Sure, you can buy a U.S. Spec TSX, but get a little risky and you can drive this 220 HP JDM Honda Accord, not meant for U.S. roads.
An interesting Honda sedan popped up for sale on NWP4Life’s Facebook page earlier yesterday (Nov 22,2020) a 2002 Honda Accord Euro R in Indigo Blue. While not 25-years old, the seller claims it’s Florida titled, which is internet-speak for the bare minimum you’ll need to drive around in your home state without throwing up any red flags.
Here’s a screenshot of the post and gallery of photos below.
The Accord Euro R is special because, not only is it JDM-only, it’s Honda’s take on what a driver-focused Accord (or TSX) should be.
Outside, besides the different grille with an H and “Euro R” emblems front and back, keen eyes will notice different wheels, aero-formed bumpers, body-colored side skirts, and dark-tinted head and taillights.
Inside, you’ll notice bucket seats, a Momo steering wheel, and RHD, of course.
What’s under the hood and around all four-corners is where the Euro R really differentiates itself. While the TSX gets the larger K24 with 205 HP and 164 lb-ft, Accord Euro Rs get the smaller displacement K20 Type R engines with 217 HP at 8,000 RPM and 152 lb-ft. Powered is routed through a light-weight six-speed manual with shorter gear ratios and an LSD up front for performance and maximum traction around corners.
Firmer springs, anti-sway bars, bushings and shock absorbers with optimum dampening meant this Accord handled corners like a champ on the track. Despite that, the suspension was still too soft for Honda to be a true Type R.
With no sunroof, a lighter engine and transmission, including other weight saving measures, Honda lists the Accord Euro R at 3,064 pounds, 254 pounds lighter than its four-cylinder USDM TSX counterpart.
This Accord Euro R has a laundry list of Spoon parts which should, in theory, make for a sharper driving experience with less unsprung weight, a more responsive throttle response, and better stopping performance. Spoon parts are also cool a.f.
Drive at your own risk
Florida is notorious for titling anything with wheels. With privately owned licensing plate and tax agencies in every county, you don’t have to visit a Florida DMV to get a title, hence this car’s existence on U.S. soil. While technically not 100 percent “legal-legal”, importing, titling, and registering these newer imports just enough where you can get Florida plates is an art form that demands a premium to drive something exclusive.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, all non-exempt imported vehicles must conform to U.S. safety, bumper, and emission standards. I can see how an independent commercial importer can make this Accord Euro R work since it’s structurally the same as the TSX, but the K20 engine’s JDM-only status might be a grey-market issue he might work his “magic” on with the U.S. Customs and the titling office.
According to an unofficial authority on Florida’s titling,
In FL, taxes and tags are under the purview of the county tax collector. But there’s no inspection(safety or otherwise) and sometimes they don’t even bother to check VINs(ask me how I know). OPs comment about taxes/tags being private co’s is true for NC tho— L. Chupacabra: The Freshmaker (@L_Chupacabra) November 23, 2020
$22,000 is a lot or a little, depending on how much disposable income you have to throw around. With its sketchy Florida title, if you own these rare wheels, be prepared to let it go if someone snitches, throws you under the bus, and gets some bored Customs and Border patrol agents to do a bit of digging.
The consensus on the internet is local law enforcement won’t even bat an eye.
tl’dr- it’s not federally legal, it’s grey market, but “you good.”