I really don't like hybrids. And as a former CR-X owner, I have some serious reservations about the Honda CR-Z. Combine those two sentiments and I have to rank pretty far down the list of people you'd want reviewing your new supercharger kit for the CR-Z. Which is precisely why a guy like Oscar Jackson would call me up and ask me if I'd like to drive his recently CARB approved, Rotrex boosted, CR-Z EX 6MT for a week.
In case you've been living under a rock for the last 20+ years, Oscar Jackson is arguably the patriarch of the Honda automotive aftermarket. He founded the original Jackson Racing, out of his Westminster, CA automotive repair facility over 30 years ago. He earned his stripes campaigning Honda Civics in a variety of national road racing series, winning more often than not (he was also substantially involved in motorcycle racing). His Civics, CRXs and Preludes were featured in all the major automotive magazines as giant slayers, punching well above their weight with just a few power tweaks and carefully developed suspension packages.
Oscar was the guy who saw the potential of the cars from up and comer Honda and jumped in with both feet before the rest of the United States caught on to just how good this little Japanese company could be. In fact, he was racing Hondas before 99% of the well known names in the Honda aftermarket even had driver's licenses (that includes me!). I'd wager that he was racing Hondas before a lot of today's players were even born!
So, when Oscar is ready to offer a product to the aftermarket, you can be pretty sure that he's done his homework and gotten it right. Furthermore, history shows that he won't compromise reliability, durability and drivability for a few more horsepower - even to the detriment of the dyno number driven sales in this market.
Before I go any further, it is time for full disclosure. I've known Oscar now for about 15 years. I had my first phone conversation with him over 20 years ago. I bought a Jackson Racing Eaton blower kit for my 91 CRX. And later, I purchased a Kraftwerks Rotrex kit for my S2000. I see Oscar as a role model for longevity and integrity in the tuner business. I have tremendous respect for him, and if he needs to use my dynos, he is always welcome - if for no other reason than I get to pick his brain. My employees love the guy too. He's just one of those people.
Which brings me to my conundrum. I was really hesitant to do a professional review of his CR-Z because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it - for all sorts of reasons. And you really don't want to have to give your friends bad news. But I did it anyways. Read on.