In a city that never sleeps, dreams are often realized at the draw of a card or the roll of the dice. In seconds, fortunes can also be lost or dreams broken. It’s been called Sin City for good reason as the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” mantra holds true. Paul Siu of Las Vegas purchased this 1993 Acura NSX with plans of a serious build. Once the Nevada plates arrived with “666” as part of the number, the NSX was quickly titled Project Blue Devil. Soon after, the stock NSX was turned into a street demon.
Text by Richard Fong • Photos by Michael Ferrara
Devil in the Blue Dress
The factory body lines of the Acura NSX shout for attention. In a town of glitz and blitz, even a stellar factory appearance was not enough. To lower the stance of the NSX, HKS Hipermax II adjustable coilovers were fitted to the four corners. A Carbing rear shock tower brace and factory Honda NSX-R chassis brace tie in the critical flex points on the chassis, allowing the coilover suspension to work at top efficiency.
To dress up the NSX, Paul looked to Cantrell Concepts. Cantrell Concepts’ GT wide front fenders and rear quarter panels were fitted to bolster the NSX’s lines. Out back, a Taitec JGTC rear diffuser and a Max Racing Super Taikyu spoiler enhance aerodynamic downforce. To fill the widened wheel wells, Paul chose Work VS-SS wheels mounted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The 225/40R18’s up front and the 315/35R18’s in the rear provide superior grip. To take advantage of the sticky rubber, the factory stoppers were swapped out in favor of larger-diameter AP Racing brake rotors and AP Racing 4- piston calipers.
The X Factor
To realize a serious power goal, the NSX was delivered to Mike Angel of Factor X Engineering. Mike’s experience with the NSX platform made him the perfect candidate to extract the potential hidden within the NSX’s VTEC engine. Aiming for maximum reliable street power, Factor X went to work. Starting with the all- aluminum C30A engine, the block was broken down and prepped for machine work. Lawless Machine Shop dropped in a set of Darton ductile-iron sleeves into the block to ensure that higher cylinder pressures would not be a problem. The sleeves were then bored to 93mm and filled with Wiseco 9.8-to-1 compression forged-aluminum pistons. The increased bore results in a displace- ment increase of 201cc. Displacement now checks in at 3180cc. The pistons make the connection to the factory crankshaft by way of Carrillo forged-steel connecting rods. While the bottom-end build progressed, the cylinder heads took a trip to Portflow in California. Portflow’s Tom Fujita ported and polished the heads before filling them with a complete ensemble of Supertech valvetrain components, including valves, springs and titanium retainers. Once the block components arrived back at Factor X, ARP head studs were chosen to clamp the heads to the block, while Cometic head gaskets provide a positive seal.
The Fury Of Forced Induction Unleashed
With the block completed, attention shifted to creating boost. Aiming for at least 500 horsepower, a Science of Speed (SOS) exhaust manifold was chosen to direct exhaust gases into the turbine of the Garrett GT3582R turbocharger. From the turbine outlet, Factor X fabricated a custom stainless-steel exhaust system finished with a pair of Burns Stainless mufflers. The compressor of the GT35 draws cool air from the custom roof-mounted air induction system. Once compressed, the air charge is forced through custom piping to the Spearco rear-mount air-to-air intercooler. After the intercooler, the chilled air is channeled to the Factor X-modified intake manifold. As the compressed air is divided between the intake ports, a half dozen 720 cc/min RC Engineering fuel injectors deliver a 50/50 cocktail of 91- and 100-octane fuels to the combustion chambers.
An HKS F-CON V-Pro engine management with 32×32 cell resolution commands the fuel delivery and ignition tables. A TiAL Sport 44mm wastegate and a Blitz SBC-iD Color boost controller regulate boost to 20 psi. Factor X tuned the engine management on a Mustang Chassis Dynamometer. At the end of the session, the NSX generated a whip-lash inducing 612 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. This is an improvement of 166% over the baseline pull of 230 horsepower on this same dyno.
Scorching The Strip
Now flexing nearly triple the factory output, the NSX needed some help in the driveline department. Taking power from the flywheel and turning the trans- mission would require additional clamping force. An RPS single-disc clutch replaced the stock unit and transfers power to the upgraded NSX-R transmis- sion. The “R” tranny features shorter closer-ratio gears, which ensure that engine speeds stay within the power band. Power is split between the rear wheels thanks to an OS Giken Super-Lock limited-slip differential.
The cockpit of this demon features custom-upholstery and a Dali Racing roll bar for safety. Sabelt 4-point harnesses mated to a SOS harness bar secure the occupants while a host of DEFI gauges keep Paul up to speed about his engine’s vital signs. Steering input is handled by a Momo steering wheel. For those long sessions in “Strip” traffic, a Pioneer DVD head unit backed by a pair of Alpine V12 amplifiers drives a host of Alpine speakers and a 12-inch subwoofer.
The Devil In Disguise
While Paul only drives the NSX to work on clear days, this super commuter gets occasional track time when the local NSX club gets together to race. As the former president of the club and current active member, Paul professes his enthusiasm for high-powered sports cars. “When I was younger, I was into hot rods. Even though I’m a little older, the need to make more power doesn’t ever go away.” Sounds like a case of performance possession.
|Year / Make / Model:||1993 Acura NSX|
|Vehicle Weight:||3,065 lbs.|
|Weight Bias (F/R):||42/58|
|Launch RPM:||4,000 RPM|
|Bore & Stroke (mm):||93mm x 78mm|
|Peak Horsepower (@ RPM):||612 whp @ 7,000 RPM|
|Peak Torque (@ RPM):||470 lb-ft @ 6,600 RPM|
|Dyno Type:||Mustang Dynamometer|
|Block Modifications:||Darton Ductile-Iron Sleeves|
|Machine Work:||Lawless Machine Shop|
|Pistons/Compression Ratio:||Wiseco 9.8:1 Compression|
|Connecting Rods / Crank:||Carrillo Forged Connecting Rods|
|Valves/Springs/Retainers:||Supertech Valves, Springs &|
|Cylinder Head Modifications:||Portflow Cylinder Head Port|
|Cylinder Head Gasket:||Cometic MLS Head Gaskets|
|Head/Main Studs:||ARP Head Studs|
|Intake Manifold/Throttle Body:||Modified by Factor X|
|Intake System:||Custom Roof-Mounted Cold Air|
|Fuel Injectors:||RC Engineering 720 cc/min|
|Fuel Delivery System:||Factory Nissan 300ZX Fuel Pump|
|Engine Management System:||HKS F-CON V-Pro Engine Management|
|Boost Controller:||Blitz SBC-iD Color Boost Controller|
|Spark Plugs:||NGK V-Power|
|Springs, F&R (Make & Rate):||8 kgf/mm Springs|
|9 kgf/mm Springs|
|Shocks, F&R (Make & Rate):||HKS Hipermax II Adjustable Coilovers|
|Additional Suspension Components:||Carbing Rear Shock-Tower Brace|
|Science of Speed Toe-links,|
|Pivot Clamp Kit and Rear Beam|
|Transmission:||Factory NSX-R Transmission|
|Transmission Gearing:||Factory Spec-R Short Gear-Ratio Set|
|Clutch / Flywheel:||RPS Single-disc Clutch|
|Differential(s) (Make & Type):||OS Giken Super-Lock LSD|
|Axles / Driveshaft:||Modified by Factor X|
|Wheels (Make, Size & Offset):||Work VS-SS Wheels 18×8-inch +21 (F)|
|18×11-inch +31 (R)|
|Tires (Make & Size):||Michelin Pilot Sport 225/40R18 (F)|
|Brakes (F&R):||AP Racing 4-Piston Calipers|
|Roll Bar / Cage:||Dali Racing|
|Harnesses:||Sabelt 4-Point Harnesses|
|Science of Speed Harness Bar|
|Gauges:||DEFI Boost, Oil Press, Fuel Press, EGT|
|Front Lip Spoiler:||Wings West|
|Front Fenders:||Cantrell Concepts GT-Wide Fenders|
|Rear Fenders:||Cantrell Concepts Wide Quarter Panels|
|Rear Diffuser:||Taitec JGTC Rear Diffuser|