Originally introduced back in 2001, the Acura RSX Type S is still one of the most amazing models Acura has launched in North America. Based on another iconic model, the Honda Integra, it was in production until 2006 and instantly gained an amazing reputation, thanks to excellent handling and one of the best four-cylinder engines ever made. Even today, it is a highly desirable car on the used market, with a pretty big following among car enthusiasts.
Why the RSX Type S is so much appreciated. What are the main strengths and, are there some weak points? What will the revival of the iconic nameplate look like? We will try to give answers in the following paragraphs.
Why is the Acura RSX Type S so special?
So, let’s start with the great things about the Acura RSX Type S. Without any doubt, one of the things we like most about this sports coupe is its engine. Of course, we are talking about the iconic K20 series engine, which was offered in two variants in the RSX. The base version featured 155 horsepower, while the version for the Type S came with significant upgrades. That engine was rated at 200 horsepower and 142 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the base engine, which was coupled with a five-speed manual, this one came with a 6-speed gearbox.
With these numbers, the Acura RSX Type S is surprisingly quick, thanks to its lightweight. It needs just about 6 seconds to hit 60 mph, while the top speed is 140 mph. However, this engine is special for other reason than the power – it is a high-revving naturally-aspirated engine, which spins all away up to 8.000 RPMs, and it does it in such a spectacular way, which the level of refinement and mechanical perfection you would normally get from a several-times more expensive car.
What about handling and style?
Besides an impressive high-revving engine, the Acura RSX Type S is also famous for its chassis and suspension setup. Even today, it is regarded as one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars ever made. That came as a result of the sport-tuned suspension, lightweight construction, direct steering etc.
Besides excellent mechanics, the Acura RSX Type S was also characterized by various styling upgrades over the base version. Some of the highlights are 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-colored rear spoiler, an upgraded exhaust system etc. On the inside, the Integra comes with sports seats with great side support and leather upholstery, as well as titanium finished, Acura/Bose AM/FM tuner, cassette, 6-disc in-dash CD changer, 7 speakers, including a Richbass woofer audio system.
What about Drawbacks?
No car is perfect, so even this small sports coupe comes with a couple of drawbacks. Due to the sports-tuned suspension, one of the first things that come to mind is a firm and bumpy ride, which is the price you have to pay for excellent handling.
Some would see this as a drawback, others would like it because of the car’s sporty nature, but the fact is that there is a lot of tire and road noise. Simply, sound insulation isn’t great. Also, the engine is high-revving and needs to be pushed pretty hard to get good performance. The low-end torque isn’t great, so that may be considered a drawback by today’s standards. Finally, there is the matter of styling, which feels a little bit generic.
Finally, there is the matter of price. This coupe is highly appreciated on the used car market, and good examples often go for 20.000 dollars or more, while those in perfect condition can easily reach $40.000.
Acura RSX Type S Comeback?
In the last couple of years, there were many reports about the Acura RSX Type S’s comeback. Something like that happened last year, with the revival of the Acura Integra. Namely, the company decided to use the nameplate that was used outside North America, so we could say this is definitely a successor to the RSX.
So far, the company introduced the base version, with a 1.5-liter turbo-four engine and 200 horsepower. Now, we expect to see the Integra Type S. That model should come with all kinds of upgrades, starting from a far more powerful engine. Of course, that would be a 2.0-liter turbo-four with more than 300 horsepower, a limited-slip differential and many other upgrades. More details are expected in the near future.