[home][rumors and news][model release matrix][tov motorsports][desktop calendar][exhaust notes][tov forums][links][search][sponsors][garage][login]

Tire Rack Upgrade Garage
 Search for a Dealer:
 Canadian Flag US Flag
 Honda Acura
There are currently no active Acura promotions
There are currently no active Honda promotions
TOV makes a cameo appearance in Acura's new Type S Anime Series
All-New Honda Civic Type R Arrives at Tokyo Auto Salon
American Honda Teases the next-gen HR-V for USA
American Honda reports December and overall 2021 sales results
Honda to debut next-gen Type R Prototype at Tokyo Auto Salon in January
Hondata updates FlashPro to support 2022 Civic Si, CARB-pending
Honda releases photos of the next-gen Civic Type R undergoing development testing at Suzuka
American Honda reports November 2021 sales results
Civic --> Re: 11 Gen Civic Hatchback Sport Touring 6MT - Crazy Prices
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Honda e is the only electric vehicle to allow bi-directional charging
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Autopilot Tesla driver charged with manslaughter
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Honda's "Open Cockpit" Days
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: All about Plaid
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Apologies 😉
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Honda Announces Joint Development Agreement With SES
Join Discussion......
NSX --> Re: Acura NSX Type S production starts in Ohio
Join Discussion......
Videos --> Re: AHC Garage - Best Honda/Acura Youtube
Join Discussion......
Honda e --> Re: Honda E...Widebdoy kit
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: M340i - 2 Year Ownership Update
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Now Honda is Crying: “My profits, my profits”
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: What's Going on at Acura
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Mark Reuss Shows Pre-Production Cadillac Lyriq
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Toyota CEO: Going All-EV Could Cost Japan Millions Of Jobs
Join Discussion......
Jump to:
article details
Author Shawn Church
Categories Light Trucks, TOV Road Test, RDX, Civic
Create Date August 14, 2006 12:00
Last Update August 15, 2006 13:31
Dragon's Tail Redux

Here at TOV we feel the need to come clean - we have a problem. We're addicted to the Tail of the Dragon. US-129, running from Tennessee across the border into North Carolina is our favorite test road in the Eastern United States. No, make that the whole USA, maybe even the world.

The Tail of the Dragon incorporates more than 300 turns into about 11 miles of road, with massive elevation changes and wonderful scenery. It is North America's version of a low speed Nurburgring and we love it. It is fun, exciting and an excellent test of vehicle dynamics.

This time around, we brought a diverse group of cars to the Dragon's Tail. First up was the 2007 RDX. Not exactly the sort of vehicle that is usually chosen for attacking US 129, but it is an SUV with sporting pretentions - a turbo charged engine and SH-AWD aren't made for hauling cargo in our opinion.. And since we test everything we can at the Dragon's Tail, including the Ridgeline pickup, we had no reason not to evaluate the RDX here as well.

Next up was our 2006 Civic, dubbed Project Si. We recently did some suspension upgrades and needed to evaluate them. Furthermore, we'd never taken any new Si to US 129 and that was a shortcoming we needed to seriously address. And since we'd never taken a stock Si to the road, we thought it would be nice to compare Project Si to a bone stock example. Honda was unable to meet our request for a loaner car in time for our test, but TOV member LudegarH22A7 was kind enough to bring his pristine (and stock) Habanero Red Si to meet us. Furthermore he was kind enough (or naive enough? :-) to let us hammer his car on the famous road.

In the end, all three cars acquitted themselves very well. The stock Si reminded us of just how awesome the original is. Great grip (even on all season tires), wonderful balance, good brakes and great acceleration. Naturally, the all seasons would overheat after some hard running, but we really enjoyed taming the Dragon in this car.

Project Si was, naturally, the standout of the day. This is the sort of road that it was built for and there wasn't a car on the road this day that could keep up with it. In fact, there weren't many motorcycles that could keep up either. The new front shocks and alignment we threw on before heading to US 129 made a serious difference, providing excellent front grip with vastly improved rebound control. Project Si could be thrown into corners with abandon. Turn in was quick and accurate with tremendous grip (even on stock summer tires). You had your choice of braking in a straight line and leaning on the front tires, or trail braking into the corner to generate some rotation at the rear. Once past corner entry, a little throttle applied through the factory LSD pulled the front end to the apex, where a ramp up to full throttle rocketed the car out of the corner. Understeer was almost completely non-existent. Our only complaint was some brake shudder from our well used rotors. And we may need to bleed the brake fluid again :).

Of course, what everyone was waiting for was our road test of the 2007 Acura RDX. We'll give more detailed evaluations at the conclusion of our road test. But suffice it to say that the RDX performed admirably for an SUV. The biggest surprise? The suspension calibration. The RDX, while a luxury/sport crossover vehicle, is delivered with a very sporty suspension setup. The ride quality is firm and communicative (very Euro). Yet it is very comfortable on smooth roads, and even bumpy roads don't cause any major disturbance (much better than something like the BMW X3). Yet, body roll is minimal, and shock damping in mid corner is exceptional. In all honesty, except for the weight, its hard to tell you're driving an SUV. We would like less understeer in the steady state (neutrality requires heavy throttle early in the corner, something that is not a natural response for most drivers), and more tire grip would be nice too, but we do recognize that the target buyer for the RDX is not likely to be 4-wheel drifting the car through tight corners.

The K23 turbo engine in the RDX pulls quite strongly - once it's under boost. Unfortunately, under 2000 rpm (especially from a dead stop), there is a bit of boost onset delay. Compared to other turbo engines in the 2.0-2.5 liter class, this is actually quite good (the only engine in this class with better response is the VW 2.0T engine), but combined with a wide ratio automatic transmission that doesn't like to downshift into first in slow corners, it can be a bit difficult to fully utilize SH-AWD in the way it was intended.

We have more photos and videos on the way, so be sure to check back regularly. And be sure to read our upcoming full road test of the 2007 Acura RDX.

reader's comments
Click Here to Submit Your Comments

Viewing Threshold (What is this?)

[fancy] [flat] [simple]
Subject Thread Originator Replies Last Post
  US 129 not SR 129
md52 3
  Ferrari F430
blu 2
  all great but the stickers ... ouch
SoR 0
  Not a car on the road that could keep up?
HondaCanuck 0
  Unlimited potential for Si?
CivicB18 1
  TOV Si Modification List
kiwikungfu 4
  just dont cross the yellow line!!
OwAce 0
  I HAVE to go
Selektaa 1
  an epic tail
cat in the baby 0
Jump to:
2022 Acura MDX Specs and Features
Read Article....................
2022 Honda Civic Design Story, a video by Honda
Read Article....................
Photo Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX Advance
Read Article....................
Photo Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX - Details and Cutaways
Read Article....................
Photo Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec
Read Article....................
TOV Photo Gallery: 2020 Chicago Auto Show
Read Article....................
Contact TOV | Submit Your Article | Submit Your Link | Advertise | TOV Shop | Events | Our Sponsors | TOV Archives
Copyright © 2021 Velocitech Inc. All information contained herein remains the property of Velocitech Inc.
The Temple of VTEC is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. TOV Policies and Guidelines - Credits - Privacy Policy