Acura RLX Tuning

"Tuning guide to the best Acura RLX modifications."

The RLX originally shipped with a 310bhp  3.5 L Earth Dreams J35Y4 V6 engine.

The RLX model was firmly aimed at the executive and family drivers who enjoy driving and don't want to compromise. A RLX sport hybrid was introduced in 2013.

We review RLX tuning and highlight the best upgrades. Acura RLXs have loads of potential and with the ultimate tuning upgrades you can substantially improve your driving experience.

The powercell hybrid capabilities boost power output to a heady 277hp adn 341lb-ft of torque.

The double wishbone front suspension was well setup and thought out adn the rear uses a multi link suspension setup with all wheel steer making the car feel and handle like a much smaller model.

The RLX is a good car modification project to execute. We see DIY mechanics wasting money on their RLX doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our tips to avoid wasting your money

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Our aim in engine tuning should be to increase peak bhp at the top end.

Following our tips for modding your RLX you will create a practical scorching car that will potentially out perform bigger cars.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Engine Tuning.

Typically these tuning modifications are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

Getting the correct grade of performance upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 competition upgrades just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Stage 1 mods: Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Remap, Panel air filter, Alloy wheels.

Stage 2 mods: high flow fuel injector, Fast road cam, Power/Sport clutch, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades.

Stage 3 mods: Sports gearbox, Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam.

You need to keep as much low end torque as possible and aim to get a long power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.One of the biggest mechanical tuning parts you can do to your NASP engine is to fit a fast road cam .

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. We'd also caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after tuning upgrades are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues.Improved injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Contrary to popular belief there is often a small power gain obtained by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you boost the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Derestricting the air flow into the engine is a primary goal of car tuners so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound great but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and usually rob you of power.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of air through the engine. But if the exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Head work including a gas flow and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. In nearly all cases of RLX tuning your clutch will start to slip and this needs to be uprated - read our guide on clutches for more information. The best mods we recommend for your RLX are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

Remaps offer impressive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a remap on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

We've also seen some tuners playing with twincharging applications and making some seriously high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

The nice directly proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straightforward to map. Alternatively you could fit water injection to cut down knock.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for loads of people first priority in your RLX tuning project.

Good suspension tweaks that often enhance handling for the RLX include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe out on the front wheels.

We suggest that you fit motorsport suspension and lower the car by 25mm - 40 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloys are lighter they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tyres) for your car, a good directional tread pattern tyre can really enhance your cars handling. The drawback to large alloys on your RLX is that you're changing your effective final drive ratio so this will have a detrimental effect on performance.

Because of this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have with bigger wheels with no problems.

There is a more updated version of this Acura RLX Tuning article on

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss RLX options in more detail with our RLX owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Acura tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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