It might take more than a glance to notice what’s different about the 2005 Acura RSX. Upon close inspection, you’ll see that the front and rear fascias have been massaged a bit and the headlight and taillight housings have lost their round cutouts for a cleaner appearance. Inside, changes are nearly non-existent with the exception of a new accent color and more seat padding.
More significant are the updates to the stuff you can’t see. Our Type-S featured an upgraded strut tower brace to stiffen the front end for sharper steering response and a stronger engine. To extract 10 additional horsepower for 2005, Acura tweaked the Type-S version’s camshafts and bolted on a freer-flowing exhaust system. These modifications bump horsepower up to 210 at 7,800 rpm (it was 200 at 7,400 rpm in 2004) and the torque rating squeaks up one lb.-ft. to 143, but the peak is now reached among the clouds at 7,000 rpm (compared to 6,000 rpm in 2004). Not only is power peaking higher than before, which requires harder driving to extract maximum performance, but also a lower final drive ratio that helps to preserve the RSX’s fuel economy rating (24 city and 31 highway) makes it harder to take advantage of the extra power.
If the power upgrade seems to be a wash, rest assured that all 2005 Acura RSX models feature improved brakes, more responsive steering, beefier stabilizer bars and firmer suspension settings for an overall boost to performance. Additionally, a reinforced body structure and more sound deadening material reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. Considering that maximum power is reached at a redline so high that it almost makes your ears pop, more sound deadening material is always welcome.