K20A2 Vs. K20Z1 Transmission


In 2001, Honda introduced a new engine line that incorporated the latest version of its VTEC valvetrain design. The K-Series engines used the new VTEC design to achieve impressive performance, and Honda and Acura used variants of the 2.0-liter K20 engine, mated with a short-throw six-speed transmission, to power some of their sportiest models.

K Series Engines

  • Honda introduced The K-Series engine in 2001. It is a four-cylinder, dual overhead cam engine that uses a distributorless, computer-controlled ignition timing system. K-Series engines use versions of Honda's Intelligent Variable Valve Timing Engine Control valvetrain system, which Honda dubbed the i-VTEC. Models such as the RSX and the Civic Si used a performance version of i-VTEC, while models like the CR-V and the Accord use an economy version of i-VTEC.

K20A2 Transmission

  • The K20A2 engine is a 2.0-liter engine that produces 200 horsepower. It is mated with a six-speed transmission identified with the code NPQ3. The transmission's gear ratios range from a 3.266-to-1 first-gear ratio to a 0.738-to-1 sixth-gear ratio. Unlike the transmissions used with the K20A engine, the K20A2 transmission does not have a limited-slip differential.

K20Z1 Transmission

  • The K20Z1 is a 2.0-liter engine that outputs 210 horsepower. The transmission used with K20Z1 is also a six-speed gearbox, and it utilizes the same gear ratios as the K20A2 transmission. Like the K20A2 transmission, the K20Z1 also lacks a limited-slip differential. The code "NSN4" identifies the K20Z1 transmission.


  • The second generation Civic Type R, which Honda introduced in Europe in 2001, used the K20A2 engine. A version of the Type R produced for the Japanese market employed the more powerful K20A engine. The 2002 through 2004 Acura RSX Type-S also used the K20A2. The 2005 and 2006 RSX Type-S used the K20Z1 engine and a 160-horsepower K20A3 engine mated with a five-speed transmission powered the base model RSX.

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