Acura RDX modified by Graham Rahal Performance at SEMA

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Acura RDX modified by Graham Rahal Performance at SEMA

The 2019 Acura RDX is great — a return to form for the sporty compact luxury crossover. So there’s no real harm in giving one the SEMA treatment, especially since it entails a real motorsport tie-in and some legitimate performance parts. As for the giant graphics, well, it’s SEMA after all.

Graham Rahal races for Honda in the IndyCar series, and he also has his own performance parts company — named, sensibly enough, Graham Rahal Performance — which he started in 2017. They sell some private-label bits manufactured by other companies to their spec, some off-the-shelf parts, and they do tuning and installation work on customer cars. Acura gave the job of building the SEMA RDX to Rahal.

There’s a fair bit going on under the hood to get the RDX to 345 horsepower from the factory 272 ponies. The 2.0-liter turbo engine gets a bunch of enhancements. The turbo, intake, exhaust manifolds, downpipe, and cat-back (a GRP design) are all aftermarket. There’s a customer intercooler, too. KTuning did the ECU with a custom map. On the handling front, the RDX wears Eibach springs, StopTech brakes, HRE wheels at 21 inches, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

The RDX started life as an A-Spec model in Apex Blue Pearl, and from there GRP applied carbon fiber garnish to the mirrors, grille accents, and lower fascia. Troy Lee Designs did the exterior graphics, and inside there’s more carbon fiber and a custom steering wheel (courtesy of Max Papis’s MPI Innovations shop).

The RDX will be on the show floor if you’d like to check out the Rahal shop’s handiwork.

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