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What is a Spoon Engine? [Real or Fake]

The revelation that Hector’s Honda Civics are hiding devastating power under their hoods and will DECIMATE the competition at Race Wars is a landmark moment in the franchise’s history, and one that every ‘Fast and Furious’ fan remembers vividly.

The Spoon engine is something of a myth among North American JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) enthusiasts, but it is very much a thing. Not only are HKS exhaust components and BEE*R engine management systems still off-limits to importers, but so is the legendary R34 GT-R.

Even if you can’t afford a car with a Spoon engine, you have to admit that the chance to drive one in anger is too good to pass up.

What is a Spoon Engine?


What is a Spoon Engine?

The name “Spoon Inc.” refers to the Japanese tuning company that created the engine. Tatsuru Ichishima founded the company so that he could use his favorite platform—the third-generation Honda Civic hatchback—to create badass race cars.

He disassembled the 1.6-liter ZC engine and tweaked the settings to increase output to over 230 horsepower. Then, beginning in 1988 when not even Honda entered, he began racing these Civics in the Japanese Touring Car championship.

Everything they had learned from making race cars could be applied to the then-new Honda NSX, which promptly began destroying its rivals in competitions around the world.

Honda Motor Co. clearly learned from the Spoon game, as evidenced by the release of the sixth-generation Honda Civic Type R. In essence, they designed a factory-fresh race car that can be purchased on a Friday, used to win races on a Saturday, driven to and from church on Sunday, and then used to drive the kids to school on Monday. Way cool!

We may never know how Spoon felt about the unveiling, but we know that serious race car enthusiasts love it when their favorite designers and engineers get credit for their efforts.

However, they managed to make it even crazier. The maximum RPM is 11000, and the empty weight is 1984 pounds. You can finally get to work on that pesky Dodge Challenger!

Many notable variants, such as the Honda S2000, and subsequent generations of the Honda Civic followed this one. You were pretty much guaranteed to be sitting in a Spoon if you wanted to drive the best Honda in the world.

Which Cars Have Spoon Engines?

The cost of installing a Spoon engine into a Honda product is another matter. You can install one of these bad boys in a Civic, a s2000, or if you’re feeling particularly froggy, a first-generation NSX.

However, be aware of fakes in the market for high-end JDM motors, as many unscrupulous individuals will attempt to pass off a fake motor as the real thing in order to make a fast buck. If your motor is truly legendary, you will find a “Spoon” plate attached to it.

Which Car Is a Good Candidate for a Spoon Engine?

Spoon engines would work wonderfully in any of Honda’s first-to-market offerings. For a mid-engined car that can be used on a daily basis, I favor the NSX.

The mid-engine layout is also consistent with the “Refine and balance” philosophy that guides Spoon. I like Honda even more now that I know they didn’t include a 900-horsepower option.

Any Honda Civic model is a good substitute if you don’t have the cash for a Honda/Acura NSX.

Which is the Cost of a Spoon Engine?

The Nengun Performance Site claims that a race-ready Spoon K20A motor will set you back around $11,000.

That’s a lot of money for a motor, but it’s actually not too bad if you take into account:

  • How well your investment is working out for you.
  • If your car has a genuine, well-maintained Spoon engine, you may be able to fetch a much higher price.
  • A wrecked Civic could set you back only $1,000; with the addition of an engine, suspension, cage, wheels, tires, and brakes, you’d have a one-of-a-kind, $20,000 supercar that could give Porsche a run for its money.

What is Hector Running?

Spoiler alert: the car in question is a 2003 Honda Accord. In addition, he recently visited Harry’s and purchased three T66 turbos, complete with nitrogen oxide injection. And a Motec exhaust system.”

You now know that if you stuffed a car with three Spoon engines, turbocharging, nitrous oxide, and a straight pipe exhaust, you’d be able to spin the tires in fourth gear on the main straightaway at Tsukuba. Contrast this with the “Spoon Curve” at Suzuka.

Should You Purchase A Spoon Engine?

Racing is the sole intended use for spoon engine. They are used in a type of racing distinct from drag racing called “circuit racing.” Because of the demands of circuit racing games, the spoon units prioritize power without compromising longevity or dependability. Drag racing, on the other hand, is all about raw power but has less reliable engines.


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