The HKS Acura RSX Type-S turbo kit uses the tried-and-true HKS GT2835 ball-bearing turbo that features a 56-trim compressor wheel spinning wildly in a .64 A/R housing. This combination of quick spool-up and high-end flow is tailor-made to generate a power curve ideal for the Acura's zippy 2.0-liter power plant. The HKS kit includes a sturdy ductile-iron exhaust manifold, straight-through downpipe, Super Mega Flow intake and SSQ blow-off valve.
Our test vehicle, a 2003 model owned by Fred Chang, was also outfitted with an optional intercooler and actuator upgrade, not to mention a grip of cool body tuning mods. HKS' PR man Andy Cheng was quick to point out that the HKS kit can be run without an intercooler at 0.6 bar. He added that HKS elects to offer the basic kit without an engine management system so the enthusiast/tuner can employ the tuning strategy they are most at home with.
Our test vehicle sported an F-CON V Pro Version 3.2 tuning computer, upgraded injectors, a prototype Hi-Power Turbo exhaust system and an EVC boost controller dialed in for a max output of 15 psi. The 65mm Hi-Power Turbo exhaust is larger than the traditional 55mm Hi-Power setup to meet the additional flow demands of a forced-induction environment. The RSX system is one of many turbo-conversion Hi-Power exhaust systems that HKS plans to develop in coming months for cars that are popular with boost freaks.
Chang's internally stock K20A was tuned by HKS Technical Director Jon Kuroyama. Kuroyama noted that the turbo would spike to about 17 psi as it comes on boost but was quick to settle to the prescribed 15 psi and from there the kit was a breeze to tune. Off a 170.5-whp baseline, Kuroyama coaxed an impressive three-run average of 347.1 whp, a wicked 176.6-whp gain. On the torque side of the power proposition the improvement was just as crazy. The baseline mark of 125.9 lb-ft was spanked by 162.4 lb-ft in turbo trim, leveling out at a three-run average of 288.3 lb-ft.
The bottom line here is plain to see as the boosted Type-S pounded the rollers generating huge gains at both ends of the dyno chart. The RSX seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts; while some may wonder if the upcoming 2006 Civic Si will be hurtful or helpful to the RSX, we can only hope HKS will have an '06 Si boost kit as potent as this one in the works.