New Kid, New Block
The successor to Honda’s venerable B-Series engine, the K-Series, has proven a worthy heir to the VTEC legacy. K-Series engines take the strengths of its older brother and improve upon them. Although the B-Series benefits from over a decade head start in aftermarket development, K-Series engines have proven formidable and are growing in popularity as an engine swap option.
Newer engine, newer technology. Honda blessed the K-series engine with a host of newer technologies that lends to its performance potential. To start, the K-series benefits from an advanced form of Honda’s Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) known as i-VTEC (VTEC with Intelligence). This evolution of VTEC adds variable cam timing on the intake and exhaust camshaft (on cylinder heads of specific engines such as the K20A2 and K20Z3). Other K-Series engines with i-VTEC only have variable cam timing on the intake side. K-Series engines also benefit from an improved valvetrain with roller rockers and a coil-on-plug ignition system.
Fewer and Expensive
A noteworthy shortcoming of the K-Series is cost. The first K-series engines arrived stateside under the hood of the 2001 EP3 Civic Si (K20A3) and the 2002 Acura RSX Type S (K20A2). The Honda Element (K24A1) and Acura TSX (K24A2) came equipped with a 2.4-liter variant, with i-VTEC on the intake cam. Unfortunately, these engines demand higher price tags compared to the B-Series. This has led some enthusiasts to defer back to the B-Series engine instead of embracing the newer K-Series.