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Custom Acura RDX A-Spec Comes To SEMA With 345 HP

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Acura's luxury crossover gets a significant power upgrade with the help of Graham Rahal Performance.

While Ford brought some modified Mustangs, trucks and SUVs to the SEMA aftermarket tuning show this week, Acura chose to customize the 2019 RDX A-Spec luxury crossover. Designed and built by Graham Rahal Performance founded in 2017 by race-winning Honda IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, the 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec received a wealth of performance enhancements thanks to updates to the RDX's powertrain, suspension, brakes, wheels and tires.

"As owners of an Acura dealership, we know how strong the new 2019 RDX is out of the gate. I didn't want to mess with a good thing," said Graham Rahal. "Sometimes, subtle enhancements can make a big difference in the look of a vehicle. And that's exactly what my team and I aimed for with this GRP RDX."

Under the hood, GRP has used its experience of tuning Honda Civic Type Rs to upgrade the RDX's factory 2.0-liter turbo engine with a new turbocharger, intake and exhaust manifolds, and downpipe. The SUV also received a custom intercooler and intake setup, a lightweight cat-back exhaust system, and a remapped ECU.

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With these modifications, the GRP RDX produces 345 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque, up from the 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft delivered by the standard model. Power is sent to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission with the aid of Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system.

To cope with this extra muscle, the chassis has been modified with custom sport springs that lower the RDX by two inches, while stopping performance is improved by six-piston StopTech brakes. The custom RDX A-Spec also rides on lightweight 21-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

On the outside, the GRP RDX is painted in Apex Blue Pearl supplemented with GRP custom carbon mirror caps and carbon grille accents. Interior modifications include carbon fiber accents and a custom steering wheel designed by renowned racing driver Max Papis.

An assortment of Acura race cars are also being showcased at SEMA, including the Acura NSX GT3 Evo ARX-05 that finished second in the 2018 IMSA Weathertech GTD Championship, the Acura ARX-05 that raced in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2018 season, and the RealTime Racing TLX GT that returned to Pikes Peak earlier this year. Also on display is a 2019 Acura NSX road car finished in Thermal Orange Pearl and a customized 2019 Acura ILX showing the range of accessories available to Acura customers.