Could this one-off creation signal the desirability and collectibility of '90s SUVs?
Thanks to shows like RADwood, cars from the '80s and '90s have become more desirable from a collector's standpoint, and that is especially true among Japanese cars like the Toyota Supra, Mazda RX-7 and Acura Integra. Looking to see if this nostalgia carries over to SUVs, Acura is bringing a modified 1997 Acura SLX to this weekend's RADwood SoCal event, but this is no ordinary SLX – it's a factory-built restomod that sports the modern running gear of a 2020 Acura RDX compact crossover. Meet Acura's one-off “Super Handling SLX.”
Aside from the modern Performance Red Pearl paint job (replacing the factory Fir Green Metallic hue) and custom wheels, there's very little to suggest that this is anything more than a well-preserved SLX. A quick look under the hood or chassis proves otherwise, though. For starters, Acura swapped out the original 3.2-liter V6 with a brand-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. In factory form, this engine produces 272 horsepower, but thanks to a custom intake, exhaust, turbocharger and engine controller tune, Acura increased the output up to 350 horsepower.
As expected, extensive chassis modifications were required for the engine swap, and the addition new front and rear subframes helped accommodate the RDX's 10-speed automatic transmission and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The solid rear axle was also ditched in favor of the small crossover's independent rear suspension. Minor modifications were made inside with the biggest being the addition of paddle shifters.
Interestingly, Acura only built 6,590 SLX SUVs between 1996 and 1999, which makes these SUVs fairly collectible in their own right putting it right in line with RADwood's focus of rare and exotic vehicles of this era.
Acura built its “Super Handling SLX” specifically for RADwood SoCal taking place on December 7th in Orange, California. This custom creation will be displayed alongside unmodified versions of a 1996 SLX, 1986 Integra and 1991 NSX. This SLX's former owner is, not surprisingly, a huge Acura enthusiast and collector, and he makes a cameo in the video shown below.