There are naturally opposing forces in the world. Delicious and healthy. Attractive and humble. Government and efficient. It’s not that these two concepts can’t co-exist, but they too rarely do. Another common contradiction in the automotive world is technology and fun. Typically, the more advanced a car is the less visceral and emotional the driving experience. Just ask the air-cooled 911 acolytes. Or the manual transmission teamsters. Or the Ferrari F40 fanbase. Each of these automotive archetypes has been eclipsed by more advanced technology. And dedicated old-school fans don’t care. They’ll argue, quite compellingly, the superiority of the original versions all day long, claiming technology might mean superior performance, but it always means inferior enjoyment.

Thankfully, the 2017 Acura NSX overcomes this natural contradiction by combining some of the most advanced automotive technology currently available with some of the most engaging driving dynamics available from any era. How has Acura bridged this gap? By leveraging cutting edge automotive tech to improve the new NSX’s performance while also painstakingly tuning its responses to driver input. Remember, in today’s world there is no direct mechanical link between driver controls and the vehicle systems they influence. Instead, a series of sensors translates what the driver does to the steering wheel, shift paddles and pedals into corresponding reactions from the car’s various components. If this sounds like a recipe for soul-sucking seat time in modern cars…well, oftentimes it is, thus the reason so many driving enthusiasts prefer vintage models over their more “advanced” descendants.

However, just as electric-power-steering systems have evolved from lifeless to life-affirming in the past decade, today’s supercars are being tuned by engineers who know how to transmit meaningful data from the drivetrain, suspension, brakes and wheels to a car’s primary controls…even if the data comes in the form of zeros and ones rather than mechanical components. The 2017 NSX’s confidence-bolstering behavior, particularly when driven in anger on a race track, confirms Acura’s engineering savvy. For instance, not only does its optional carbon-ceramic brake system stop with eye-bulging authority, it also offers linear and extremely intuitive pedal feedback. As any experienced enthusiast will confirm, you can’t go really fast until you’re confident in your ability to slow down. The 2017 NSX has the most confidence-inspiring brakes I’ve ever experienced.

This level of braking confidence is particularly valuable because of the relatively high curb weight for the new NSX. At 3,800 pounds it’s a fair chunk chunkier than the Audi R8, Ferrari 488 and Porsche 911 Turbo, three bogeys Acura is targeting with its own supercar. That extra poundage could easily translate into compromised performance, especially at the track, but the NSX’s awe-inspiring brakes are paired with a hybrid drivetrain that produces instant torque when accelerating out of a slow corner. Two electric motors up front, plus a third in back, coordinate with the car’s 3.5-liter V6 to produce a peak of 573 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque. Cross those numbers with 3,800 pounds and the NSX looks to be at a distinct disadvantage to the Audi, Ferrari and Porsche, at least on paper.

But paper can’t reflect the magic of combining electric motors with an internal combustion engine for the purposes of maximum performance. Sure, plenty of mainstream automakers have been doing this for over a decade in an effort to meet rising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Yet in recent years the pairing of these drivetrains has shown up in performance showrooms, including Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche. The idea is to use the instant torque of electric motors to fill in the low-speed, low RPM power gaps inherent in a gasoline engine, particularly a gasoline engine with a turbocharger stuffed in the exhaust system. Acura further adds its Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) technology to the NSX, leveraging the motors’ ability to vary torque between all four wheels for the same yaw control effect offered throughout its model line.

I briefly drove the NSX last fall around Honda’s R&D facility in Tochigi, Japan, and even on that high-speed oval the NSX’s rock-solid stability was obvious. But a full understanding of the supercar’s powers required the rapid left-right, high-speed to low-speed transitions offered at the Thermal Club race circuit outside Palm Springs, California. The aforementioned brakes, along with the hybrid drivetrain, rigid aluminum chassis and active suspension, effectively mask the car’s near two-ton weight. Even the smallest steering, throttle and brake inputs deliver instant and precise response. This is exactly what you want in a weekend race warrior, though it was not what I expected. I was confident the new NSX would feel extremely advanced, refined and engaging on twisting mountain roads or in real-world commuter traffic. I didn’t expect it to deliver track-oriented thrills on par with Ferrari Stradales, McLaren 675LTs and Porsche GT3s.

I should note that this level of track enjoyment occurred with the car, appropriately, set in “Track” mode. That’s the most aggressive of the NSX driver modes, with “Quiet” and “Sport” and “Sport+” being the other three options. As yet another reflection of modern automotive technology, the change in the NSX’s driving dynamics between each of these settings is quite dramatic. Acura told us there is a 25 dB swing in engine noise between “Quiet” and “Track” settings, thanks in part to an active exhaust valve and the rerouting of intake noise to the cabin. The same shifts apply to steering, throttle and suspension behavior, with each of them becoming more docile as you transition away from “Track” mode. On the street drive back from Thermal I quickly realized the “Quiet” and “Sport” settings sapped the NSX’s responsiveness to a level I couldn’t enjoy. Being able to individually alter the car’s throttle, shift, suspension and exhaust settings would be appreciated, but Acura doesn’t allow for it, at least not yet (it’s likely only a software update away, if the automaker changes its mind).

Following the track and street drive Acura handed me the keys to a 2005 NSX. A short drive confirmed much of the original’s philosophy carried into the 2017 NSX. Thin roof pillars and a wide, low windshield make for excellent forward visibility in both cars. Intuitive primary controls and supportive seats are also consistent, though a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission means no three-pedal option in the new NSX. Even the pricing strategy is similar. The first NSX undercut the price of comparable models from Ferrari and Porsche, and a base MSRP of $156,000 means the same can be said of the 2017 model. Checking every option box, including the carbon ceramic brake package ($9,900), carbon fiber exterior package ($9,000), carbon fiber roof ($6,000), carbon fiber engine cover ($3,600), carbon fiber rear spoiler ($3,000), and carbon fiber interior trim ($2,900), plus the $3,300 ELS audio upgrade, $1,500 optional wheels, $700 painted brake calipers, $2,500 power and ventilated leather seats, $1,300 leather headliner and $6,000 Valencia red or Nouvelle blue paint can get you past $200,000.

Even at two large the only other hybrid supercars out there, including the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918, cost four-to-five times as much. The NSX may not be as exotic as those vehicles, but it’s certainly more than 1/5 of the way there. And as a high-tech alternative to the 488, 911 Turbo and R8 V10 it manages to cost less, weigh more and still offer comparable performance and driver engagement. It’s also proof advanced technology, properly executed, can overcome contradictory forces.

Read more on Forbes.