Rather than match up a pair of Civics or Integras in the latest installment of our SS Battles series, we thought it would be more interesting to compare two far less likely swap recipients with this K20 Acura NSX and K24 Toyota MR2.
Honda's K-series engine is available in dozens of different chassis, from sedans to crossovers, and builders around the world have capitalized on the power plant's versatility and affordability. With an endless supply of aftermarket support, an internet packed with tips and tricks, as well as Honda's clever packaging that grants the K20 and K24 the ability to land in just about any engine bay, it's become the "small block" of the import world.
Two great builds, both of which are mid-engine, rear-wheel drive and Honda-powered—let us know which one you'd rather jump behind the wheel of via Super Street's Instagram post.
Honda K-series MR2s have been popping up everywhere in recent years, but Benny Tran of Australia's BYP Racing and Developments might have one of the most intriguing back stories. The 600+hp build started as a pretty humble chassis purchased for about $1,500 U.S. and built from spare parts. It took Benny less than a month to completely assemble the car and its lethal engine setup that starts with a K24 stuffed with BC forged rods and Wiseco pistons and is topped off by a Garrett GTX 3582R hanging off of a K20 head.
The mad dash to put the car together was the result of Tran's goal to set records at Cootamundra Airfield—a harsh, unforgiving local track that stands as a benchmark for tuning gurus throughout the continent. Being a Honda specialist, BYP Racing was focused on showcasing what their Honda engines are capable of, regardless of chassis.
In the end, the 28-day sprint to completion was well worth the effort as the MR2 earned the 2WD Drag Battle title and broke the 2WD four-cylinder title by 0.06 seconds. Other than the wheel and tire package, there's nothing to clue you in as to the car's 10.1-second quarter mile blast on street-legal rubber and a full interior.
If you're a diehard purist, then you probably won't like the idea of ditching Honda's early '90s V6 power plant for a more modern, commonly found 4-cylinder, but that's exactly what Brandon Wilbur did with his '93 NSX. To be fair, he bought the car as a little more than a shell and planned all along to make the switch to K20 power. In fact, his previous build, an MR2, used the exact same engine setup.
Piecing the car back together and using modified Hux Racing MR2 K-series mounts to hang the 2.0L, which included JE pistons and Manley Turbo Tuff rods on the bottom and a sizeable Precision Gen 2 6870 T4 up top, it looked like a million bucks when Brandon was done with it. More than just a pretty, sinister face, the NSX was tuned to just under 1,000hp and the story's title, "Troublemaker," couldn't have been more fitting.
Even with just a few mods on the exterior, this NSX screams modified, but no one would ever expect almost 1,000hp to be purring behind the driver's seat. Brandon sold this car some time ago but is right back at again, this time with an Imola Orange version that looks to be even more serious.