All-New Acura RSX Powered By Next-Generation i-VTEC Engine Technology

9/25/2001 12:02:55 AM

The all-new RSX sports coupe is powered by Acura's advanced, next-generation i-VTEC(TM) engine with an "intelligent" valve control system, the latest evolution of the company's legendary VTEC(TM) technology. Working in concert with a host of other engine advancements, the i-VTEC system achieves the seemingly conflicting goals of increased power and performance, improved fuel efficiency and lowered exhaust emissions - in combination with reduced maintenance and enhanced driveability.

All RSX models are powered by a highly rigid, lightweight and compact all-aluminum, in-line four-cylinder engine displacing 2.0-liters with double overhead cams (DOHC), 16-valves and advanced i-VTEC valvetrain technology. All RSX models meet new, more stringent LEV-II Low Emissions Vehicle standards while achieving exceptionally high fuel economy ratings. In addition, all models feature a 110,000-mile tune-up interval.


The sporty RSX model employs a dual-stage air intake manifold and intake-side, two-rocker type VTEC system to achieve peak engine output of 160 horsepower at 6500 rpm and peak torque of 141 lb.-ft. at a low 4000 rpm for excellent low- and mid-range response in concert with robust high-rpm power delivery. Mated to an all-new, 5-speed manual transmission or optional Formula One racing-inspired 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic, the RSX delivers a powerful and refined driving experience.

RSX Type-S

The race-bred RSX Type-S is powered by an even more potent version of the 2.0-liter, i-VTEC engine. The Type-S engine employs a cast-aluminum, high-flow intake manifold in combination with intake- and exhaust-valve VTEC control to achieve an exhilerating 100 horsepower-per-liter power output with peak output of 200 horsepower at 7400 rpm and 142 lb.-ft. of torque at 6000 rpm. The race-inspired engine is mated to an all-new, 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission with double- and triple-cone gear synchronizers and short shift throws for precise and effortless shifting.


The i-VTEC system combines VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology with an innovative new camshaft phase control system called VTC (Variable Timing Control).

VTC uses a spool valve that directs high-pressure oil to chambers inside the intake cam's drive sprocket that allows for continuous adjustment of the intake camshaft's phase (position relative to the crankshaft) over a range of +/- 25 degrees (advance or retard). A separate VTC electronic control unit monitors RPM, camshaft and throttle position, ignition timing and engine exhaust condition to determine the necessary cam phase adjustments.

i-VTEC allows for extremely precise control of valve timing, lift and duration over the engine's entire operating range to achieve the optimal balance of power delivery, fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions. The result is an engine with improved idle smoothness, torquey low- and mid-range response, linear power delivery and abundant high-rpm power combined with higher fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emissions.

EGR Effect

At moderate engine speeds, i-VTEC advances cam timing for increased valve overlap, creating an internal exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) effect. At the same time, the lift of one intake valve is reduced to achieve a strong swirl effect in the combustion chamber. The combined swirl effect and internal EGR effect provide for a highly efficient combustion process - so efficient that there is no need for an EGR valve to recycle exhaust gases, further enhancing the engine's clean burning performance.

Also critical to the i-VTEC's high power output and low emissions is a new exhaust system that employs a stainless-steel, low heat-mass exhaust manifold and double-wall exhaust pipe to promote more efficient heat transfer to the catalyst for quicker converter light-off. An "e"-shaped cross section in the exhaust pipe further contributes to the breathing efficiency of the engine by keeping the paired exhaust pulses for cylinders 1 and 4 separate from cylinders 2 and 3, flowing from the manifold to the catalytic converter.

Advanced Technology

The RSX's engine boasts numerous other advancements that further enhance the performance, efficiency and durability of this all-new powertrain system.

  • A "silent" camshaft chain drives the VTC system for precise control of cam phasing throughout the engine's operating range and requires no maintenance for the life of the vehicle.
  • A two-piece cylinder block features a single-piece aluminum crankshaft carrier with cast-in, ferrous-carbon inserts in the main bearing areas for added strength and reduced NVH.
  • A highly rigid, forged-steel crankshaft with a micro-polished finish for reduced friction and greater durability (RSX Type-S).
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy pistons and forged steel connecting rods.

Designed as a true "next-generation" high-performance powerplant, the RSX's 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine delivers outstanding power, performance and driveability in combination with high fuel efficiency and low emissions for an exhilarating - and environmentally responsible - driving experience.

This engine represents the latest thinking in VTEC technology and combines Acura's long heritage in the development of cleaner more efficient engine technologies with the company's vast experience in engine development for top-level competition around the world, including both CART and Formula One racing series.