Since its debut in 2002, the RSX has carved a solid niche in the sports coupe segment, and with the important "tuner" market. Available in two distinct models-the sporty RSX and the high-performance RSX Type-S-this sports coupe serves as an important point of entry for the brand, introducing youthful performance enthusiasts to the Acura line-up of precision-crafted performance luxury vehicles.
The RSX has won an assortment of industry awards including being named to Car and Driver's "10 Best" and Ward's 10 Best Engine's lists. With their high-performance engines, abundant luxury features, advanced safety and security systems, and innovative cockpit and body designs, the RSX and RSX Type-S have set a bold standard of driving excitement and refinement in the sports coupe segment.
For 2005, significant enhancements were made to both the RSX and RSX Type-S to reset that standard to an even higher level. These enhancements were designed with three specific objectives in mind:
To boost the already formidable performance of the Type-S model by increasing horsepower and optimizing the 6-speed manual transmission
For 2005, modifications to the intake, exhaust and emissions systems were made to the Type-S model's 16-valve, DOHC i-VTEC 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to boost power to 210 horsepower at 7800 rpm (up from 200 hp at 7400 rpm on the previous model) and 143 lb-ft of torque at 7000 rpm (up from 142 lb -ft at 6000 rpm). The Type-S comes exclusively with a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission. To complement the engine performance gains, the final gear ratio of this 6-speed manual was lowered by 8.6 percent to provide quicker acceleration. Single cone carbon synchronizers replace double cone brass synchronizers on fifth and sixth gears to provide a more direct shift feel and reduce mechanical losses in the transmission.
To meet the demands of today's discriminating drivers, both RSX models boast a sport-tuned suspension system, which has been substantially retuned for 2005 to make the RSX even more fun to drive. Revised suspension, steering and braking systems coupled with an increase in front and rear body rigidity result in even more responsive handling while at the same time enhancing ride comfort.
New for 2005, the Type-S model receives standard 17-inch alloy wheels (up from 16-inch) fitted with Michelin 215/45R17 all-season high-performance tires, which provide enhanced traction and a more substantial appearance under the wheel wells.
To complement the revised suspension, the rigidity of the body has been increased front and rear with reinforcements in key areas including the suspension mounting points. Additional insulation material in the roof and doors reduces road noise, while a dynamic damper added to the front subframe reduces engine rocking and vibration transmitted to the cabin from the engine.
Building on its decidedly enthusiast-oriented theme, the RSX features a dynamic, "driver-tuned" cockpit that has been freshened for 2005 with the addition of chrome and titanium-look accents, upgraded materials throughout and front seats that have been redesigned to provide additional support and comfort.
Exterior styling enhancements for 2005 include redesigned front and rear fascias and side sills on both models, and a new deck lid spoiler on the RSX Type-S model, which not only give the car a sportier, more aggressive look, but improve its aerodynamics as well.
SUMMARY OF CHANGES FOR THE 2005 RSX
Revised suspension tuning for increased handling precision and a smoother ride
Engine intake and exhaust modifications that boost the horsepower of the Type-S model to 210 at 7800 rpm (compared to 200 hp at 7400 rpm on the previous model)
The 2005 RSX is powered by two versions of an innovative, 16-valve, DOHC, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine utilizing Acura's i-VTEC valve-control system. The i-VTEC system incorporates VTC (Variable Timing Control) to continuously adjust intake-camshaft phase in concert with Acura's Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system-enhancing performance, and fuel efficiency, while reducing emissions across a broad power band. The RSX utilizes VTC and VTEC on the intake valves and camshaft while on the Type-S i-VTEC combines VTC intake phasing with VTEC intake and exhaust valve control.
The RSX engine produces 160 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 141 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Thanks to new high performance camshafts, larger diameter intake ducting and modifications to the exhaust system including larger diameter exhaust pipes, the 2005 Type-S engine produces a robust 210 horsepower at 7800 rpm (up from 200 at 7400 rpm) and 143 lb-ft of torque at 7000 rpm (up from 142 lb-ft at 6000 rpm).
Both the RSX and the RSX Type-S meet strict Low Emission Vehicle-II (LEV-II) standards adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for 2005.
The 160-horsepower RSX engine drives the front wheels through a choice of two state-of-the-art transmissions: a smooth-shifting, five-speed manual that provides excellent control during spirited driving, or an optional 5-speed automatic transmission equipped with Acura's Sequential SportShift system. The SportShift concept first appeared on the Acura NSX exotic sports car . The SportShift transmission operates as an automatic or puts gear selection in the hands of the driver, much like a manual transmission.
In keeping with its high-performance mission, the RSX Type-S is available exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. Designed to be exceptionally compact and lightweight, this 6-speed has also been engineered to shift with extremely short and precise throws. It features a short-throw clutch with an innovative torsion mechanism that considerably reduces noise. For 2005, the final gear ratio of this transmission was lowered by 8.6 percent to complement the more powerful engine and provide enhanced acceleration. Multiple synchronizers are utilized for outstanding feel. For 2005, single cone carbon synchronizers replace brass double cone synchronizers on fifth and sixth gear for quicker response and an enhanced shifting feel.
GLOBAL COMPACT PLATFORM
To achieve both a sleek exterior and a roomy cabin, the RSX is built on the Global Compact Platform. It features a 4-wheel independent suspension system that, for 2005 has been substantially retuned to provide even more agile handling and refined ride comfort. Up front, the RSX features a compact Control-Link MacPherson Strut suspension for outstanding handling, ride and packaging. Moreover, the Control-Link MacPherson Strut design delivers quick, responsive handling by helping to maximize each front tire's contact with the road throughout the range of suspension travel. In the rear, the RSX is equipped with a compact double-wishbone suspension that helps provide a smooth ride, excellent handling, and additional cargo space.
To make the RSX even more fun to drive, both 2005 models receive significant suspension changes designed to enhance handling precision and ride comfort.A new geometry was applied, which lowers the car by 7 mm. Stabilizer bar diameter on both models was increased, as was the diameter of the front strut tower bar on the Type-S. In addition, bushings at the suspension installation points were optimized and (on the Type-S), the bushings were replaced by bearings on the strut tower mounts for quicker turning response. To minimize the affect of suspension compression on steering, inversely wound front coil springs were applied.
Large disc brakes at each wheel help deliver exceptional stopping power. In front, the RSX uses 10.3-inch ventilated discs, while the high-performance Type-S features 11.8-inch ventilated discs. Both the RSX and the RSX Type-S are equipped with 10.2-inch rotors at the rear. The brake systems on both models were enhanced for 2005 with a lower pedal stroke ratio, a more rigid brake pedal and a larger diameter master cylinder for enhanced performance and superior braking feel.
The solid unit body of the RSX was designed from the outset to set a new standard for torsional and bending rigidity. This standard has been raised for 2005 by strengthening key points on the body and chassis. Exterior styling has also been updated for 2005 for a more distinctive, sporty look. Enhancements including redesigned front and rear fascias, new side sills, redesigned head and taillight assemblies, and the addition of a deck lid spoiler on the Type-S model. These changes, as well as the suspension modifications help to lower both the coefficient of drag and coefficient of lift for enhanced stability.
The RSX platform has been computer-designed to achieve a 5-star NCAP rating for frontal impact by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Specially designed crumple zones in the front and rear help dissipate impact forces before they can intrude on the passenger cabin, while impact-absorbing pads in the pillars, roof sides, and door linings work in conjunction with the standard front and side airbags to help minimize the chance of occupant injury.
SPACIOUS AND STYLISH COCKPIT
Despite its 101.2-inch wheelbase, the RSX provides generous room for both passengers and cargo-thanks in part to its compact suspension system and cab-forward design. With the rear seats up, the cargo area offers 16 cubic feet of cargo space.
The driver-oriented cockpit has been freshened for 2005 with new chrome and titanium-look accents and upgraded materials throughout. It features a sleek instrument panel with large gauges that are backlit in red for easy night time visibility. Both models feature deeply bolstered seats, which have been redesigned for 2005 for increased support as well as comfort, and a three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel for an unmistakable "driver's car" feel. Handsome, double knit material with patterned-cloth center inserts is standard on the RSX while perforated, hand-selected leather is available as an option. Perforated leather is standard on the RSX Type-S.
STANDARD LUXURY FEATURES
Like all Acura models, the RSX is comprehensively equipped. Standard equipment includes an Automatic Climate Control system with air filtration, a keyless entry and security system with anti-theft engine immobilizer, power windows with an "auto-up/down" feature for the driver's window, heated power sideview mirrors, and intermittent wipers. In addition, the RSX boastsa standard 6-speaker audio system with in-dash CD player, while the RSX Type-S features an even more impressive 7-speaker Acura/Bose(R) Music System with 6-disc in-dash CD changer and cassette player.
SPORTY AND AERODYNAMIC EXTERIOR DESIGN
For 2005, exterior styling has been enhanced for a sportier, more dynamic look. The grille, front and rear bumpers, side sills, headlights, and taillights have all been redesigned, building on the sporting appeal of the previous model and ensuring the RSX looks as fast as it drives.
Thanks to gently tapered body-side panels, curved door and quarter-panel glass, and a suspension lowered by 7 mm for 2005, the RSX is the most aerodynamic coupe in its class. Coefficient of lift and coefficient of drag are improved in 2005 and the ratio of lift front to rear was improved for maximum high-speed stability.