You know that guy who’s really, really into some obscure and odd piece of automotive history? Something like a Merkur XR4Ti, a Subaru SVX or an Isuzu Vehicross, for example. In the video below, we see a guy finding his “unicorn” for a meager $500 — a 1997 Acura SLX.
What’s an Acura SLX? If you’re thinking, “Hang on a minute, that looks like an Isuzu Trooper!”, you’re not too far off. Acura says this car was developed “in partnership” with Isuzu, but it is pretty much just a rebadged Trooper. It was Acura’s first SUV, as the brand had absolutely no presence in the market through its formative years in the early 1990s. Under the hood was an old-school 3.2-liter V6 with 180 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque, mated up to a four-speed automatic transmission. By modern standards it’s a yawn-fest, but our intrepid Acura owner is super into his semi-rare, relatively unknown SUV. As it happens, the first-generation MDX that first came along in 2000 is much more recognizable.
Ah, but this Acura SLX has a secret. Take some laundry detergent, some “cola” and a couple Acuras parked in an unassuming garage, and hey presto, your SLX is suddenly transformed into a monster.
Yeah, the video is a bit cringy, but what Acura created actually looks pretty cool in an old-school way. To the casual observer, it’s just an ordinary, yet seriously clean SLX. This is actually a restomod using the modern powertrain from a modern RDX, creating the “Super Handling SLX”.
Under the hood is the same 2.0-liter VTEC engine you get in the RDX, but this one’s been race-tuned to deliver 350 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque, mated up to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The SLX built specifically for RADwood also has larger brakes, updated suspension and a wider track over theo ld car. Really, it’s just a fun project meant to celebrate one million SH-AWD vehicles sold in North America, as well as 1.6 million SUVs since that first SLX came along back in 1996.
For its part, RADwood is an event focused on celebrating 80’s and 90’s cars, with RADwood SoCal coming up this Saturday at Oak Canyon Park in Los Angeles.