The Acura RSX premiered for the 2002 model year based on the Type-S variants that were successful in North America in order to replace the Integra coupe. Canada employed three different versions of the RSX: the base model (which included cloth interior), Premium (leather upholstery, a sunroof, and alloy wheels), and the Type S. Other markets such as Australia and Hong Kong only showcased the base RSX. The Acura RSX rolled off the line as a two-door hatchback equipped with a 2.0L inline four-cylinder engine capable of 155 horsepower (the Type S RSX pumped out around 200 HP at introduction). Base RSX models were geared to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic while the Type S only came with a six-speed manual.
Another feature of the RSX has been its generous inclusion of amenities. Accessories such as leather upholstery, power mirrors and windows, remote keyless entry, automatic climate control, and a moonroof were standard on the base model. The Acura RSX Type S pushed it up a notch with a firmer suspension, stronger brakes, 17-inch wheels, and a six-CD disc changer. Industry-wide attention found the RSX early on, as it won the 2001-2002 Sport Coupe for Edmunds.com. The RSX also was named to Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best List for both 2002 and 2003.
In 2004 Honda instituted several changes to the Acura RSX parts, both inside and out. Steering and handling were targeted in particular, as the model received a stiffer steering column, reinforced stabilizer bars, and improved suspension including bushings at installation points. A revised front-end grille, chrome trim, and new headlights and taillights were also part of the alterations. For its last model year, the air intake duct was enlarged as were the exhaust pipes. A rear deck spoiler was also added to complete the sporty image of the car. The Acura RSX has proven to be a success despite is limited production run. It was recognized throughout the industry, receiving additional honors such as being named a Top Ten Car by SCC for 2004 and being listed among cable channel Spike's Top 52 Car of All Time.
Smooth drivability and crisp handling are the keys to why the RSX has been a longtime favorite. Gallantly eating up blacktop, the Acura RSX performs as if on a mission. All of the racing-inspired pep drivers need yet delightfully eye-catching and sporty, the RSX is one model that expresses versatility in more ways than one. Series through series, the Acura RSX has always managed to reward its drivers with the precision and comfort that defines true loyalty.
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