The long-term TSX V6 has been nothing short of spectacular over the past 10 months. Now, before you jump up and down and throw a fit in regards to the car's weight, futuristic front fascia, or lack of aftermarket support, take a deep breath and read on. The car's weight is simply a reflection of the times. Super lightweight cars like the CRX and the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation Civics just aren't in the Honda-dealt cards these days. Advanced safety features, overshadowed only by a mind-boggling number of airbags, take their toll on the scales and often pull a tear or two from the eyes of old-school Honda enthusiasts. In an attempt to counter the extra pounds, the second-generation TSX was offered with a 3.5L V-6 for those interested in upping the power ante. Like all Honda V-6 powerplants, the power delivery is seamless, and unlike most of the smaller four-cylinder offerings, torque is plentiful. The additional pulling power warrants the change in rolling stock that we made previously, thanks to Falken Tire and Mackin Industries. No project car would be complete without at least a few go-fast upgrades, and with the help of DC Sports, we were able to open up the inhaling and exhaling performance. Add to that a set of Tein coilovers, and you have a slick, reliable, fun-to-drive sports sedan with plenty of passing power. However, there's always room for improvement.
With the TSX up on a lift, we realized that the factory antisway bar is, well, sort of pathetic due to its extremely thin build. Searching online and making a number of calls, we couldn't find anyone stateside offering any bars for the V-6 model. If you recall our Project Fit from last year, we had trouble finding bars, suspension, and just about anything else you can imagine for the second-generation model as well. We did work with a company by the name of Ultra Racing at that time, and they did offer a number of suspension bars for the Fit's foreign cousin, the Jazz. Lucky for us, the bars bolted up to our Fit and we were good to go. If you're not familiar with Ultra Racing, they're knee-deep in suspension pieces for just about every Honda model, not to mention a laundry list of other manufacturers. They've got an extensive lineup available online, even for hard to source chassis types.
When we contacted them about the new TSX, they offered some of the pieces that were designed for the 2008 Accord overseas, stating that the chassis was almost identical. A box full of bars arrived shortly after, and just like the Fit pieces they sent us last year, the quality and finish was excellent. With the TSX up in the air, we started with the rear antisway bar, and worked our way forward.
The factory antisway bar, dwarfed by the Ultra Racing piece, is a must have replacement for this chassis. The difference is noticeable a split second after entering your first harsh turn. Though the Tein coilovers helped stow much of the factory body roll that's inherent to every vehicle, the Ultra Racing bars picked up the leftovers and the result is crisp and confident from entry to exit. The addition of the front and rear tie and strong bars added a new level of strength to an already rigid chassis. Obviously bolting on a number of bars won't drop your lap times by five seconds, but there's no doubt that the Ultra Racing package made a positive impact on our TSX's handling, and it's something you can actually feel. Finally, something more in the suspension department is available for the TSX V6 thanks to Ultra Racing.
After touching on the handling and power departments, we're adding a little flair to the exterior of Project TSX V6 thanks to John over at JDP Engineering. He's developed an aggressive carbon-fiber front lip and a sultry rear wing that we've already test fit, and as usual, it's spot on. Next up is a visit to the body shop to get the pieces painted, and a full overview of the project in all its glory.