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What's An AT-PZEV? And How Do I Get More Power Out Of It?
Oscar Jackson must love challenges, because I watched him pour about six months of his life into getting this CR-Z supercharger kit CARB certified. And Doug MacMillan from Honda must like Oscar an awful lot too, because he spent a boatload of time working on fine tuning the engine calibration for the Jackson Racing CR-Z. And then there are the cubic dollars required to run multiple EPA emissions cycle testing at a certified emissions laboratory....

The CR-Z is a Advanced Technology Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle. This is government speak for a super clean gas burning car. In fact, you can't a cleaner rating than this if you still have a combustion engine under the hood. Some of the combustion products measured, and the quantities allowed are so obscure and so small that you have to wonder what in the hell the EPA was thinking in setting these standards in the first place (look up NMOG and the amounts allowed - they measure this by weighing the exhaust and then subtracting out the mass of other known pollutants - it isn't even directly measured!).

So the challenge facing Jackson and the boffins at Hondata was to force 50% more air into the L-series engine in the CR-Z, fuel it with bigger injectors, and yet still ensure that it did not produce any more emissions than factory on the rather detailed EPA test cycle which just so happens to involve a complete cold start, warm up, and multiple drive cycles. You don't want to know how many thousands of dollars I'd charge to undertake something like that as a dyno tuner, and you don't want to see the bill from the emissions lab either, especially if you don't pass on the first attempt.

But somehow, someway, Jackson and Hondata pulled it off. They produced nearly 40% more power at the wheels while passing emissions. Jackson even claims that the supercharger kit results in no appreciable reduction in fuel economy during normal driving! We'd certainly test that claim once the car was in my hands. Below you'll see the dyno plots for the stock CR-Z and the Jackson Racing equipped model from my Dynapack dynos. You'll note that the stock CR-Z is very underrated. It produces as much or slightly more power on this same dyno as does an R18 Civic 5MT despite being rated 16 hp lower. These numbers are, of course obtained with a full battery charge (8 bars on the gauge). Once you get below 7 bars power does start to drop off progressively, losing up to about 10-12 hp by the time you get down to 3-4 bars.

In the real world, the Jackson Racing CR-Z feels much like the graphs would suggest. You need at least 2500-3000 rpm on the tach before you begin to notice anything different. But from there on up the little L-series pulls increasingly hard. It restores a very Honda like character to an engine that, to me, felt more like a diesel in stock trim. The only drawback is that in emissions legal trim, you don't really get any additional revs at the top of the tach. And the JR CR-Z would certainly like them. Pulling to 6700-6800 rpm would allow you to exploit the excellent top end of the Rotrex blower, and it would help keep the car in the power band better on shifts. Perhaps that's something that can be done on the youtune version of the kit (which is not CARB certified unfortunately). Laid on top of a 2012 Civic Si K24 dyno chart on the same dyno, the JR CR-Z produces similar power and torque on the top end (albeit at lower rpms than the 7100 rpm K24), but loses out substantially on torque below 4000 rpm. But since the CR-Z is about 300+ lbs lighter, acceleration is very comparable in most circumstances except for very low rpm acceleration in higher gears.

And as I have come to expect from Oscar Jackson, the fit and finish on the kit is top notch. One of the most impressive things about the S2000 kit when we installed it at my shop several years ago (well, honestly, one of my employees did with Oscar on hand to offer advice) was how it was of such OEM level quality. We didn't have to drill holes, cut plastic, bend things, etc. The intercooler had integrated brackets that bolted to existing holes in the chassis. The new belt tensioner setup was at least as good as the factory Honda unit and it was an automatic tensioner. No need to loosen up a nut and turn a screw every few thousand miles. And after 20k+ miles on my S2000 including hundreds of race track laps, several trips to the redline in 6th gear, multiple drag strip passes, hundreds of dyno runs and overspinning the blower by at least 10% on every trip to the redline (yes, we've gone well past the design specs of the blower), the kit has been flawless. Given what I've seen of the CR-Z kit so far, I'd expect nothing less. It should truly be a matter of professionally installing it and then not having to worry about anything besides changing the supercharger oil every few years. That kind of peace of mind is rare in the aftermarket.



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Subject Thread Originator Replies Last Post
  Thank you Shawn
iutodd 12
  2nd generation Honda Fit?
cyisalwayshungry 4
  Some comments
TonyEX 0
  Great Review! (CR-Z owner)
Inspire97 4
  Oscar killed the icf!?
Fan Koni 0
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