted a modern Honda plastic engine cover for a little visual enhancement to fit the C-Series engine. But then I saw some shiny piping and purple fasteners. I came to the stop like a cartoon, and turned to watch a second time.


That’s when I saw the ‘Earth Dreams VTEC Turbo’ badge and realized what it could be. The owner, who was nearby, confirmed it – a K20C1 all-alloy 2.0L VTEC turbo four-cylinder engine from an FK8 Civic Type R.

This is a big deal, because no one in their right mind would dare to mess with NSX, right? Although the C30A and C32B were decent engines, it was often said that the NSX’s sweet aluminum chassis was more demanding of the transversely-mounted, naturally ambitious V6s, especially if Honda really wanted to compete with European sports and supercars. Time

Nowadays, NSXs are much more expensive than ever, and the number of people fixing them has definitely decreased. Most owners prefer to keep things simple and enjoy the balance of the Ayrton Army-refined package.


But not the Nakatogawa-san of S&A Auto Create. He’s the guy behind some of my favorite constructions in Japan, a real technical wizard with real eyes for details. So when a customer contacts him with the desire to create a stock, automated NSX and something special, this is what Nakatogawa-Sun brings.


The K20C1 and its 6-speed manual transmission have proven to be a very easy replacement, as unlike most transplants in Nakatogawa-Sun in the past, he offered much smaller ones instead of a larger engine.


NSX is still a work in progress with many small details that still need to be completed and refined, but once it is complete you can be sure that I will go to S&A Auto Create for the right look. Nakatogawa-san told me that when it was all over, the engine would output about 450hp.


This exchange makes a lot of sense to me. It keeps things in the family, it has an all-alloy engine in an aluminum chassis, it has refined, economical, VTEC and still revs. Then there’s the turbo boost for the 100-150hp bump above the V6, not to mention about 200kg (440lb) of weight savings from the motor / transmission assembly swap. Think about what this means for handling and how it will feel from the driver’s seat.

Personally, I can’t blame it in any way, but I’m interested to hear what you think about it. If you had an NSX, would you worry about this swap?

In the meantime, stay tuned for more Wekfest Japan 2022 coverage.

Dino Dale Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare
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