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First Impressions

I figured it would be really easy to address my gripes. All Acura had to do was federalize the Japanese Market Integra Type R, and everything would be set right.

While those dreams will remain unrealized for 2005, Acura has pretty much addressed the key areas of concern. As you already know, the new motor (now labeled K20Z1) has been fitted with several Type R bits, and packs 10 more ponies and a few more lb-ft of torque under the hood. That's all well and good, but a larger concern for me was how the new car was going to deliver the power. After driving the Integra Type R, the extra 20hp at the top of the rev range was certainly impressive, but the truly lustworthy aspect of it was the tremendous advantage in grunt it holds over the K20A2 at the lower and midrange rpms. THIS is what I was really hoping to see improved in the 2005 model, and Acura has pretty much delivered the goods, but thanks to a couple hundred pounds of additional mass (vs. the ITR) it obviously doesn't quite have the snap of the ITR, but it feels quite a bit stronger than the '02-'04 RSX-S. To help it along, the '05 RSX-S runs the same final drive ratio as the ITR, but it seems that the torque has indeed been fortified in the low and midrange rpms. The dyno test (on the page that follows) provides corroborating evidence.

One of the things about the previous model RSX Type-S was that it had this peculiar knack of disguising its rate of acceleration. Nothing illustrated that better for me than driving it side by side with something that provided a tremendous sense of thrust, in our case it was a 260hp 6-speed Acura CL. During our weeklong combo test two summers ago, the RSX-S we had felt almost doggish in comparison to the CL Type-S, yet once the cars were underway, the RSX-S would put up a great fight. The CL's big advantage was really in the launch, aided largely by its limited slip differential (ooh, another sore RSX-S topic - we *still* don't get one here). But this new car is different. While it may not show much (if any) advantage in published 0-60 times (thanks to gearing so short that you now have to shift twice just to reach 60mph), perhaps far more important from a subjective standpoint is how quick this new RSX feels. It's simply a blast to rip up through the gears, and it even sounds a little better now too. Honda engineers were unable to match the smooth sound of the K20A, but much of the boominess of the K20A2 has gone away, and the K20Z1 now carries a deeper overall tune. The overall sound is still closer to the K20A2's than I had hoped, but it is indeed improved.

At this point, we've only had the car for a couple of days, so I haven't had the opportunity to really challenge the chassis, but from the driving I have done, it's definitely polished off many of the rough edges of the '02-'04 models. Body roll in particular seems to have been at least halved, while ride quality doesn't seem to have suffered at all. This leads to a dramatic improvement in overall poise. The car now wears (Type-R sized) 215/45ZR17 tires and lateral grip is quite a bit better than before, but the car still comes up a bit short in terms of longitudinal grip, particularly when it comes to hard braking. We understand that MOST drivers are better off with nice all season tires, but there should still be a low-cost option for performance tires. This is a "sports car", after all. The 5-spoke wheels must be reasonably light, as the wheel and tire combo tilted the scales to the tune of 41.0lbs, a reasonable figure. For a point of comparison, the similarly sized wheel and tire combo on the TSX requires additional postage for nearly 6 more lbs. For now, that's all we can really tell you about the chassis. Once we have the opportunity to challenge it more, we'll share more of our impressions, but at this point things are looking really good.

Overall refinement has been improved incrementally, but there's still a bit of engine rumble at freeway speeds. Wind noise and suspension noise are well controlled, but tire noise is moderate. The 2005 RSX's gearbox is said to have been enhanced for 2005 (with changes similar to those seen on the 2004 S2000's gearbox), and indeed gearchanges are quite excellent. While I wouldn't say that the earlier gearboxes were vague, the precision of the 2005 gearbox seems better with similar (light) weight feel. Gearchanges are smooth and can be executed quite quickly. I am glad that Acura didn't "enhance" the motor with an electronic throttle body - the instantaneous response of the mechanical linkage makes driving and shifting that much more fun. Seat comfort remains quite good, though I would like to be able to raise the front of the bottom cushion a bit more. The interior trim revisions are nice, but I really wish they would have retired the red dash lighting. It just doesn't provide adequate contrast for nighttime legibility.

See the results of our dyno test on the next page.



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Date Thread Starter Thread
09-10-2004 22:13 Wheels and Tires???   (Score: 1, Normal) cksi1372
09-11-2004 11:55 RyanDL
09-11-2004 22:49 cksi1372
09-12-2004 12:18 RyanDL
09-13-2004 08:59 99SI
09-13-2004 09:42 RyanDL
12-07-2004 02:26 RSX Rich
09-13-2004 10:18 gilbert
09-22-2004 01:39 BOOMER
09-27-2004 14:19 TonyEX
09-27-2004 17:52 JeffX
10-21-2004 02:56 info pls? max mph in each gear   (Score: 1, Normal) modulo_s
09-30-2004 19:28 Finally sat in an '05...   (Score: 1, Normal) VTEC_Inside
09-27-2004 17:59 track times   (Score: 1, Normal) watermelonman
09-28-2004 09:07 JeffX
09-11-2004 17:36 Brakes   (Score: 1, Normal) RSXcellent
09-12-2004 11:10 JeffX
09-24-2004 01:37 Goofy1
09-22-2004 14:08 Any planned reviews / tests   (Score: 1, Normal) 99SI
09-22-2004 23:21 JeffX
09-23-2004 12:19 Antrey
09-18-2004 19:53 No love for the headlights...   (Score: 1, Normal) Power Of Dreams
09-17-2004 18:39 tail lights   (Score: 1, Normal) watermelonman
09-10-2004 17:08 So what's the verdict?   (Score: 1, Normal) LudegarH22A7
09-10-2004 20:09 shingles
09-10-2004 20:19 notyper
09-11-2004 18:05 Pauly1
09-17-2004 18:11 watermelonman
09-13-2004 09:00 99SI
09-17-2004 14:22 autoweek review   (Score: 1, Normal) bluetorpedo
09-10-2004 21:04 WoooooooooooooHooooooooo   (Score: 1, Normal) TonyEX
09-10-2004 21:41 JeffX
09-12-2004 13:34 TonyEX
09-15-2004 07:59 kimchimonkey
09-15-2004 21:52 notyper
09-16-2004 12:47 notyper
09-16-2004 22:25 IntegraDC5R
09-11-2004 12:23 Bustanovich
09-11-2004 14:45 RyanDL
09-13-2004 20:46 Bustanovich
09-13-2004 21:35 JeffX
09-14-2004 17:56 Jeff, ? about wheel weight   (Score: 1, Normal) STL
09-14-2004 22:46 JeffX
09-15-2004 13:16 STL
09-16-2004 17:57 STL
09-11-2004 02:31 VTEC dip and changeover.   (Score: 1, Normal) VTEC_Inside
09-11-2004 11:57 RyanDL
09-15-2004 16:40 jes98gsr
09-12-2004 23:58 I hate the bloody tacked on bodykits acura puts out!!   (Score: 1, Normal) vlade31
09-14-2004 16:04 ACuraR
09-15-2004 04:03 TeggyBoi
09-15-2004 07:42 JNorthcut
09-10-2004 22:47 For Jeff: 05 RSX vs ITR K20's   (Score: 1, Normal) CivicB18
09-10-2004 23:11 JeffX
09-11-2004 13:04 jfunk
09-12-2004 12:50 P.J
09-12-2004 16:39 jfunk
09-13-2004 17:32 99SI
09-11-2004 03:47 Speeddemon69
09-11-2004 15:46 CivicB18
09-13-2004 13:06 Color?   (Score: 1, Normal) Mugen Power
09-13-2004 14:08 RyanDL
09-12-2004 23:56 Drove a type s   (Score: 1, Normal) 05rsx
09-11-2004 12:13 Styling...   (Score: 1, Normal) shingles
09-10-2004 22:50 IM IN LOVE WITH THE 05 rsx its the 92-95 and 96-00 civic relived!!!   (Score: 1, Normal) uhhhh
09-10-2004 21:31 Thank you!   (Score: 1, Normal) RSXcellent
09-10-2004 16:49 05 Dyno sheet link is messed up   (Score: 1, Normal) ZeroA
09-10-2004 16:59 ZeroA
09-10-2004 16:53 Sounds Mean :)   (Score: 1, Normal) 99SI
09-10-2004 16:58 JeffX
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