Many of the most historically celebrated entry-level performance cars all share one big limiting factor, front-wheel drive. While those limitations can be mitigated, the truth is that front-wheel-drive isn’t as potent for driving performance as its alternatives. And that’s why this epic turbocharged AWD Acura RSX now exists.
The car has been a project that we’ve been able to track through That Racing Channel on YouTube and in this latest video, they go for their first drive. Back in December, we saw the first parts of the transformation where they did a baseline dyno tune on the original front-wheel-drive setup. In that format, this little turbocharged monster made 507-horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque on a totally stock block.
Now they’re aiming for more than 800 but before any of that happens they have to ensure that the general AWD setup is functioning. What better way to do that than to rip up and down the road doing single gear pulls to warm up the components. Compare the old FWD video to this one and you’ll notice a distinct lack of tire squeal now that the car can push power to all four corners.
To make the conversion work, TRC utilized a lot of random Honda parts. The old RSX transmission and subframe have been swapped out for 2002-2004 CR-V AWD units. The driveshaft is a modified version of the one found in 1989-1991 Honda Civic Wagons and in fact, every driveline part from there back is from that same car including the differential and the axles.
No, this isn’t a hardcore, full-time, 50/50 power-splitting all-wheel-drive system but it’s more than enough to help the RSX keep its traction. It’s also one heck of a demonstration of how a ton of stock Honda parts can end up creating a car that was never built by the factory.
The most shocking part might be how good it sounds in the video below. Sure, the engine is lovely, but this thing isn’t rattling around or making a bunch of gross groaning or grinding noises. The passengers both mention how an unsuspecting driver might not even pick up on how custom this car is beneath the surface.