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article details
Author Shawn Church
Categories TOV Road Test, RSX
Create Date September 25, 2002 11:09
Last Update March 19, 2003 22:00
Viewpoint
RSX Type-S - Where the sequel is better than the original, and balance is the defining term

When I first got into this car, the strongest statement it made to me was not with its engine, or its handling. It was the new sense of refinement and quality that really grabbed my attention. While the old Integra was certainly a very solid and reliable car, the interior was not luxurious by any means and the noise levels could grow tiresome at times. In comparison, the RSX-S is improved in every way. The ride is better damped and controlled; the noise levels are reduced and what you still hear has a more refined sound; the feeling of the materials in the interior - dash, seats, carpet, etc. - are all a step up (or maybe two). Acura has truly made the RSX fit into a luxury lineup, something that could not be said of the 3rd generation Integra.

Perhaps more importantly, however, this new level of refinement and luxury did not come at the expense of the fun and performance that the Integra was famous for. The K20 engine sings to the stratosphere when you push it, much like the B-series in the Integra. The difference is that the K20 also offers significantly improved low end torque. The tranny still shifts sweetly (o.k., not quite as good as the Integra's), but now Acura has given us a 6-speed for more relaxed motorway cruising. The chassis is still nimble and lithe, but if anything its handles better than the GS-R with improved stability, less body roll and better steering response.

From an enthusiast's standpoint, this car has at least as much potential as the Integra GS-R did. The K20 engine has tremendous upside, as we discovered when we dyno tested it. This engine, thanks in part to i-VTEC, superior cylinder head design, and increased displacement, will make the formidable and famous B-series look a little weak in a couple of years. The suspension design is quite good with excellent geometry and control. Better springs and struts, and tire upgrades will improve things just as they did on the Integra. Acura has also given the RSX a significant brake upgrade over the GS-R, negating the need, in my opinion, for upsized rotors. Just put on some better pads and some cooling ducts and you're ready for track days.

Complaints? They are few. While the i-VTEC equipped K20 is a definitive step up from the B-series engine, Acura hasn't quite gotten the torque curve right. There is a distinct drop in output from 5k to 6k rpm. We felt it on the road and confirmed it on the dyno. See the Dyno Plot to the right.This likely due to the specifications on the low rpm cam lobes and the intake manifold design, combined with the fuel and ignition tuning. Early experimentation with modifications and ECU tuning have shown an ability to alleviate part of the problem, but short of changing the cams or manifold, we may have to live with it. And of course, let's not forget tires. The Type-S is a sports/luxury designation. The Michelin all-season tires on the RSX-S do not fit with that mission. Either find a better tire, or at least give enthusiasts in sunny climates the option of a no cost summer tire fitment from the factory - Acura are you listening?

Video Title

Description

File Download (Right Click and Select Save As)

RSX Type-S on Deal's Gap - Part 1

We see how the RSX handles the twisty roads of US 129, Deal's Gap.

MPEG1 - 34.1MB 320x240

RSX Type-S on Deal's Gap - Part 2

We see how the RSX handles the twisty roads of US 129, Deal's Gap.

MPEG1 - 27.6MB 320x240

Chattahoochee National Forest Roads

We take a drive through the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest roads in northern Georgia.

MPEG1 - 20.6MB 320x240

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Subject Thread Originator Replies Last Post
  why cant i view the video's?
Dima126 0
  High flow intake
mrfoxman 2
  What about the 03 Accord coupe V-6
ZeroA 8
  video music?
TonyEX 10
  About the torque drop out...
quadlamp 13
  What is the high flow intake on the dyno?
Brillo 1
  I think I'll move to Georgia
neilap 5
  Complaints
ldvknight 7
  don't understand what's the matter with tyres
danielgr 1
  Great vids...I liked the RSX-S that I drove
floundericiousMI 3
  Good Job Guys
KenB 0
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