When the Acura NSX arrived on the scene for the 1991 model year, Honda’s premium brand proved to the world that it was ready to stand toe-to-toe with key competitors in an elite marketplace. The goal went beyond building a beautiful lightweight aluminum vehicle that looked the part, Acura built a sports car with the same level of reliability found in far less expensive Honda models. After a 12-year hiatus, Acura resurrected the NSX for 2017. This time around the NSX is an all-new hybrid supercar and a technological powerhouse that paves the way for the future of the brand.
2017 to Present: Acura NSX
The Acura NSX is an all-wheel drive, mid-engine hybrid luxury sports car. Built with lightweight materials and engineering prowess, the new NSX is the result of tireless efforts to build a driver-centric vehicle without compromise. Once again the goal was to create a car that could be driven daily without fear of pieces falling off or systems failing during rush hour traffic.
Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 500 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The gas-powered engine works in concert with three electric motors for a total system output of 573 horsepower. Shifts are made by a blazingly fast nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
As you would expect, performance is paramount and the all-new NSX does not disappoint. Zero to 60 mph flies by in less than three seconds and driving dynamics are on par with the world’s best sports cars. Every performance aspect has been addressed in a lavish manner, making the Acura delight on the streets or at the race track.
While not quite to the audacious levels of competitors from BMW or Porsche, the NSX’s exterior styling is aggressive and wildly seductive. The interior is designed around the driver, with every detail focused on making the driving experience unforgettable, compliant and safe. Almost every surface is wrapped in leather and Alcantara. A 7-inch touch-screen display provides access to the audio system, as well as Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
With four programmable drive modes at the flick of a wrist, the NSX can be anything from a quiet EV to a ferocious track monster.
Earlier Acura NSX Models
The first generation Acura NSX was offered for the 1991 to 2005 model years, with slight changes throughout the run. The rear-wheel drive, two-seat coupe was powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine that produced 270 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque at launch. A five-speed manual transmission and an optional four-speed automatic transmission were available.
In 1995, a Targa model known as the NSX-T was launched, replacing the coupe that would continue to be manufactured but only be available by special order. It is of note that only 25 coupes were built from 1995 until the model was retired in 2005.
In 1997, the engine grew to 3.2-liters adding 20 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed gearbox would replace the aging five-speed speed manual.
The NSX received a minor refresh in 2002. The pop-up headlights were replaced with fixed xenon HID headlamps. The suspension was tweaked for more rigidity and wider rear tires were added.
While the big story on the first-generation NSX evolved around the iconic sports car’s performance, many of the first-gen models were nicely equipped with standard air-conditioning, power door locks and windows, a stereo system, fog lights and navigation.