It was one thing to learn back in May that Acura was bringing back its Type S performance trim, in this instance for the TLX sedan model line, but it was something else completely to hear just a few short weeks ago that the turbo V-6 engine in said TLX-S will make 355hp with 354 lb.-ft. of torque. For a Honda, that's crazy talk. The only other offering more powerful from the OEM's current lineup is the NSX. And Honda fans reacted to the news with jubilation, mostly (at least until they heard it would only come with an automatic trans).
Eff the haters; color us excited to see a new Acura Type S make its impact felt among this generation of enthusiasts. While we wait for the 4-door to hit dealerships, which is expected in spring of 2021, we decided to corral our most visited Type S stories from over the years. Our list of the top five is predictably made up of almost all RSX, except for the unlikely TL at the very top. Additionally, all the cars have been upgraded with forced induction, but only one, Zach Zweifel's K24-swapped DC5, went the supercharger route. Don't forget to click the links below to jump out to each individual car's story.
- Shayne Wilson's Turbo 2007 TL Type S
- Bryan "Dante" Bui's Turbo 2003 RSX Type S
- Zach Zweifel's K24-Swapped 2005 RSX Type S
- Brian McCoy's Turbo 2003 RSX Type S
- Huy Hoang's Turbo 2003 RSX Type S
2007 Acura TL Type-S: Schmuck-Built Turbo TL
Not gonna lie, the best part about Shayne Wilson's Type S is that it's a TL, a generally pretty mundane sedan we've only seen piloted by moms and dads until Shayne rolled up in his turbocharged JDM-ified version. But if the platform is unusual as a starting point, a lot of what Wilson poured into it is equally uncommon.
Let's start with the exterior color; Moroccan Red Pearl third-gen. TL are quite rare. Shayne waited over a year after ordering his Gram Lights 57Xtreme wheels in lightweight SP-spec before Rays produced and shipped them out. The taillights were originally bound for the Chinese domestic market but were mistakenly sent to the States and are one of only 40 sets in the U.S. The kicker, though, might be all the custom fab work in the TL's engine compartment, completed by none other than Jason Schmuck from Schmuck Built. And there's so much more; Shayne's TL is a true original, and we are smitten with it.
2003 Acura RSX Type-S - The Perfect Formula
Look up "textbook modified DC5" and you might get back something like Bryan Bui's 2003 RSX Type S, a vehicle that sticks close to a very successful script. And why shouldn't it? Cars like these are the fabric of the scene, examples of quality JDM parts and great execution that builders and customizers should aspire to.
The Acura is colored in a custom gray normally seen on Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro pickups, a shade that helps tie together the ings+1 widebody kit with the Mugen rear wing, Top Secret hood, and Mugen MF10 wheels at the corners. Boost comes by way of GReddy turbo kit, while the cabin is trimmed in Mugen steering wheel and a whole lot of DC5 Integra Type R, including the center console, rear seats, and Recaro front-row seating. Cars like these are what brought us here in the first place.
Rebuilding a Supercharged, K24-swapped 2005 Acura RSX Type S
If you ever need perspective about how tough life can get, just take a look at the build story behind Zach Zweifel's 2005 RSX Type S. Zach suffered an extreme arm break in a snowboarding accident, so severe that doctors at one point suggested he may never use the limb again. But he's overcome it, as well as another setback, to build one of the nicest RSX-S out there.
Before the boarding mishap, Zach blew the car's original K20Z1 after a missed shift, so he figured, what the heck, I'll go big - big in this case being a K24A2 engine swap that he would eventually supercharge with a Jackson Racing kit. Then his injury happened, and while for a time the prognosis was pretty bleak, he used his project car as a form of rehabilitation. Importantly, putting his car together helped him relearn how to use his arm, a build that incorporates many bits pulled from the JDM ITR, including all the exterior lights and badges as well as nearly an entire DC5 interior. This thing is a great example of the result of the power of positive thinking.
2003 Acura RSX Type S - Aftermarket Algorithms
Brian McCoy's turbo RSX Type S hails from the prestigious and highly selective Team Emotion car club, and we totally get why; this thing is in-sane. A full-blown J's Racing catalog car, a previous owner had already done the RHD conversion before Brian laid hands on the Acura. For his part, he made the engine bay this project's crown jewel, shaving it as well as laying down sheet metal to fill gaps and round off edges and creases.
The engine is also a masterpiece, with a tasteful blend of matte and reflective finishes on the parts you can see, complemented by every bit of Downstar hardware for the DC5's engine compartment that's available. But the eye-catching elephant in the room is the RSX-S's exterior finish, a brilliant teal you can find on a J's Racing valve cover. Brian also got J's Racing President Mr. Murakami to sign his steering wheel, a finishing touch that is impossible to replicate and makes for one hell of a great conversation piece.
Turbocharged Mugen 2003 Acura RSX Type-S
You can call Huy Hoang's RSX-S the anti-bolt-on build, because seemingly nothing was easy or simple about any of the steps taken to create it. JMI Motoring played a large role in the project Acura, performing the widebody conversion, caging the cabin, and even grafting a JDM ITR's roof skin onto Huy's DC5 to delete the factory sunroof.
Not that Huy completely rejected the aftermarket; his RSX is, after all, something of a Mugen catalog car (he says primarily for the parts' impressive fit and finish). But he certainly took the road less traveled with this machine, as you can tell from the Brembo front brakes meant for a NASCAR stock car and BMW Melbourne red exterior color. Huy may come off as a perfectionist, but he went to some uncommon lengths to produce one of the best and most thorough DC5 builds we've ever come across.