The early 2000s were generally a pretty good period in the automotive industry and the best proof is that there are so many cars that already became classics. The RSX is definitely one of those instant classics. It was introduced in 2001, as a successor to Integra, with the same design approach but with further upgrades. Of course, it was offered in two variants, including the high-performance version, which is widely considered one of the best FWD sports cars ever made. That’s why we can hear so many rumors suggesting its comeback, even as the Acura RSX Type R.
Simply, this was and still is a very special car. It may have a few drawbacks but it was a genuine car enthusiast’s car, with impressive handling and the legendary, high-revving four-cylinder engine. Is there a chance to see this nameplate again? We will try to give you an answer in this article.
What’s the deal with Acura RSX Type R?
The first thing we should do it to explain to younger generations why this small sports car was so special and why it would be great to see the new Acura RSX Type R. Simply, there were so many great things to like about the old RSX. It was the best-handling FWD car at the time, available in two powertrain variants. Base models were equipped with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four, while the same engine was available in an upgraded version, with 200 horsepower and the ability to rev much higher. The base engine was coupled with a 5-speed, while the upgraded engine featured a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Although these aren’t particularly impressive numbers by today’s standards, keep in mind that this was a very light car, so the more powerful version was available to hit 60 mph in just 6 seconds, while the top speed was 140mph. The RSX wasn’t just about numbers, it was characterized by spectacular refinement of its engine and transmission.
Still, these are different times, so the eventual Acura RSX Type R comeback would bring a little bit different design approach, with a turbocharged engine. Of course, we are thinking of the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the same one that powers the new Civic Type R, with a max output of around 320 horsepower. A great thing is that the transmission wouldn’t change much and that we would see Honda’s spectacular 6-speed manual once again.
Styling, Chassis, Suspension?
The powertrain and transmission were just one part of the RSX magic. This model was also famous for its perfectly calibrated chassis, with lightweight construction, spectacular handling and precise steering. Even today, it is usually regarded as the best-handling FWD car ever made. So, we presume that the new Acura RSX Type R would stick to the same recipe. Of course, it would probably be a little bit heavier but we definitely count on a sport-tuned suspension, limited-slip differential and all other features that are necessary for an excellent driving experience.
In terms of styling, we presume that the new model would stick to the brand’s new design language, while the 2-door coupe layout is definitely something we expect to see in terms of the exterior design. On the inside, we presume the new RSX would bring a much finer design, with nicer design, better materials and a full load of modern tech features. Still, we would still want to see a little bit of rawness, something that could wake up everyone’s desire for driving engagement.
What Will Acura Have To Improve?
The old RSX was undoubtedly an amazing car, but there were still a couple of weak points. For example, there was the suspension. It was sports-tuned and therefore, too firm for daily driving. So, the eventual comeback would probably involve adaptive suspension, with different modes, which can soften the suspension setup when needed.
There is also the matter of sound insulation, which would probably be better in the new mode. Still, we wouldn’t want to see a completely insulated car, because that would definitely kill the fund.
Also, we already talked about the high-revving engine that, on the other hand, wasn’t particularly generous with torque at lower RPMs. This will certainly be fixed with the new turbo-four.
Is There Really a Chance Acura RSX Type R Comeback?
Despite that this revival would be a fantastic thing for car enthusiasts, we don’t believe that the chances to see this model once again are too big. Simply, Acura already revived the Integra nameplate, so there’s no logic in keeping two very similar models in the lineup. Also, there is the Civic Type R, so if we are about to judge logically, this isn’t something we would expect to see, at least not in the near future.