More Than 6.5 Horsepower Per Cube – And It’s A Four-Cylinder

We don’t often publish articles about four-cylinder engines, but every once in a while one pops up on our radar that is just flat out impressive. Enter Desmond Pierre’s 2.0-liter turbocharged Honda B-series engine. Pierre, who owns Performance Destination, has outfitted the shop drag car—a True Street Import-class Honda Civic hatchback—to receive this powerplant. The engine makes big power with a lot of stock parts, out of very little displacement. How? Read on.

Starting with a block from a B18C1—which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Honda naming convention—is the 1.8-liter four-cylinder dual-overhead cam VTEC engine that came out of the Acura Integra GSR. Pierre had Victory Precision Machine open up the bores to 84mm from the factory 81mm. Then, he added an Acura 89mm-stroke crank (up from the factory 87.2mm) to bring the engine’s displacement up to a solid 2.0-liters, or 122 cubic inches.

Pierre chose Manley’s Turbo Tuff tapered I-beam rods to handle the insane cylinder pressures, then hung a set of custom CP forged pistons off of them. ACL race bearings were used in both the main and rod journals, and a 4Pistons ported B-series oil pump is utilized, which is advertised to provide proper pressure—without cavitation—into the stratosphere at 12,000 rpm.

The engine bay on the Honda is deceptively simple. The sideways-facing turbo with no driver-side headlight is due to class rules, as is the use of an air-to-air intercooler. Notice the half-size radiator, which is an OEM piece.

To top off the shortblock Pierre chose a B16A2 cylinder head. Again, for those not intimate with Hondas, that would be a DOHC cylinder head from the 1.6-liter 1999-2000 Civic Si. The B16A2 head starts off with larger combustion chamber volume than the B18-series heads, which lowers compression for the massive amounts of boost Pierre is planning on running.

“The B16A2 head is also a lot easier to find, in case I were to damage this one,” Pierre says.

The intake and exhaust ports have been hand-ported along with polished combustion chambers. Ferrea valves of an undisclosed size were fitted into the head—four per cylinder—and Supertech valve springs keep them in check. Controlling the valves are dual Skunk2 Racing Pro Stage 1 camshafts, which are a an off-the-shelf higher-lift, fast-ramp grind ideally suited to high-power forced induction applications.

A Borg-Warner S400-series 67mm turbocharger is sized per class rules, and is fed by an AFI twin-scroll turbo manifold. The Borg Warner snail pumps upwards of 32 pounds-per-square-inch of boost through an air-to-air intercooler, and into the engine through a 70mm Blox throttle body, which leads into a ported OEM intake manifold. The combination runs on E85, which flows through massive Injector Dynamics ID2000 fuel injectors, delivering 2,225 cc/minute each (or 212 pounds/hour, depending on your units of measure) of E85 fuel.

Keeping the fires lit on the four-cylinder is a coil-on-plug ignition system conversion which is controlled, along with the rest of the engine’s systems, by a Hondata s300 v2. For those not familiar with Hondata, the “piggyback” setup is actually far more powerful than it might seem, allowing for real-time programming, datalogging, and full control over all of the engine’s parameters. It is quite impressive that a combination of this caliber is run completely off of a module that plugs into an OBD-I factory ECU.

Spinning the rollers to 800 horsepower, through a race-modified transmission, Desmond Pierre’s B-series hybrid engine uses a B18C1 block and B16A2 head, with a crankshaft out of a B18B non-VTEC engine.

The engine has only been tested on the chassis dyno, and through a Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes Dog Box transmission, it spun the rollers to 800 horsepower, at 32 psi of boost, with Pierre still refining the combination. “I wish I had gone with a higher compression ratio in this build,” says Pierre. “Every bit of extra power I can make, is another bit to get and stay ahead of the field.”

If you do the math, that makes the engine’s output right at 400 horsepower-per-liter, or 6.55 horsepower-per-cubic-inch—and that is using the chassis dyno numbers! When looking at the technological aspect of this engine project, and how many OEM parts are used compared to the performance achieved, this two-liter, four-cylinder combination is genuinely an impressive engine. Sights and sounds of the dyno session are below!

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent fifteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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