Acura NSX | Honda NSX
The Honda NSX, marketed in North America as the Acura NSX, is a two-seater, mid-engine exotic sports car manufactured by Honda Motor Company.
The origins of the Acura NSX trace back to 1984, with the HP-X (Honda Pininfarina eXperimental) concept, which was a mid-engined 3.0 Liter V6 engine rear-wheel-drive exotic sports car. Honda Motor Company committed to the project, with the intention of meeting and or exceeding the performance of the then V8-engined Ferrari while offering reliability and a much lower price point. The concept thus evolved and had its name changed to NS-X, which stood for “New”, “Sportscar” and “Unknown world” (the X was a reference to the mathematical symbol X, which stands for an unknown variable), although the production model was launched as the Honda NSX – Acura NSX.
Acura NSX First-generation (NA1, NA2; 1990–2005)
The Acura NSX was designed by a team led by Chief Designer Masahito Nakano and Executive Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara. It benefited from advanced aerodynamics and styling inspired by an F-16 fighter jet cockpit and input from the late Formula One World Champion, Ayrton Senna, during the final development stages.
This Acura NSX became the world’s first mass-produced car to feature an all-aluminum body. It was powered by an all-aluminum 3.0 Liter V6 engine, which featured Honda’s VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system developed in the 1980s, a 5-speed manual transmission, or starting in 1994 the SportShift 4-speed automatic transmission, also known as F-Matic, which allows the option of conventional automatic shifting or manually shifting with a fingertip shift lever on the steering column.
It was presented at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show and was built in a purpose-made factory in Japan, for sale from 1990. It was originally available as a coupé and, from 1995, a Targa top. It underwent a performance upgrade in 1997, which saw the arrival of a larger 3.2 Liter V6 engine, and a facelift in 2002 before being discontinued in 2005. North American models were sold as the Acura NSX.
Acura NSX models with the 3.0 Liter C30A engine are referred to as NA1 models, while the 3.2 Liter C32B engined models are known as NA2.
Acura NSX Second-generation (NC1; 2016–present)
In December 2007, Honda Motor Company announced plans to launch an Acura NSX successor by 2010, based on the styling of the front V10-engined Acura ASCC (Advanced Sports Car Concept). Despite prototypes being tested for production, just a year later, Honda Motor Company announced that plans had been canceled due to poor economic conditions. Instead, in March 2010, Honda unveiled the HSV-010 GT for participation in the Japanese SuperGT Championship. This car never reached production as a street-legal car.
Reports that Honda Motor Company was again developing a successor to the Acura NSX reemerged in April 2011. By December 2011, Honda officially announced a second-generation Acura NSX concept, which was unveiled the following month at the 2012 North American International Auto Show as the Acura NSX Concept.
The production model was displayed three years later at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, for sale in 2016. Although the original name was retained, this time it was defined as “New Sports eXperience”. Unlike the first-generation Acura NSX which was manufactured in Japan, the new Acura NSX was designed and engineered in Marysville, Ohio, at Honda Motor Company’s plant, led by chief engineer Ted Klaus.
The new Acura NSX is a hybrid sports car powered by a 3.5 Liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and three electric motors, two of which form part of the “SH-AWD” all-wheel-drive drivetrain, altogether capable of close to 600 hp. The transmission is a 9-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic. Its body utilizes a space frame design—which is made from aluminum, ultra-high-strength steel, and other rigid and lightweight materials, some of which are the world’s first applications.
The first production vehicle with VIN #001 was auctioned off by Barrett Jackson on January 29th, 2016. NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick won the auction with a bid for US$1,200,000. The entire bid was donated to the charities Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground. The first Acura NSX rolled off the line in Ohio on May 27th, 2016. Hendrick was there to drive it off. The first sales of the new Acura NSX in the United States were registered in June 2016.