We think this would be an appropriate time to pour one out for the late, great Honda Integra. After running the show in the FF performance world for four generations of design and more than 20 years, the Teg was laid to rest in 2007, and Honda moved on to larger, more boring things. The reasoning behind the decision to cut the Integra (Acura RSX for later-generation North American markets) from the lineup makes sense from a marketing standpoint. After all, why would Honda need what equates to essentially a more expensive Civic Si? (This is a general statement, so please don’t write to us about all the differences between the Civic and Integra.) Enthusiasts were dismayed to learn of this change, but because of how good the DC platform was (and still is) in all its iterations, the following for these cars is still as strong as ever.
As with any popular sport-compact platform, the aftermarket support for the DC chassis is vast and practically limitless. No matter what you’ve got in mind, chances are someone has done it with an Integra before. That’s actually OK, though, because amid the madness of different styles and types of builds, the truly clean cars shine through strong and bright. Gone are the days of needing a flashy paintjob or gaudy, colored wheels, and Chris Young has gone the route we wish more people would choose: true roots-based JDM with a bit of USDM thrown in for good measure.
When we first spoke with Chris, he told us a little about how he came to own this pristine DC5 RSX Type S. “The whole idea of building a car started when I was hanging out with my friend Taylor,” Chris recalls. “After seeing his car, and what he was doing with it, I thought it would be neat to build a car as well, and with his help, I was able to do some basic modifications for my first car, an ’04 Mazda RX-8. Near the middle of 2007, the RX-8 caught on fire and burned down while my friend and I were driving; that was one hell of an experience! After working things out with the insurance company, they cut me a check, and the search was on for a new and different kind of car.”
Chris and his late father searched far and wide for his next project, and they looked at many types of cars—Evos, RX-7s, S2000s, the list goes on—but when they finally found a mint-condition, low-mileage RSX Type S at a local dealership, they signed off and drove home happy.
Chris began the modification process slowly; the car you see today has been about five years in the making. On the outside, it’s clear that the car has had lots of attention to detail. A Mugen aero kit is in place, a kit often imitated by third-party companies, but the details on the real version are easy to spot. The smiling front fascia is something non-Honda guys might think is a bit silly, but to those who know the heritage of the red “H” and the connection with Mugen (because of a family connection between the owners, Mugen is about as close as Honda gets to a factory-based tuning house), the look is classic. We really can’t think of a better-looking kit for the DC5, and believe us when we say we’ve seen a lot of them.
Chris’ wheel choice is perfect for this car in our book; gold CE28Ns are a classic that add a bit of flair, but not so much that it detracts from the car as a whole. TEIN HA coilovers have allowed Chris to dial in the stance of the car nicely as well, and again, it’s not slammed or outrageous looking. It’s simple, functional, and awesome. The rear of the car is accented by an M&M carbon-fiber diffuser, and JDM Integra Type R headlights and red badges finish off the exterior package in a complete and concise way. It’s not missing anything, and it doesn’t have anything that looks out of place.
Moving to the interior of Chris’ car, we are again met by Mugen and JDM ITR as far as the eye can see. A plethora of Type R interior bits have transformed the once bland, USDM-stricken cabin into a much more exciting (and very red) place to be. Look around closely and you’ll notice an Integra Type R red center console, handbrake, shift boot, carpet, doorsills, rear seats, pedals, cupholders, floor mats, and even a coin holder. If that sounds excessive, you’ve probably never built a Honda, so it’s OK if you don’t get it. Chris does, and that’s all that matters.
We also know how much more fun it is to track a car than to let it sit in your garage or on the floor of some car show.
A set of Mugen S1R bucket seats holds the driver and passenger in place along with classic green Takata four-point harnesses, and a Cusco bolt-in rollcage has been installed for, admittedly, mostly show purposes. This car is not a race car, Chris says. It’s a car that can do anything, which brings us to the power department.
The K20A2 is a fantastic motor straight out of the box. The popularity of the K series as a swap into non-native chassis has exploded since it first appeared in North American Hondas in the early 2000s, and there’s a good reason for that: The motor is robust, powerful, and responds extremely well to modifications. Chris chose to go the supercharged route, and his Jackson Racing kit with upgraded 11-psi pulley gives him a good amount of usable power without the lag you would get with many turbo setups. A lightweight flywheel and upgraded clutch help Chris put the power down, and a Hondata K-Pro EMS keeps everything working properly.
Chris says his RSX is an ever-growing and continuously evolving project. He has not taken the car on a track yet, but he legitimately wants to do so when the time is right. We fully understand the worry that surrounds taking your baby to the track for the first time—the fear that something might break or that you might go off and ruin a rare and expensive piece of aero. But we also know how much more fun it is to track a car than to let it sit in your garage or on the floor of some car show. So Chris, we highly encourage you to take the car out, give it a whirl, and enjoy the fruits of all your labor.
With the setup on the car right now, we’re sure it would be an absolute blast to throw around on track. After all, the parts you’ve picked and chosen so carefully were all designed with that exact purpose in mind.
Specs & Details
'04 Acura RSX Type-S
Engine Honda K20 DOHC iVTEC inline-four
Engine Modifications Ingalls torque damper; Type R valve cover, plug cover; Buddy Club race header; Spec 2 after-cat exhaust; Mugen intake, oil cap, radiator cap, gas cap, thermostat; Samco radiator hoses; Innovative Motor Mounts 75A mounts; Jackson Racing supercharger; 3-inch Pulley Boys 11-psi blower pulley; Dayco belt; RC 650cc fuel injectors, Plug-and-Play injector clips; NGK 9 Iridium spark plugs; Hondata intake manifold gasket, 4-bar map sensor; JMercado tensioning bracket, oil line bracket; Brando’s map relocator; Koyo radiator; Walbro 255L fuel pump; Gates Submersible fuel hoses;
Engine Management Hondata K-Pro
Drivetrain Competition Clutch Stage 4 Clutch, 8-pound ultralightweight flywheel; 01-05 Civic clutch master cylinder
Suspension Tein HA coilovers; Function7 lower control arms; Toda 25mm sway bar (f); Progress sway bar (r); Mugen strut bars (f/r)
Exterior Mugen front bumper, side skirts, wing, canards, hood; M&M rear carbon-fiber diffuser; red out taillights; Red H badges (f/r); JDM Integra Type R headlights, trunk lid badge
Interior JDM Integra Type R red carpet, doorsills, rear seats, center console, handbrake, shift boot, pedals, cupholders, floor mats, coin holder; T1R titanium shift knob; Cusco six-point bolt-in ’cage; Recaro door panels; Mugen S1R bucket seats (f); Racing Wheel Version III; steering boss; Takata four-point long harnesses (f); Buddyclub low seat rails; B&M short shifter; AEM boost gauge; AFR gauge; Prosport gauge cups
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Volk CE28N wheels 17x9-inch +35mm; Yokohoma S Drive tires 245/45R17; Wilwood Dynalite big brake kit (f); stainless steel brake lines
Numbers 275 hp, 172 lb-ft of torque
Thanks To my dad (R.I.P.), my mom, my girlfriend, Diem, my friends Taylor, Kimo, Mirza, and Kraker, Wilwood Brakes, Competition Clutch, and Autrey Mcvicker at DWS Parts.