Shocking Revelation
The suspension system is hyper-adjustable with a trick camber plate integrated into the set-up. However, it is the shock treatment that caught our attention. We first saw the car at the 2000 Tokyo Auto Salon and noticed a shock running inboard, longitudinally (front to rear) and parallel to the ground. There were also shocks placed in the traditional locations. We quickly surmised that these units would tend to work against each other.

Something had to give; something was not right. The traditionally mounted front shocks were dummies, which had no impact on suspension travel. The trick APEXi design is configured to provide enhanced grip at the moment of inertia as the Acura leaves the line. The suspension resists the tendency to unload the front wheels, which in theory, will help 60-foot performance. The APEXi N1 shock-and-spring combo provided 1.48- to 1.50-second 60-foot times in initial shakedown runs, which included as many as two dozen 0-60 foot runs at a time. It should be noted that the car's 8.84 had an off-pace 1.52-second 60-foot. So, how deep into the 8's the Integra will go remains to be seen.

Extreme, Yet Simple?
The engine and drivetrain are a strange tag team of extreme and simple. The engine, which has high-tech components, uses simple street electronics to control fuel and timing, not a mega- expensive, race-only engine management system. The transmission, on the other hand, is extreme. The Integra relies on an X-Trac sequential gearbox to put the power down. Using this gearbox in a Honda application brings to life many challenges so the APEXi Japan technicians had to don the thinking caps. A unique feature of Honda engines is that they rotate in the opposite direction of all other engines. This means the X-Trac would provide six speeds of reverse. To make it all work, APEXi built a reverse, or clockwise, rotating engine. That was half the battle. In order to attach properly, the engine was installed backward, with the VTEC moniker reading upside down and the header exiting toward the firewall, and not toward the grille. The X-Trac runs a triple-plate Ogura clutch, a lightweight Ogura flywheel and spins R32 Skyline axles.

Converting Clockwise
Now how do you construct a clockwise-spinning Honda engine? APEXi started with a H22A engine, which was de-stroked by using 86mm forged billet APEXi crank in place of the 91mm stocker. The crank secures APEXi 8.5:1 forged pistons and billet APEXi rods. Most of the "conversion" centers around, reverse-engineering cams, reworking valvetrain timing to ensure proper firing in a clockwise rotation, a new starter that spins the flywheel the right way and properly set-up engine management. It sounds more intimidating than it is, as long as you have your own camshaft manufacturing facility.

With a bottom end built as strong as possible, attention was turned to the cylinder head. Under the "What did they do?" section of our tech sheet APEXi staff wrote "you name it." The head was ported for maximum flow and fitted with a number of custom-made APEXi parts. The cams were custom-fabricated to actuate the valves while spinning backward, which involved redesigning the opening and closing ramps of the cam lobe and repositioning the inverse flank from what would be the intake side of the lobe to the exhaust side. The valve springs and other critical components were also custom-made for the project.