A group of key executives and engineers from leading automotive aftermarket manufacturers were given an advance preview of the all-new Acura RSX at a special program held at American Honda headquarters in Torrance. The preview provided the aftermarket community with a close-up look at Acura's sporty new coupe that is scheduled to replace the Integra in July.
"We realize that many of today's discriminating automotive enthusiasts want to personalize their vehicle," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of auto corporate planning and logistics. "The companies represented here today play a key role in helping those enthusiasts to realize their customizing goals."
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Compact Performance Market Report, Acura and Honda products account for nearly half of the customized cars in the sport compact segment. With the introduction of the Acura RSX in July, and the Honda Civic Si in spring 2002, American Honda is poised to continue its dominance of this performance category.
"From a supplier point of view the RSX has lots of potential," said Bill Neumann, CEO of Neuspeed, makers of suspension, performance and appearance products. "The suspension layout is very clean and will make it easy to engineer and apply new items," Neumann said.
"If someone would have told me they could have made the Integra that much better I wouldn't have believed it--but they have," commented Tom Myroniak, director of corporate communications for HKS, a Japan-based performance parts manufacturer. "The i-VTEC technology represents a tremendous advantage to consumers, and a new challenge for the aftermarket," Myroniak said. "But it's a challenge that HKS gladly accepts," he added.
"I'm really excited about this car," added Scott Centra, project coordinator for body kit and spoiler manufacturer Wings West. "This is one of the best platforms we've seen for the next generation of performance cars."
Available in two distinct versions, RSX and RSX Type-S, the new model features numerous advancements in performance and technology. The RSX is equipped with a 16-valve, DOHC 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that uses Acura's revolutionary i-VTEC "intelligent" valve-control system--producing an impressive 160 horsepower and 141 lb.-ft. of torque. The i-VTEC system combines VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) with new VTC (Variable Timing Control) which continuously adjusts camshaft phasing for enhanced performance and efficiency across a broad power band. The all-aluminum RSX engine mates to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission.
For those looking to push the performance envelope even further, a Type-S version of the RSX is available, powered by a high-output version of the twin-cam, 2.0-liter engine that produces a remarkable 100 horsepower per liter for a maximum output of 200 horsepower and 142 lb.-ft. of torque. The RSX Type-S is equipped exclusively with an all-new, close-ratio, 6-speed manual transmission.
The RSX employs a new high-mount variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering and a newly designed independent Control-Link MacPherson strut front suspension that greatly enhances cornering performance while minimizing weight and maximizing interior room. At the rear, the RSX features a new, compact double-wishbone system that helps deliver quick, confident handling and a smooth, compliant ride. On the Type-S, the suspension is optimized with firmer springs and dampers for even greater responsiveness and road feel.
For driving enthusiasts who want to personalize their new RSX using genuine Acura parts, Acura dealers offer a full line of Acura Accessories. Available at the release of the RSX, Acura Accessories range from factory color-matched aerodynamic under body spoilers and wing spoilers, to alloy wheels, foglights, and a variety of shift knobs and interior trim pieces. And, when installed at the time of purchase, Acura Accessories can be included in the vehicle-financing package, and carry the full Acura warranty.
Like all Acura models, the 2002 RSX is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service, and trip routing.
Acura offers a full line of premium performance vehicles through a nationwide network of nearly 260 dealers. The Acura lineup features the exotic NSX supercar, the 3.5 RL flagship luxury sedan, the best-selling 3.2 TL luxury performance sedan, the 3.2 CL luxury performance coupe, the sporty Integra sedan and coupe, the revolutionary MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the soon-to-be-introduced RSX sports coupe. For more information about Acura vehicles or for photography of the RSX and the aftermarket preview please visit www.acuranews.com.