Building a well-balanced racecar is not the easiest task in the world to accomplish. Each aspect of the car has to be carefully planned out not only to work well by itself, but also complement the rest of the car. With almost 300-wheel hp on tap, we needed a chassis that would make proper use of the power and look good while doing it. In this final installment of our RSX build up, we'll look at the chassis setup and bodywork that went into the car and the competition that we built it for in the first place.
Suspension is the most important system on any type of racecar. Even a 2000 wheel-hp RSX with no suspension work would very likely not have done well in this competition. That said, with the help of Afterhours Automotive, The Progress Group, D3 Designs, and EM Racing, we put together what we consider to be a nearly-perfect configuration for the racecar's suspension and chassis. Our main goals were to get the car to be rigid and rotate on command without oversteering uncontrollably, yet maintain stability at high speeds. We also needed to make sure the braking was hard and user friendly. With a Wilwood and A-Spec brake duo, we had no problem stopping on the proverbial dime.
Brian Kono of Afterhours Automotive single-handedly pulled off the car's exterior look. The bodywork, paint, and installation were all done in-house at Afterhours. The body kit we chose was from Buddy Club. The kit is race oriented and actually provides downforce in the front, while diffusing turbulent air in the rear. The problem was they only make the kit for the '01-'04 RSX, which has scallops under the head and taillights. The bumper's fitment is exactly the same, so Brian took it upon himself to patch the would-be holes in the front and rear fascias. A couple days and a 1/2 inch-thick layer of fiberglass dust later, the DC5 couldn't leave the shop without turning heads.
This Type-S was built specifically for the '05 Acura RSX Challenge. To recap, six different magazines were given an '05 RSX Type-S, a rulebook and eight months to build a car to compete against the five others-on and off track. The race segment consisted of a road course, slalom, drag race, and a brake test. Before the race, there was a dyno day to not only test power but also put the cars through a California state emissions test. After the track sessions, the cars were taken to Honda's North American headquarters in Torrance, CA., to be evaluated and voted on by Honda employees. Another showing took place at the NHRA Sport Compact World Finals in Pomona, CA., where the fans who showed up to the race voted on which of the six RSXs they liked best. We ended up with a second-place overall finish. We finished only 10 points behind Car and Driver, which won.