Acura today announced Car and Driver as the winner of the first-ever RSX Challenge. In a close competition that came down to the final event, the magazine's blue and black Comptech-supercharged 2005 RSX Type-S narrowly edged out the competition. In a second-place tie were Honda Tuning and Super Street magazines, both missing the top spot by a mere 10 points.
Car and Driver's win extended from a near sweep of the track events, plus being the crowd favorite at one of two car show competitions. Technical director Larry Webster drove the RSX Type-S to victory in the handling, braking and quarter mile competitions, despite having the second-lowest horsepower output of the six cars.
Super Street and Honda Tuning tied for second place with wildly different cars. The Super Street entry boasted a turbocharged engine by Top Fuel, while Honda Tuning's engine was naturally aspirated. Editor John Naderi drove the Super Street car to second in every track competition except braking, where a bias problem caused an unusually long stop. Honda Tuning, on the other hand, was mid-pack in most of the track testing, but scored an extra 100 points when it was the only car to pass the mandatory emissions "sniffer" test. Solid showings at the two car shows kept the magazine in contention right until the end.
Car and Driver was ultimately crowned the winner at the 2005 SEMA show and awarded a custom carbon fiber and aluminum trophy designed and constructed by American Honda's Special Projects department.
About The Challenge
The RSX Challenge pitted six magazines against each other in a competition of tuning, style and driving. Car and Driver, Honda Tuning, Import Performance (formerly Import Racer), Import Tuner, Speed magazine and Super Street were each supplied with a new 2005 Acura RSX Type-S to modify.
They were then encouraged to partner with specialty equipment manufacturers to enhance the cars' horsepower, handling and appearance. Teams were not allowed to alter the basic structure of the RSX, the cars had to retain the original engine layout and location, and they had to utilize a minimum of two A-Spec components supplied by Acura Accessory Marketing.
All cars were judged on performance, emissions compliance and appearance. Track tests were conducted by AAA at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and included a slalom course, road course, _-mile acceleration and 60-0 mph braking. Horsepower output was measured on a chassis dyno at an independent facility, and each car was subjected to an emissions "sniffer" test administered at an AAA facility. Finally, all six cars were judged on appearance at two car shows, one at Acura's headquarters in Torrance, Calif. and another at the NHRA Sport Compact World Finals at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
The magazines modified their cars as follows:
|Car and Driver||13.521@ 105.24||100|
|Honda Tuning||13.998 @ 105.85||80|
|Import Performance||4.219 @ 99.39||60|
|Speed||14.144 @ 104.56||70|
|Super Street||13.611 @ 105.89||90|
|Car and Driver||8.4||80|
|Car and Driver||1.27.32||100|
|Car and Driver||110.44||100|
|Car and Driver||232.6||70|
|Car and Driver||Fail||0|
Car Show at Acura Headquarters
|Car and Driver||100|
Car Show at NHRA
|Car and Driver||70|
|Car and Driver||620|
|Honda Tuning||610 (tie)|
|Super Street||610 (tie)|
|Import Tuner||490 (tie)|