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A small, entry-level car can serve as wonderful canvas for customization. Because they are less expensive to purchase in the first place, such cars can leave their owners with left-over money to spend on aftermarket parts that enhance performance, styling, interior comfort or some combination thereof.

At the most recent SEMA (Speciality Equipment Market Association) Show, Honda worked with several tuners to showcase changes that can be made to modify the 2015 Honda Fit.

And you don’t have to have a Fit to consider making such changes. Remember: Automakers and their affiliated tuning and customization shops have money and expertise you likely cannot match, but you can use their work as inspiration and even as a template for your own compact car projects.

One of the Fit project vehicles was the Kylie Tjin Special Edition, which was designed “for an active metropolitan lifestyle,” including the daily commute, “sporty” driving, a night on the town or a relaxed weekend cruise.

You may not be ready to tackle making custom fender flares, but they were done to fit over wide, 18-inch wheels and Baer brakes. The car rides on an Airrex air suspension system. It has a sunroof from Webasto, Coplus headlamps, fog lamps and front spoiler; Katzkin leather interior, Sony audio system and comes with its own basketball equipment and a slide-out bicycle rack. The powertrain is enhanced with a Bisimoto pulse chamber.

Speaking of Bisimoto, it was reponsible for the 2015 Honda Fit Turbo and produced more than a dozen parts to boost the L15B twin-cam four-cylinder engine to an astounding 480 horsepower.

Brakes, suspension, wheels and tires were upgraded to deal with such power. A racing seat was installed so the driver also is in the proper position to deal with such enhanced performance potential.

Another twist on the Fit is the Super Taikyu treatment by Spoon Sports USA, an enduring racing team. Thus a long list of high-performance goodies under the hood — from air cleaner to intake manifold to spark plugs and exhaust system. The car also gets Spoon Sports own brakes and shocks.

Spoon Sports also did an aero package for the car’s exterior. Inside, again, there are all sorts of Spoon Sports components, from shift knob to steering wheel and a full roll cage and Takata racing harnesses.

Yet another option is the Fit done by MAD Industries. While no changes were made to the powertrain (and thus there are no warranty issues), the suspension was upgraded with an Eibach Pro Kit, rotiform wheels and Pirelli tires.

Inside, MAD added Katzkin leather, low-sheen headliner and trim, Rockford Fosgate Punch audio, and more.

But perhaps the best part is the way MAC installed a motorcycle tie-down system in the cargo hold for the matching Honda mini sport bike.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at ledsall@cox.net.

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