In the beginning of 2005, Acura announced the 2005 RSX Challenge, laying down the gauntlet for six magazines to build the baddest street/track DC5s and put them up against one other on the track, the dyno, and in shows. The track tests took place at California Speedway in Fontana, and included a road course, slalom, braking, and a trip down the 1320.
On the dyno, the cars were not only tested for horsepower, but also subjected to an emissions "sniffer" test under the same guidelines as any RSX in California. Finally, all six cars were judged for appearance in two shows, one at Acura headquarters in Torrance, Calif., and another at the NHRA Sport Compact World Finals in nearby Pomona.
Our RSX was a collective effort by a couple of crazy individuals bent on building a bad-ass contender. Ron Acevedo of Intrinsic Performance Solutions and Brian Kono of Afterhours Automotive teamed up to build one of-if not the-most powerful naturally-aspirated, pump gas motors ever to sit in a Honda's engine bay.
The 2360cc K20 wasn't anything that crazy, and included a set of custom JE pistons squeezing out only 11.5:1 compression-very similar to that of a stock ITR motor. Cams were off-the-shelf Intrinsic Performance units called K2's, relatively mild, street-able cams that almost anybody could use in their own daily-driven RSX.
Much of the power was made with the custom Castillo crank, which measures 94.9198mm from center to center, and accounts for most of the extra 362ccs on top of the stock 1998cc displacement. Feeding the beast were a set of Jenvey independent throttle bodies on a Hayward Performance street manifold. Spent gasses exit through a Burns Stainless 4-1 header.
If anything, this motor proves the simple truth that it's not necessarily how nuts each individual part of a motor is, but rather how well they all work together to make power. In this month's installment, we follow Brian as he builds the IPS-spec K20 that drove our RSX to a second place finish in the Acura RSX Challenge.