Wekfest L.A., like any other tour stops made by the car show juggernaut, always includes a few track cars on hand. And when I use the term "track car," I'm not referring to a style or a look, but rather to a vehicle specifically built to do battle with the clock—whether that be in a high-pressure, laser-focused straight line or timestamp based on stomach-wrenching turns and calculated movement—its main function is to put in work. Often unapologetically rough around the edges, they tend to wow and inspire some, while others are left shrugging their shoulders, wondering why the low-slung lip is marred and pitted and the tires aren't dripping with shiny product.
Regardless of your preference when it comes to car shows, @rsfuture's Amir Bentatou put together an NSX that certainly stood out at Wekfest L.A. even with its low-profile, deep Midnight Purple 2 paint, recently applied by @absautobody. Widened considerably using an RS Future aero package that, not unlike many others inside the hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center on that day, housed a set of Volk's familiar TE37 wrapped in beefy Yokohama A052. Peek between the bronze spokes and you'll catch a glimpse of KW's Clubsport coilovers and Winmax brakes.
From an equipment standpoint, all of those mods are solid, track-proven parts that many have relied on for years with the NSX chassis and in terms of showing up at Wekfest, they sort of pulled double-duty, placing the car into the @vtecclubusa booth and bringing in some foot traffic, as you might expect an NSX would do. Now, not everyone made their way to the engine compartment due to the fact that they didn't want to work their way through the crowd or perhaps they were expecting the typical intake upgrade attached to the car's mid-ship C-series heart. Those that did take those 5 or 6 steps south were treated to something pretty special.
Whenever you mention the NSX in a heated, nerd-driven car discussion, you'll often find that some are diehard purists, dead set on an "as-original-as-possible" version of Honda's flagship. Keep the maintenance up, the mods almost non-existent and whatever you do, don't put miles on that blessed odometer. Amir is as far removed from that mindset as one can possibly be. You see, Amir likes to go fast...like, really fast. A seasoned wheelman, he's been knee-deep in track activities for years, has been a hired gun on multiple occasions and even offers instructional assistance to other drivers on occasion.
With the original power plant and a host of basic bolt-ons, he put his NSX to work on the regular at just about any track event that would have him, but once that engine was tired and ready for a refresh, Amir decided to change things up considerably. Now, if you're a purist that can't see the benefit of swapping in Honda's do-it-all K-series, then you're probably going to hate the next few paragraphs. For those that see a benefit to an engine capable of making great, useable power backed by an endless array of aftermarket parts, the current availability of plenty of OEM replacement parts and a price tag that's about a third of what you'll find for the C-series, then you can appreciate the K20Z1 that now resides behind the cabin.
Built by @sportcarmotion, the K-swap didn't happen overnight. It was a process and one that had to be thought out and carefully planned with the addition of turbo components and proper cooling for track duty. Add to that the extensive exterior makeover and the transformation took even longer. Up and running, Amir debuted the car on track during Super Lap Battle 2018 in order to shake the car down, pinpoint any issues and make a list of what would be needed to continue development. At the end of the day, that list wasn't short, but set a course to make the changes necessary to continue development.
One of the issues Amir ran into was the turbo placement and plumbing configuration. After rethinking the setup and considering his experience at Buttonwillow, the layout was completely revamped and on display at Wekfest.
A Borg Warner EFR 7163 is attached to a custom manifold scratch-built by @protomachine with heat exchange duties handled by @koyorad. To help put power to pavement, @ghostwerks reworked the K-series trans with a Kaaz LSD and all of the gears have been replaced with Gear-X units. Dependable @hondata K-Pro calls the shots by sending signals through a @rywire_motorsport_electronics mil-spec engine harness.
We expect that by this time next year, this NSX will have all of the chips and rash that you'd expect from a car intended to turn laps every chance its owner gets. And while it might not ever make another indoor car show appearance, at least fans on this day got a taste of something a little different, and, in our opinion, much more interesting than a simple intake and exhaust upgrade that usually accompanies Honda's iconic flagship.