Handling is taut and precise, and while the RSX will follow road imperfections under acceleration, it is among the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars we've driven. A beefy front strut-tower brace aids an already stiff chassis, and the nicely weighted variable-assist steering puts the RSX right where you want it. The RSX feels right at home on undulating and twisting roads, and running the i-VTEC motor through its 8,000rpm paces between corners never gets old.The heart and soul of the 2006 Acura RSX Type-S are its engine and transmission. The i-VTEC system with Variable Timing Control (VTC) manipulates valve timing and lift via a regular VTEC two-stage camshaft; it also regulates oil pressure and allows variable camshaft position for a range of adjustability.
All this computing power produces motive power in a way few road-car engines can match. It wrings 201 horsepower (hp) from two liters of displacement without the aid of forced-air induction, for a most impressive specific output of more than 100hp per liter. In practice, the motor provides a tempting and self-reinforcing combination of low-inertia revviness and the reward of a nice shove in the back for exploiting it. This and the precise shift action make keeping up the power flow a pleasure. Adding an aftermarket performance computer would be a good way to see if you can shave a few tenths of a second off your commute or your favorite weekend drive.
But even given its penchant for redline-reaching antics, i-VTEC helps the RSX Type-S return a LEV-2 emissions rating and EPA fuel-mileage ratings of 23mpg city and 31mpg highway. Our test car got 24.4mpg over five days of spirited driving, mostly on secondary roads.