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2005 Acura RSX Type-S - Purpose Built

When High-End Parts And Good Looks Meet The Race Track

Aaron Bonk
Aug 26, 2010
Photographer: Jonny Sundell

David Ying's '05 Acura RSX Type-S
Don't let the name of David Ying's Canadian-based auto shop fool you. Yes, the Evo Garage namesake is that of the legendary rally-derived sub-compact, the Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione, but Ying and company most assuredly specialize in the Honda brand. Admittedly so, the famed, early-'90s Lancia is this Richmond, British Columbian's most prized piece of automotive racing fare. He thinks his RSX is sort of okay, too.

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Understand the merits of the race-inspired Lancia, understand that, despite those, Ying still owns and tracks his RSX, and you will no doubt understand that Ying's RSX most likely is something spectacular. It is. Ying's fourth-generation Integra stand-in is every internet forum "Appearance and Cosmetic" regular's dream realized. But not for the reasons you'd expect. Each Japanese-sourced aero piece, each obscure engine bit, they're all there for a reason, and they're all exploited beyond reasonable exploitation.

Inside Ying's Lancia track car's bay rests two liters of turbocharged worthiness. The RSX shares similar displacement but no turbocharger. What it lacks in low-end torque, though, is made up for with its Japanese-spec, K20A Type R engine that's dressed with a Toda Racing header and valvetrain, a Mugen air box, and a Spoon Sports throttle body. Beneath Ying's Lancia track car sits an AWD layout-the kind you have to take seriously, with a torque-biasing differential in the center and a Torsen-type one out back. Of course, the RSX benefits from no such layout, however, Ying wanes off traction woes with an ITR-spec gearbox that's upgraded with a Spoon Sports final-drive gear and limited-slip differential that transmits torque through a Carbonetic clutch and flywheel combination. The pairing is a special one, so much so that Ying had it and the rest of the powertrain prepared for the RSX prior to even owning it. Once the chassis arrived, its North American-spec K-series was plopped out in favor of the act of God that is the ITR powerplant.

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Pay attention, because the more you know about Ying's RSX, the more you'll begin to forget about the compact, rally-bred gem he's got tucked away in his garage. You won't miss it one bit either. The genuine Mugen aero kit that gracefully complements Ying's DC5's lines, in part, helps ensure this. The Mugen front bumper and canards play into the hands of the JDM-spec Type R headlights that drip from the carbon-fiber bonnet, also from Mugen. The reshaped lines spill into the Mugen side skirts and across the Mugen rear under-spoiler. Carefully avoiding an exterior in disarray, subtle touches like a JDM rear trunk lid and taillights as well as Vision Technica Type MC mirrors were among the final accouterments applied to the body. Of course, there's also Ying's massive J's Racing wing that's every bit as functional as it is large. So much for subtleties.

Although the sought-after Mugen externals, Enkei wheels, and Recaro seats may lead you to believe that Ying's RSX parks itself and does so quite hard, make no mistake, this DC5 was built for the track, not for the Sunday afternoon parking lot get-together. As a matter of fact, Ying admits that, of the few times throughout the year that the RSX is removed from its garage stall, it's done so in preparation for a road course beat-down. After all, it's what Ying bought his RSX for in the first place.

Htup_1009_06_z+2005_acura_RSX_type_s+k20_engine Photo 4/13   |   The ITR K20A power plant, already lethal in factory form, was improved upon with a few select upgrades to increase power output even further.

Ying's track appetite was first made whet thanks to his previous '96 Civic CX, which was motivated by the pre-K-series-era B20-VTEC. His first track experience took place nearly 10 years ago, which he shared with that first hatchback. He was hooked. Three years later he opened the doors to Evo Garage, the shop that caters to the Honda enthusiast yet pays homage to a compact car produced under the guise of parent company Fiat. Never mind all of that, though. Fortunately for Ying, Evo Garage proved viable. Unfortunately for Ying, Evo Garage prevented him from visiting the track again until 2005, when he made his return in a K20A-swapped '02 Civic Si. Ying tracked the EP3 regularly until after no more than a year he traded up for a barely used '05 RSX Type-S. Ying says that the RSX was had in near-mint condition and its price reflected as much. The Honda garage entrepreneur makes no qualms about the entry cost, however, nor the dollars associated with the top-quality fare he associates with his RSX, like the Vision Technica carbon-fiber air duct, Mugen N1 coilovers, and completely custom AP Racing brake rotors and Brembo calipers that remain unique to Ying's DC5. The whole "You get what you pay for" axiom sounds sort of appropriate right about now.

The purpose of Ying's RSX is quite clear. The fact that no expense was spared is quite evident. The idea that a man so obsessed with another make's rally-inspired homologation had the wherewithal to pull off a Honda build of such caliber...well, that part is neither clear nor evident. The best part is, though, it doesn't really matter at all.

Bolts & Washers

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ITR K20A engine
Hasport engine mounts
Mugen air box
Vision Technica carbon-fiber intake duct
Spoon Sports throttle body
RBC intake manifold
Toda Racing header
Buddy Club Racing Spec III exhaust
Toda Racing valve springs
Toda Racing titanium retainers
Toda Racing timing chain tensioner
RC Engineering 440cc/min fuel injectors
Tabata Racing radiator
Billion radiator hoses
GReddy oil cooler
Mugen carbon-fiber coil cover
Hondata K-Pro engine management
Buddy Club Racing Spec Condenser
JDM ITR transmission gears
Spoon Sports 5.062:1 final-drive gear
Spoon Sports limited-slip differential
Alex change lever spring
Carbonetic carbon clutch
Carbonetic lightweight flywheel
JDM ITR axles

Mugen N1 coilovers
Swift Springs coils
Swift Springs front anti-roll bar
Swift Springs rear anti-roll bar
SuperPro bushing kit
Cusco front camber plates
Vision adjustable rear camber arms
Mugen front strut tower bar
Spoon Sports rear shock tower bar
J's Racing fender braces
J's Racing C-pillar bar
M&M Honda tie rod set
JDM ITR chassis reinforcements

Htup_1009_08_z+2005_acura_RSX_type_s+steering_wheel Photo 9/13   |   2005 Acura RSX Type-S - Purpose Built

AP Racing rotors
Brembo mono-block calipers
Endless pads
Mugen Micro Mesh lines
Motul RBF600 fluid

Wheels & Tires
17x8 Enkei ES (+35/45 offset, front/rear)
225/45-17 Hoosier R6

Htup_1009_09_z+2005_acura_RSX_type_s+rear_view Photo 10/13   |   The RSX's rear was stripped of all seating and plastic to shave a few pounds.

JDM ITR headlights
JDM ITR taillights
JDM ITR rear hatch
JDM ITR rear quarter windows
Mugen carbon-fiber hood
Vision hood dampers
J's Racing hood pins
Mugen front bumper
Mugen canards
Mugen rear under spoiler
Mugen side skirts
J's Racing 3D GT-Wing Type 1
Vision Technica Type MC mirrors
JDM ITR badges
Mugen bolt kit
Mugen tow hook set

Recaro SPG seats
Vision Technica seat rails
Takata harnesses
Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel
Mugen steering wheel hub
Mugen pedals
JDM NSX-R horn button
JDM ITR blue interior
JDM ITR gauge cluster
Defi BF oil press., oil and water temp. gauges
JDM Honda Access push-start button

Htup_1009_10_z+2005_acura_RSX_type_s+engine_cover Photo 11/13   |   2005 Acura RSX Type-S - Purpose Built

The Evo family
Sheng at JHPUSA
Studio KTL
CG guys
Paolo "The Man" Cruz

Owner Specs

Htup_1009_11_z+2005_acura_RSX_type_s+interior_view Photo 12/13   |   2005 Acura RSX Type-S - Purpose Built

Favorite website

Screen name or nickname

Building Hondas for how long
Since 1998

Your dream car
Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione

Build inspiration

What's playing in your iPod/CD/MP3 player right now

Greatest movie of all time
Pulp Fiction

An RSX Tale
For Honda, the RSX lived a short, sad sort of life. Introduced in late 2001, enthusiasts and tuners didn't know whether to praise it for introducing a K20A with the right kind of VTEC to North America or cuss at it for lacking a double-wishbone front suspension-a suspension that, arguably, played a major role in shaping the popularity of Civics and Integras from 1988 to 2001. Overall sales proved as much. The car wasn't exactly marketed to buyers as the Integra replacement it had supposedly supplanted, and a slightly more expensive, more powerful TSX made opting for the RSX even less likely. Once the less-expensive Civic Si, with its RSX Type-S-like powerplant and sleeker lines was introduced in late-2005, the RSX was laid to rest permanently. It's five-year run was associated with little fanfare, but its K-series engine, impressive horsepower-per-liter ratio, and Type R counterpart ensures that the RSX will remain in the thoughts of loyal Honda fans for years to come, despite the beancounters' numbers.

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By Aaron Bonk
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