The Acura NSX intends to fill a niche that barely exists, but for those who seek a daily-driver supercar-with some hybrid cred, no less-this is your ride. The original NSX, which was phased out of production in 2005, provided easy, day-to-day livability minus the green: exotic looks, otherworldly performance, a compliant ride, and comfortable space for two adults and a reasonable amount of cargo. Aside from the original's generous cargo space, the reborn NSX checks all the same boxes and kicks things up a notch with above-average fuel economy thanks to its hybrid powertrain and electric-only driving capabilities. It certainly looks the part of a supercar, but it doesn't quite hit the exotic mark on the inside, where evidence of parts sharing with lesser Acuras casts a decidedly downmarket shadow.
What's New for 2018?
Nothing. Acura says there's not a single change to the NSX for 2018; not even a single new color or interior option differentiates it from the 2017 model. Acura also has kept the NSX's base price even with last year's model at $157,800.
What Was New for 2017?
To say that the second-generation NSX shares nothing with the first generation, the production of which ended in 2005, would be an understatement. From its carbon-fiber-and-aluminum-intensive construction to its all-wheel-drive hybrid-electric powertrain, the NSX was completely reimagined for 2017. Despite being modernized, the NSX does draw inspiration from the original. Its easygoing nature and excellent outward visibility are still its best features, making it more usable than most supercars when driven daily.
Trims and Options We'd Choose
We'd show restraint when adding options to the NSX's spec sheet, as few of them improve upon its performance. Carbon-ceramic brakes ($9990) are a worthy performance upgrade for a car that is capable of, according to Acura, a 191-mph top speed. The optional, dealer-installed Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires ($1999) that came on our test car make sense only if you plan on track time; they're virtually race tires and wear out quickly. We'd also upgrade the NSX's standard milano leather seats for $1500, which adds:
- Semi-aniline leather and faux-suede surfaces
- Power adjustments for both driver and passenger
- Lumbar support and two-position memory settings for the driver
Acura offers many other interior and exterior accessories and options, but the NSX's stunning good looks require no modifications, so we'd skip them all and hit the register for our $171,199 bill of sale.
While it will certainly satiate your need for speed, the NSX can't outpace some key rivals. Its electric-only Quiet mode, however, gives it something its rivals don't have: discretion.
The NSX's hybrid-electric powertrain is one of the most unique ways to go this fast, but Acura has made no change to the engine, transmission, or drivetrain for 2018. We expect performance to stay the same as well.
The NSX's hybrid-electric powertrain combines a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 with three electric motors for maximum totals of 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. The V-6, the nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and one of the electric motors work as a team to power the rear wheels. The other two electric motors operate independently to drive the front wheels, effectively making the NSX all-wheel drive. With acceleration from zero to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and from zero to 100 mph in 7.0 seconds, the NSX is far from slow. Among supercars, it's not as quick as the non-hybrid competition, such as the McLaren 570S, nor is it as fuel efficient as the BMW i8.
Because of its electric motors, the NSX can cruise silently for short distances in Electric mode. With electric motors on board, we expected instant acceleration, but in our NSX test car, we noted a delayed response to throttle inputs. Once the NSX gets the message, its take-off thrust could knock the wind out of an unsuspecting passenger. The transmission shifts seamlessly in Quiet mode, but it turns abrupt in Sport, Sport Plus, and Track modes.
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