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 |   |  DC5 is Alive – Our Top 5 Acura RSX Type S Feature Cars
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DC5 is Alive – Our Top 5 Acura RSX Type S Feature Cars

Faithfully JDM, sometimes K24 swapped, and always better with boost

Bob Hernandez
Mar 3, 2021
Photographer: Archives

It may have never been as popular as the Honda Civic or the Integra it was intended to replace, but the Acura RSX Type S FF coupe still had its fans (the writer of this piece being one of them) and champions who continue to preach the gospel of the DC5. Reaping the benefits from three generations of development that preceded it, the RSX-S helped move Honda's entry-level performance platforms into the age of K-series engine power, which is now legendary, and forward MacPherson struts, which was scorned then, less so now, in the first half of the '00s. We're sure the car will one day make the tuner Hall of Fame (if there actually was such a place) if only because of how easy it is to induce oversteeer in the zippy FWD compact.

Today DC5 are a good, relatively accessible starting point for a track build or show car, or even just a buff daily. Over the decades we've featured many but the five below have been the most popular stories as gauged by all of your story views. They feature some of the biggest JDM Honda aftermarket brands, all are running forced induction, and a couple have even swapped up in displacement to the K24. As always, you can click out to see each vehicle's story and full photo gallery in the descriptions below.

Bryan "Dante" Bui's Turbo '03 RSX Type S
Zack Zweifel's Supercharged K24 '05 RSX Type S
Brian McCoy's Turbo J's Racing '03 RSX Type S
Huy Hoang's Turbo Mugen '03 RSX Type-S
Marshall Angel's Turbo K24 '02 RSX Type S

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2003 Acura RSX Type-S - The Perfect Formula
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We've seen builders make the mistake of believing more is better, but the JDM aesthetic teaches us something else: that careful execution of fewer quality parts can often have just as much or more impact. Bryan "Dante" Bui's DC5 isn't a catalog car, nor does it try to overwhelm with every add-on in the book, but what it does instead is make the most of elements like its GReddy turbo kit, Mugen MF10 wheels, and aero from the likes of Ings+1, Top Secret and Mugen. The Toyota Cement Grey color ties together perfectly the exterior, while inside Japanese Integra Type R Recaro seats in their characteristic bright red are the centerpiece of the JDM cabin.

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Rebuilding a Supercharged, K24-swapped 2005 Acura RSX Type S|
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After a brutal snowboarding accident, doctors told Zack Zweifel he might not being able to use his arm again, but this DC5 project was not only a merciful distraction from the pain of recovery, it also helped him grow stronger and gain back some of his functionality. The build came out amazing, too, a composition that on the surface is a bit unconventional because of the mix of JDM OEM Integra Type R and Type S bits (yes, there was a DC5 Type S in Japan, although it's not the same Type S that was in the states). The power plant is something else, though, a Jackson Racing supercharged K24 swap - taking Honda's stroker K mill to the next level.

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2003 Acura RSX Type S - Aftermarket Algorithms
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Brian McCoy's DC5 grabs your attention and doesn't let go. He picked up the already RHD-converted machine before proceeding to go bigger, getting everything in the J's Racing catalog for the platform and then having it sprayed in vibrant Tahitian Green Pearl, a color from Honda's early '90s palette. But the wildest part of the car is arguably the awe-inspiring engine bay; layers of sheet metal were employed to cover strut towers, fill in gaps around engine mounts, round out creases below headlights, and extend sidewalls, with ugly gaps like the one commonly found between the bay itself and the fenders eliminated.

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Turbocharged Mugen 2003 Acura RSX Type-S
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If there's anything builders on this list have in common, it's that they're perfectionists, and Huy Hoang is no different. His '03 RSX-S is replete with rare and straight up unusual goods, like the custom cage, Aragosta coilovers, and Brembo NASCAR front calipers with titanium pistons and short track pads (that's not a typo). The DC5 is also something of a Mugen catalog car, and Huy's gone to some remarkable lengths with his project, like having the power window switches relocated to under the dash to keep full functionality with the carbon door cards in place; or replacing the roof skin and rear glass with JDM OEM in order to shave off the sunroof and rear wiper, respectively.

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2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Rookie Move
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We'd like to think any of the DC5 on this list would make a good SEMA Show display car, but Marshall Angel's Type S is an actual SEMA car, appearing in '15, and was surprisingly put together in about three months' time. In that small window, the coupe underwent a comprehensive transformation, from the cabin outfitted with custom bits like the JDM Integra Type R Recaro seats and S2000 instrument cluster and push-button start, to an exterior that features a mix of JDM and USDM and is finished in a one-off pearl white. This car's real "pearl" might be what's under the hood, though, a fully built K24 bottom with a K20 head and boosted to kingdom come via Precision 6262 turbo-based system.

By Bob Hernandez
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