Ask any poker fan, roulette freak or bleary-eyed slot machine nut where Mecca lies, and the answer will always be the same: Las Vegas. Once crawling with mafiasos and rat-packers, this city is still sinful; but it's also a modern wonderland for tourists tempted by the promise of an upscale thrill - even if it ends up being a trashy, shameful, ATM-binging, pseudonym-using, spring-break-like moment one would like to forget. Or not. Inside its numerous maze-like casinos, Vegas offers the most diverse and intense gambling arenas in the United States. It's a great place to live if you enjoy taking a chance and playing the odds.
Alan Washinsky, a longtime Las Vegas resident, enjoys doing just that. After finishing well in a rather high stakes (by our poor man standards) card game in San Francisco, Washinsky found himself the owner of this 1991 Acura NSX. The car was bone stock then, right down to the jewel-like V6 engine and smooth shifting five-speed transmission. The NSX proved itself a capable and comfortable cruiser, with the ability to grab stares up and down Las Vegas Boulevard. But, in a town where Dodge Vipers and Ferrari F360 Modenas are considered common, Washinsky wanted more.
Determined not to take any gambles on the safety of his engine, the first stop for the NSX was Factor X Engineering in Las Vegas. Mike Angel, head of Factor X, is no stranger to the mid-engine sports car - having built many turbocharged examples, including a 10-second, 813 hp shop car. Featured in the April '06 issue of Turbo, the Factor X demo car was a monstrously powerful example of how to give the NSX enough balls to take on any modern machine. Upon arrival, Washinsky's NSX was torn apart to receive the exact same turbo setup that propelled Factor X into the 10s.
Tuned to put out "only" 520 hp, Washinsky's NSX benefited from being in the right hands. Because the NSX has remained relatively untouched by tuners, little data exists in the way of research and development. Angel, determined to only market proven products that stand up to hard abuse, has had to take on the wallet-draining task of carrying out his own personal R&D. Remember: this isn't some company that fabricated a turbo kit, thought it would clear the chassis and then began selling it to consumers. Angel has gone through three NSXs and five transmissions to get to this point.
The 3.0-liter C30A six-cylinder motor was removed and machined by RS Machine of Carson City, Nevada, to accept a set of iron ductile sleeves. Into these were fit a set of 93 mm-bore Wiseco 9.8:1 compression ratio pistons and rings, which bumped the total displacement up to 3.2-liter. The connecting rods - re-bushed stock titanium units - hang on the stock forged steel crankshaft. The oil pan has been modified and baffled by Factor X; and a billet oil pump gear was added. These were considered necessary upgrades, as Angel told Turbo he knew from personal experience that doing a right-hand doughnut or any other sort of sustained fun would lead to oil starvation.
The turbocharger setup is based around twin custom modified GT3540 turbochargers, fed by modified DC Sports headers. Setup to draw in cold air from ducting-fed fender wells, the K&N air filters provide the thirsty NSX with plenty of air to play with. Taking advantage of the mid-engine layout, Factor X setup this NSX with a custom short tract exhaust using a Magnaflow muffler and mere 3-inch long downpipes. Fully devoid of any catalytic converters, this NSX is not obnoxiously loud at all - proving once again that turbochargers make the greatest mufflers. The intercooler setup was also designed with response in mind: it utilizes a Factor X fabricated air-to-water design and a four-gallon water reservoir.
A Factor X in-tank fuel pump was installed, and has so far proven itself past 700 hp in Factor X's other demo cars. From the tank, 91-octane juices flow through a SX Performance fuel pressure regulator and into stock fuel rails, which have been modified to accept -6AN stainless lines. RC Engineering 720cc/min fuel injectors were chosen to flow for this turbocharged setup, and the proof is in the results. Regulated by a Blitz SBC i-D boost controller, Washinsky's HKS F-Con V Pro controlled NSX (tuned by Factor X) has broken the 500 hp mark without even stressing.
Having broken his fair share of drivetrain parts, Angel knew that certain upgrades would be necessary when pushing more than double the stock horsepower number. To hold down the power, a Clutchmasters Stage 4 twin-plate clutch and pressure plate were added in combination with a JUN Auto lightweight flywheel. A closer and shorter NSX Type-R gearset and final drive were cryo-treated and then added to the five-speed transmission. The final addition to insure survival off the line was a set of Factor X modified axles, which have held up to the abuse of their 800 hp shop car. Wrapped around some pricey 17x8-inch front and 18x10-inch rear HRE 547R wheels, Nitto NT555R drag radials are the chosen rubber for this NSX. Measuring an appropriately massive 305/35/18 in the rear, the Nittos are an oddly thin 215/40/17 in the front - an aspect that Angel assures us is only because of inadequate clearance.
In order to haul this car down from some truly illegal and easily attainable speeds, Wilwood brakes were added at all four corners. Six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers bite down on cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors and Axxis brake pads - turning some of that go into a little-bit-more-slow. Complemented with a set of TEIN Type RA coilovers and Dali Racing sway bars, this NSX has more than enough on-track capability to beat any competitor.