Honda is one of the biggest names in the JDM enthusiast community. Sure, a lot of people make fun of Honda vehicles, because there are a lot of ricers out there with D-Series engines, but there are a lot of Hondas out there with powerful little engines. Honda produced some of the most legendary four cylinders ever in the 90s, so when the world got its hands on the K20, there were high expectations. This short article is designed to get you up to speed on everything you need to know about the Honda K20.
Honda K20: Engine Basics and Specifications
The Honda K20 is a four cylinder, four stroke engine that came out in 2001. This k20 engine gets rid of the old standard timings of engines of yesterday and uses computer ignition timings to help you get your car started which also brings better handling of the car. This engine came out to replace the B Series model of Honda motors that came before it which brought with it a better overall design quality, including a more refined Valvetrain and a better overall thicker build quality.
The Honda K20 has a clockwise rotation in its architecture. Years before this all Honda engines used a counterclockwise rotation for its engine up until the K20 came along. Honda worked hard to create an engine that was going to be able to meet with modern day standards and reduce fuel emissions along with better durability for a longer lasting lifespan as well.
- Production Run: 2001 – 2011
- Cylinder Block Material: Cast Aluminum
- Cylinder Head Material: Cast Aluminum
- Configuration: Inline 4-Cylinder
- Valvetrain: DOHC – Four Valves per Cylinder – i-VTEC
- Bore: 86mm
- Stroke: 86mm
- Deck: Open Deck
- Compression Ratio: 9.7:1 to 11.7:1
- Horsepower: 155hp to 212hp
- Torque: 131 ft-lbs to 159 ft-lbs
Vehicles That Came With The Honda K20 Series Engine
The Honda Civic Type R (JDM) and (EDM), Honda Integra, Honda Stream (RN4, AWD) all came with this engine from 2001 to 2006 while the Honda Accord Euro R came with the engine from 2002 to 2008. The Honda Integra Type R (AUDM/NZDM)and the Acura RSX Type S came equipped with the engine from 2002 to 2004. The Honda Civic Si, Civic SiR and the Honda Civic Type S were stocked with the engine from 2002 to 2005 while the Honea Civic 2.0, Honda CR-V and Honda Accord (EDM) all came equipped with the engine from 2003 to 2006 and the Honda Accord came equipped from 2003 to 2006.
- 2001 – 2006 and 2007 – 2011 Honda Civic Type R (JDM) – K20A
- 2001 – 2006 Honda Integra Type R (JDM) – K20A
- 2002 – 2008 Honda Accord Euro R (JDM) – K20A
- 2001 – 2006 Honda Stream – K20A1
- 2001 – 2006 Honda Civic Type R (EDM) – K20A2
- 2002 – 2004 Acura RSX Type S – K20A2
- 2002 – 2004 Honda Integra Type R (AUDM/NZDM) – K20A2
- 2002 – 2006 Acura RSX – K20A3
- 2002 – 2005 Honda Civic Si – K20A3
- 2002 – 2005 Honda Civic SiR – K20A3
- 2002 – 2005 Honda Civic Type S – K20A3
- 2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V – K20A4
- 2003 – 2007 Honda Accord – K20A4
- 2003 – 2006 Honda Accord (EDM) – K20A6
- 2003 – 2006 Honda Accord (ADM)</li
Of course with all of these different variants of the K20, there were different horsepower and torque ratings. Most of the power differences come from different compression ratios, tunes, and cylinder head design. In any internal combustion engine, the cylinder head is the key to unlocking power. In the case of the K20, the A2 variants use VTC and VTEC in one system (i-VTEC) which results in great power, while the A3 variants use VTC and VTEC-E which is labeled as i-VTEC but really shouldnt be.
Honda K20: Performance Potential
Just like the B-Series, D-Series, H-Series, F-Series, and pretty much every Honda engine out there, the K20 has a pretty big aftermarket and has been proven to be quite a good little motor. Of course, the typical intake and exhaust modifications will gain power, putting a K20A2 around 200whp, which is pretty good considering a naturally aspirated B-Series can have a difficult time reaching 200whp without quite a bit of modification. The K20 has more room for naturally aspirated power than the B-Series, to put it simply.
When it comes to high horsepower, forced induction K20 engine, there is one big thing that holds this engine back: the transmission. Unfortunately, the 6-speed transmission attached to the K20 isn’t particularly strong and tends to explode 400whp. Of course, there are plenty of Honda guys out there pushing more power than that on the stock transmission, but the danger area starts around 400-500whp. The life of the transmission depends on how often and how hard you launch the car, and how hard to shift gears.
Back to the point at hand. With simple bolt-ons, it’s pretty easy to get 200whp out of a K20 engine. With boost, you can safely run about 300whp for an extended period of time. With a built bottom end you push power upwards of 700-800whp before you need aftermarket sleeves in the block. With aftermarket sleeves, you can push upwards of 1,000whp. Don’t expect a K20 at this power level to be reliable or daily driveable. These kinds of power levels break a lot of parts. It should be noted that the FWD 1/4 mile record is held by a car with a B-Series engine.