Acura 2.0-Liter VTEC® Turbo Engine

  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter VTEC® engine powers the Integra Type S, the most powerful Integra ever
  • The 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine also powers the RDX premium compact SUV and TLX sports sedan
  • Acura has sold nearly 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. with this engine in various states of tune

Celebrated around the world for its power, efficiency and reliability, the 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine is at the heart of Acura's unyielding commitment to deliver on the Precision Crafted Performance brand promise. Since its Acura debut in 2019, this engine has powered the third generation RDX. It has also powered the TLX sports sedan since 2021 and is now under the hood of the new high-performance Integra Type S in its highest-yet state of tune to deliver the most powerful, best performing Integra ever.

With direct injection and a low-inertia high-flow mono scroll turbo system that uses an electric wastegate to control boost pressure, the 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine develops the horsepower and torque of a far larger, normally aspirated engine. In both the RDX and TLX, the engine produces a strong 272 horsepower (SAE net @ 6,500 rpm). In the new Integra Type S, that output is turned up to an incredible 320 horsepower (SAE net @ 6,500 rpm). Common features across both versions of the engine also include an aluminum block and double overhead cam (DOHC) cylinder head and dual Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™). 

A member of the "K-Series" engine family, which has been produced in various forms worldwide since 2001, the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is made by Honda of America Mfg. at its Anna, Ohio engine plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. So far, Acura has sold nearly 300,000 cars and SUVs powered by various versions of this engine.

Engine Architecture and Features

The 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine has a lightweight die-cast aluminum block with reinforced main bearing caps to minimize weight. Centrifugally cast iron cylinder sleeves provide long-lasting durability, a specially developed, super lightweight forged-steel crankshaft improves response and each journal on the crankshaft is micropolished to reduce operating friction.

Pistons with "cavity-shaped" crowns help maintain stable combustion and contribute to improved efficiency. The lightweight pistons have a carefully optimized skirt design to minimize reciprocating weight, which minimizes vibration and increases operating efficiency.

The pistons are cooled by oil jets directed at the underside of each piston crown and feature an internal "cooling gallery" that is designed to reduce temperature in the piston ring area. Ion-plated piston rings help reduce friction for greater operating efficiency. Special super lightweight, high-strength steel connecting rods are heat-forged in one piece and then "crack separated" to create a lighter and stronger rod with an optimally fitted bearing cap.

The engine requires no scheduled maintenance for 100,000+/- miles or more, other than periodic inspections and normal fluid and filter replacements. The first tune-up includes water pump inspection, valve adjustment and the installation of new spark plugs.

Cylinder Head and Valvetrain

The direct-injected 4-cylinder turbocharged engine has a lightweight pressure-cast aluminum alloy DOHC cylinder head. With exhaust ports cast directly into the cylinder head, the need for a traditional separate exhaust manifold is eliminated, reducing engine weight and simplifying the assembly. The manifold is liquid cooled.

A low-friction, silent chain drives dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. The cam drive is maintenance free for the life of the engine. To further reduce weight, thin-wall hollow camshafts are used.

To benefit fuel efficiency, emissions and power, the turbocharged engine utilizes sodium-filled exhaust valves. A hollow chamber within the valve contains sodium that is cooled by the exhaust port cooling jacket. Since the chamber is close to the valve head, the sodium helps to cool the entire valve.

An advanced valve control system is used to combine high power output with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. The system combines intake and exhaust VTC (Variable Valve Timing Control), which continuously adjusts the intake and exhaust camshaft phase, with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®), which changes valve lift, timing and duration of the exhaust valves.

The system can continuously vary the timing of the intake and exhaust camshafts using VTC. This helps increase power and provides a smoother idle. The cam timing is varied based on input from sensors that monitor conditions such as engine rpm, throttle opening and exhaust air-fuel ratio.

To save space and weight, the cylinder head includes small M12 sparkplugs, down from the more common M14. The head also includes direct-injection multi-hole fuel injectors with a small-diameter bore. Higher-pressure direct injection optimizes fuel atomization, allowing for more efficient combustion. To provide a high-tumble intake charge that further enhances combustion efficiency, both the intake port and piston crown have special designs.

Direct Injection System

The direct-injection system enables increased torque across the engine's full operating range along with higher fuel efficiency and low emissions. Multi-hole injectors deliver fuel directly into each cylinder, allowing for more efficient combustion. The system features a compact, high-pressure, direct-injection pump that allows both high fuel flow and pulsation suppression, while variable pressure control optimizes injector operation.

Multi-hole injectors help create the ideal stoichiometric fuel/air mixture in the cylinders for good emissions control. Theoretically, a stoichiometric mixture has just enough air to completely burn the available fuel. Based on the operating conditions, the direct-injection system compensates to achieve best performance. Upon cold engine startup, fuel is injected into the cylinders on the compression stroke. This creates a weak stratified charge effect that improves engine start-up and reduces exhaust emissions before a normal operating temperature is reached.

To maximize power and fuel efficiency once the engine reaches operating temperature, fuel is injected during the intake stroke only. This helps create a more homogeneous fuel/air mix in the cylinder that is aided by the high-tumble intake port design. This improves volumetric efficiency, and the cooling effect of the incoming fuel improves anti-knock performance.

Low Inertia Mono Scroll Turbo System with Electric Wastegate

The turbocharged engine employs a small-diameter, low-mass turbine for maximum responsiveness. The mono scroll housing design helps the turbo build boost even at relatively small throttle openings and low rpm. The electrically actuated wastegate allows boost pressure to be precisely controlled.

A large low-restriction intercooler is positioned low in the front of the car where it receives unobstructed airflow when the vehicle is in motion. Intake air travels from the air filter to the turbo compressor, on to the intercooler, then to the engine's intake ports. The intercooler helps reduce the temperature of air entering the engine, making it denser for greater performance.

Friction Reducing Technology 
A range of friction-reducing technologies are included in the Integra Type S engine to improve efficiency:

  • The outer skirts of the lightweight aluminum pistons feature a low-friction molybdenum coating applied in a dot pattern. 
  • Plateau honing of the cylinder walls removes microscopic high points to further reduce friction while improving the long-term wear characteristics of the engine.  
  • Other contributors to overall operating efficiency include:
    • A special 2-stage oil pump relief valve
    • Low-friction oil seals
    • Special low-drag piston ring design
    • Low-friction cam chain
    • A lightweight crankshaft 
    • Low viscosity oil (0W-20)  

Acura RDX (2019-2023)

The 2.0-liter Turbo (K20C) engine made its Acura debut in the third generation RDX, the quickest, best-handling RDX ever. With a maximum boost pressure of 20.5 psi, the 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine produces 272 horsepower (SAE net) at 6,500 rpm and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net) from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm.

Combined with the first 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) in the segment, the turbocharged engine delivers incredibly smooth, linear and virtually lag-free power along with superior fuel efficiency. The smooth and responsive Sequential SportShift 10AT takes full advantage of the turbocharged engine's available torque while increasing efficiency during highway cruising.

For maximum performance across a wide variety of road conditions, the award-winning premium compact SUV is available with the fourth generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). The torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system progressively distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels for more precise and exhilarating handling response.

The 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo also contributes to the RDX's improved front/rear weight distribution (57.4/42.6 vs. 60/40 for previous RDX with all-wheel-drive), improving the SUV's handling.

Acura TLX (2021-2023)

Under the hood of the most performance-focused Acura sedan ever, the 2.0-liter Turbo (K20C) utilizes 20.5 psi of maximum boost pressure to produce 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Compared to the previous TLX's optional 3.5-liter V6, the four-cylinder delivers an additional 13 lb.-ft. of peak torque, as well as an additional 48 lb.-ft. at 1,500 rpm.

Every TLX sports sedan is equipped with Acura's smooth and responsive Sequential SportShift 10-speed automatic transmission, which maximizes the benefits of the turbocharged engine's low rpm torque for quick acceleration. Acura's 10AT offers wide ratio range, 4-gear direct downshifts and a low first gear for maximum acceleration.

For an even sportier driving experience, TLX is available with the fourth-generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) with torque-vectoring. The fourth generation of the advanced all-wheel drive system has a 40% higher maximum rear axle torque capacity and the rear wheels receive torque 30% faster. Additionally, the rear axle is continuously overdriven by 2.9%, which amplifies the yaw moment effect of left-to-right torque transfer, elevating performance through sharper and more accurate turn-in, enhanced and improved traceability when cornering.   

Integra Type S (2024)

True to Integra's legacy of iconic high-performance variants, the new 2024 Integra Type S features the most powerful version of the 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine ever sold in North America. Output climbs to 320 horsepower (SAE net @ 6,500 rpm) and 310 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net @ 2,600 to 4,000 rpm) – an increase of 120 hp and 118 lb.-ft. over the standard Integra's 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. As a result, the Integra Type S has a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of just 10.1 lbs. per horsepower.

To improve efficiency, the latest version of the high-revving 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine features a redesigned turbocharger and a 10% increase in intake air flow rate. The size, shape and number of turbine blades have been optimized along with the flow path of the intake charge. These changes enable the turbocharger to generate pressure in a wider range of engine speeds and maximizes torque output in the mid-rpm range for greater response and drivability.

Unique throttle tuning quickens throttle response, and maximum turbo boost is increased. To reduce weight, the turbo system is plumbed with a rigid, lightweight resin composite inlet pipe to carry intake air to the intercooler.  

In the Integra Type S, the engine features a unique high-flow exhaust system. In combination with software tuning, the less restrictive straight-through design unleashes the full potential of the legendary K20C turbo engine, giving the powerplant a class-leading specific output of 160 hp/liter.

With three round exhaust outlets and an active exhaust valve, the specially designed exhaust system also gives Integra Type S a stirring exhaust note that enhances the driving experience. And when it's time to crank it up, Sport+ mode turns it up to 11 with unique "pops and bangs" for the most engaging experience possible.

Enhanced cooling for the powerful engine ensures sustained, optimal performance during extreme driving. In this application the 2.0-liter VTEC® Turbo engine is cooled by a larger grille opening, vented hood, larger radiator and new large-diameter fan. Airflow to cool the larger, more powerful engine is improved 170% compared to the standard Integra.

Acura is known for making great shifting manual transmissions, and the Integra Type S features the only manual transmission in its class, a precise, short-throw 6-speed with an automatic rev-matching system for an intimate and rewarding connection with the driver. A standard helical-type limited-slip differential (LSD) puts the engine's power to the pavement effectively.

Acura 2.0-Liter Turbo Applications

Model and Trim

Model Years

Horsepower (SAE Net)

Torque (SAE Net)



272 @ 6,500 rpm

280 @ 1,600-4,500 rpm



272 @ 6,500 rpm

280 @ 1,600-4,500 rpm

Integra Type S


320 @ 6,500 rpm

310 @ 2,600-4,000 rpm


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