Review: Acura Pours Its Best Into NSX Supercar (Updated)
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 4/25/16 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
A car that you can drive to work on a Friday, then take to the raceway on a Saturday.
It’s not a new concept in the auto business, but Honda has found a way to take it to the extreme.
In 2016, Acura was about to start deliveries of its new NSX supercar. Its designers envisioned it as being as much at home at the drive-thru window at Wendy’s as it is tearing through hairpin turns.
In 2019, there’s a new NSX and it’s not short on luxury.
2019 Acura NSX
What? The fourth-generation two-seat supercar from Honda’s Acura division.
When? Available now.
Where? Built in Marysville, Ohio.
How much? Prices start at $157,300.
What makes it go? A 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine plus electric motors teamed with a nine-speed transmission.
How big? 14.6 feet long.
Overall: A nice addition to any billionaire’s garage.
A Look Back
In 2016, the NSX was basically a rolling showcase of all the engineering prowess that Acura – Honda’s luxury brand – could possibly pour into it. It’s a follow-up to the original, sold from 1991 to 2005, that shook up the auto world with a unique premise: the notion that a supercar could be made more reliable and usable every day than the beauties that Italy was dishing out.
Unlike the past NSX, the new one was a hybrid, using the battery power to enhance torque and acceleration. It had the latest twin-turbocharged V-6 engine coupled to a nine-speed dual clutch transmission. The car had Acura’s “super-handling all-wheel-drive” system that, among other things, added power in the wheels in a way that made cornering tighter and faster.
The result was what Acura hoped would be viewed as a wondercar, an NSX that would present the best of Acura and raise interest in the brand, even if it’s monster price tag meant Acura doesn’t sell many.
NSX was “exactly the representation of what we’re trying to do,” said Acura’s U.S. brand chief, Jon Ikeda.
On the track, the horsepower and handling stood out. And the sound.
The 573-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine, in combination with three electric motors, put on its greatest display in flat-out acceleration. Like some other cars, the NSX had a feature called “launch control.” In “track model,” you press and hold the brake, push the accelerator to the floor, then let go of the brake for a push-you-back-in-seat experience.
The inescapable conclusion: It’s fast, with top speed pegs at 191 miles per hour.
On the track, the car held a tighter inside track on sharp curves. When at one point the wheels started losing their grip in a turn the car guided you out of trouble as soon as you let up on the gas.
In street driving, the NSX becomes a pussycat. Performance was there if you needed it, but when you didn’t, you just cruised around town in a car that looked completely out of place – a sleek, low, supercar among the ordinary.
Part of the attraction of NSX is the roar of the engine, tuned to perfection and literally piped into the cabin. It’s left up to the driver to decide how much the world should hear. The car had four settings: track, sport plus, sport and one called “quiet.” The quiet setting reduced noise both in the cabin and outside, the premise being that you’d want to sneak out of your neighborhood in the morning on the way to work. There’s a 25-decibel span between quiet and track mode.
With those race-car looks, there was no sneaking around unnoticed in the new NSX.
What Stands Out
Looks: Looked as if it belonged on the raceway starting line.
Handling: Tight in the curves.
You’ve gotta try the 2019 Acura NSX
Come to our Serra Acura location and talk to one of our friendly salespeople about taking this 2019 wondercar for a test drive.