Acura Revives the NSX in An All-New Package
Simple, sensible, dependable, comfortable and made in Japan – the original Acura NSX was everything a supercar wasn’t when it burst onto the automotive scene 25 years ago. It was that iconoclastic concoction – bolstered by bona fide performance capabilities – that made the low-slung wedge one of the most beloved supercars of all time and an icon in its own right.
Ever since the first-generation NSX rode off into the sunset in 2005, enthusiasts have wondered if there would be a successor. Acura first floated the idea back in 2007. A concept followed in 2012. A year later, the project was overhauled yet again. Later this month, Acura will finally begin taking orders for the all-new 2017 Acura NSX in hopes of reviving a legend and revitalizing the brand.
The new NSX is sure to best its predecessor – and numerous contemporaries – in terms of technological complexity. The supercar is a hybrid powered by four motors. A mid-mounted, twin-turbo V-6 makes 500 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. Just behind it sits an electric motor capable of sending up to 47 hp and 100 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels. Up front, another pair of 36-horsepower, 54-lb.-ft. electric motors can add or subtract power to their respective front wheels. Acura estimates the total system output at 573 hp and 476 lb.-ft. of torque.
While performance is paramount with any supercar, Acura also gave careful consideration to the NSX’s driver-focused cabin design. Rich leathers are interspersed with Alcantara inserts – the latter proving some extra grip in the molded sport seats. Carbon fiber sections add a sporty flair to the chunky steering wheel. Always proud of its technological prowess, Acura also included some analogue gauges alongside the digital displays on the main instrument cluster.
All this performance technology, along with a comfortable and luxurious cabin, give the NSX an everyday drivability missing from more hardcore sports cars. Similarly, the exterior design is elegant and somewhat understated by supercar standards. The NSX does convey a sense of power through its overall stance and proportions, as well as its numerous scoops and vents.
True to the original, the new NSX is still sensible and comfortable by design. Unlike the original, however, it is complex, heavy, costly and made (mostly) in the U.S.A. In that sense, at least, it’s still something of an iconoclast by historic NSX standards. But an icon? That remains to be seen.