The “Original” Hybrids
There was a time when this symbol meant something.
Not a cool movie with a terrible sequel, go further back.
Not the TV cartoon either… go a newer than that.
Back in the good old 1990′s automotive tuners were using this symbol to identify their cars as “hybrids”… another title which now has a different meaning.
The term “hybrid car” today makes you think of hybrid propulsion- half gas, half electric, half unicorn farts or whatever people think will slow down the rapid destruction of our atmosphere.
But it used to mean cars that had an engine from another, totally different car… or even better half an engine from one car the other half from another.
Think a Honda CRX with a B20 engine block from a CR-V and a GSR VTEC head from an Integra. Now that‘s a hybrid.
Why go to such wild lengths to build a car you’ll look poor in and still get smoked by $2,000 Mustangs?
Because it’s unique and very, very cool. It’s also not terribly expensive if you’re very good with tools.
Did those letters and numbers go a bit over your noggin? I’ll break it down for the non-Honda freaks out there: a CRX is a light little car that comes with a puny little 1.6 liter engine, and if you want to keep up with the big boys you’ll have to get some Enzyte in that thing pronto.
Although a CR-V is not a sports car, it does have a larger engine that can serve as a better base for adding power.
VTEC is Honda’s name for their variable-valve timing system (Mitsubishi has a similar system called MIVEC, Toyota as VVT-i, BMW has VANOS, ect…).
Such a system basically means when you keep the RPMs low, the engine only lets in a little bit of air and fuel to be more economical. But when you step on the gas and you rev over a certain RPM, the engine opens up and sucks in more air and fuel leading to more combustion which makes moooooooorrreee pppoooooowwwwahhhhhhh.
When you add the VTEC head to a bigger-displacement engine, you suddenly have that variable-valve advantage in addition to more room to burn all that gas and air your engine can suck down.
So, ironically the original hybrids were created to be less efficient than they were in stock from.
As you probably guessed that was a super-simplified explanation… so if you’re really interested give it a Google or check out this website which describes and illustrates the process.
If that sounds like a project you’d like to undertake, I’ll warn you you’re going to need new valves, pistons, cam gears and a host of other things to do it right. If those words don’t sound like English to you, I’d recommend buying something that’s pretty much your style right of the box
But today I came across another exceptional hybrid, and it’s not even a Honda…
If you recognized that shell as a BMW E30 I’ll give you a cookie. And if you recognize the engine… well, then you should probably be reading a more legitimate news source.
THAT is an RB26DETT from a Nissan Skyline… and finished in Hello Kitty pink to boot.
The creator of this (now completed) monster is Christian Newman of New York, and if you can’t tell he’s a maniac by considering the logistics of this project then the paint scheme should leave no question.
I mean come on guys, there are still a million E30 325′s running around… is it really that much of a travesty that one dude decided to be creative and do something unique with his?
It’s not really my style, but I give the guy respect for thinking of it and pulling it off. Apparently it makes around 260 horsepower, which is a lot more than almost every other E30 out there. I would be interested to learn more about what this swap did to the suspension geometry and handling dynamics though.
By the way:
…You didn’t think I’d be able to search images for “transformers” and then not find a picture of Megan Fox, which I would consequentially have no choice but to post did you?
Whoops, there’s another one. Isn’t the internet useful?