The Honda DC5 Integra, known stateside as the Acura RSX, was always an underrated performer. A short wheelbase, a lightweight design, and a high-revving motor made it a gem that, for one reason or another, never quite caught on. True, it was heavier and less accessible than its older brothers, but it had all the right ingredients that a flickable sports car needs.
Andrew Khoo recognized that potential early on and modified his DC5 to capitalize on its stronger points while dragging up some of its deficiencies. First off, the K20 motor was made a little punchier from low down with a Toda stroker kit, which brought the displacement up to 2150 cc. The improvement in torque was complemented by a Toda racing camshaft and lightweight valve springs from the same company to provide the screaming top-end associated with these four-pots. That shriek is magnified by a Tedco Sport race header pouring into a 70RR exhaust from J’s Racing. Individual throttle bodies and S2000 injectors handle the business on the other side of the combustion process. All in all, the massaged motor makes an accessible 245 horsepower at the front wheels.
To better exploit the power provided by the stroked K20, Khoo tuned the drivetrain. A 5.1 final drive, a lightweight flywheel, and a carbon clutch—all from ATS—ensure Khoo can keep the car in its ideal rev range at any given moment. After all, these motors thrive on revs and keeping them singing is critical.
With sticky Hankook RS3 tires covering the Volk Racing CE28RT wheels at all four corners, and a Buddy Club widebody kit to house them in, the car’s not lacking an athletic presence. In fact, that kit was the very one used in the Asian Touring Car Series years ago, and with a J’s carbon wing and a diffuser from Spoon, there’s no mistaking this Honda’s intentions.
Though the car’s not a dedicated track toy, it’s become so focused that there’s no sense in having a radio; the J’s Racing exhaust and the induction buzz dominate the cabin. With that glorious noise punctuated by regular shifts, it does offer some of the thrill of a genuine touring car. Thanks to a Mugen 1.5-way LSD, the power is harnessed well like any respectable racing car can, and only at 2:06 does it roast its front tires in search of grip. Everywhere else, when the power is applied, the stylish Personal wheel does not writhe in the driver’s hands.
However, it does appear to show just a hint of mid-corner understeer, as Reuben Wong continues to add steering lock at multiple apexes; struggling to get the front tires to bite right as he begins to depress the throttle. Other than that, it’s flawless. Not bad for a cageless street car which can be driven to the supermarket—albeit with a set of earplugs.
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