Three years (on top of the three-plus we've already waited) is a long time to wait for the second coming of the Acura NSX. Measured in Internet time, it's an infinite opportunity for speculation about the whys and hows of the new car. Aside from the new supercar's hybrid powertrain, the most shocking part of the announcement is that the car will be built in Ohio. Honda has an engine plant, a transmission plant, two assembly plants and a research and development center in the state, so this shouldn't be treated with the same level of surprise as if, say, Ferrari announced it would start building cars in Kansas.

Yet it's still a big change for the exotic Acura, which was manufactured in Japan during its entire first-generation lifecycle, from 1990-2005. When the NSX debuted, part of its appeal was that it represented the pinnacle of Japanese technology and quality, at a time when Japanese automakers were absolutely crushing the competition in both. Times have changed, but we still suspect that a number of fanboys might be disappointed that the second-generation NSX will be built by gaijin.

We spoke with American Honda CEO and president Tetsuo Iwamura about the decision to develop and manufacture the NSX here in the U.S., and he told us that the decision was made for three reasons. The first is that Honda is committed to building cars in the market in which they are sold. The U.S. is the largest market for the NSX, although he said the car will be exported to Japan and other markets.

When asked if there was any concern that Japanese customers might have objections to a Japanese supercar built in the U.S., Iwamura said, "You don't have to be so modest. American-built cars have a power, even in Japan."

The second factor was that Honda has had positive experiences with product development of other models here in the States. Iwamura specifically mentioned the North American market-only Pilot and Odyssey as examples. The third reason for the decision to build the NSX here is that Honda believes its Ohio manufacturing facilities produce high-quality products and wants to take advantage of that expertise. Iwamura also said that assigning the halo car to the U.S. would be motivational for its American employees.

Currency fluctuation, however, was not a consideration, according to the Honda chief. While he said that would indeed be the case with a mass-market model, the limited-production nature of the NSX makes the effect of a strong yen a moot point. Regardless of where it's built, Iwamura said the main consideration in bringing the NSX back to market is its technology, quality and performance, just as the original did. The NSX is an important part of modern automotive history, a literal poster-child of the '90s, so we're certainly rooting for this new exotic Buckeyemobile to deliver on all fronts.



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  • 78 Comments
      4 String
      • 2 Years Ago
      "AMEEEERICAAAA! **** YEAH!" [obscene electric guitar solo].
      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't see a problem with this at all. American built products are still known for good quality built as long as provided with good quality material and tools. There are plenty of other issues that I would be concerned about this "NSX successor" instead of this.
      goVintage
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ohio is Honda's oldest North American manufacturing facility - Whether it is made in Japan, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Canada....it is still a Honda made by the same standards.
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good News for Ohio. This car is stunning.
        imoore
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        Yes, good news and congrats for Ohio. There was a rumor floating around that Lincoln, Alabama was being considered, but a HOnda employee's unfortunate run-in with Talladega's finest and our state's immaculate Immigration law changed that project in a heartbeat. Good work, Ohio. And thank you, Gov. Bentley, for showing the world what Alabama really thinks of foreign investment.
      kevinmauzey
      • 2 Years Ago
      IMHO, as long as it's built correctly I do not care where it's built.
      Go
      • 2 Years Ago
      Given that Honda lost $800 MILLION on the original NSX (yes, really - I've seen the numbers), they're not going to build this without a financial case. With Ohio offering existing engineering resources, better costs and with the US such a big market, it's the natural choice to avoid another mess of red ink.
      Koushiro Izumi
      • 2 Years Ago
      The new NSX will be built in Ohio???? O_O That's unexpexted. But to think... ....the new Acura/Honda NSX .... built in America. Kick Ass. I was born in Ohio (I don't currently live there now) but now live in another Mid-western state but the fact of that car being built in this region is kind of exciting. ^_^ Also, Tetsuo Iwamura isn't BS-ing about American built cars having a power in Japan. There seems to be a growing subculture of people in Japan buying American made and American branded cars (those officially sold there and grey market imports). There are people there in Japan who think their own domestic brands like Toyota and Honda are "overrated" and are willing to buy GM, Ford, or Chrysler.
      KO
      • 2 Years Ago
      The where it's made really isn't the issue. With the original, it wasn't that it was built at Tochigi (in fact, later on it was also built at Suzuka), but that everyone on the assembly line was cherry-picked to ensure quality. Ultimately, though, it was the extra, cost-no-object engineering that went into it (like it's LS400 contemporary) that made it work. I think those days are over, unfortunately. For example, I'd be shocked if this gets a bespoke motor instead of a tuned Earth Dreams V6 announced a couple of months ago that'll probably end up in the next TL/OdysseyPilot/etc.
      Rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gosh, soon China may be the largest market for NSX. How about made-in-China NSXs? LOL. Alright, I'm just poking a hole in the logic that's all. I'd prefer that Japanese-made NSX, but USA-made is fine too. Now I have a question: will be hand-assembled like the original NSX?
      Krommel
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm told the plant where it was originally built was badly damaged in the earthquake.
      Bruno
      • 2 Years Ago
      So will the new NSX follow the footsteps of its predecessor? An accord engine in the back, a decent chassis and an astronomical price point? Will it be under-powered like the old one? Time will tell when this ugly thing hits the streets. Oh and Japanese reliability speaks volumes when a 20k mile engine burns oil. I'm so tired of this car being touted as a cult classic. Its not, its performance was no where near its rivals of the time.
      Hunter
      • 2 Years Ago
      WTF? Are we Ohioans (including AB staffers) not good enough to develop and build a car? Personally, I don't even know why you are asking this question. The US is good enough to build a supercar for any market, period. Unless it is done by GM or Chrysler ;-)
        GirchyGirchy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hunter
        No kidding, especially since Honda has such a presence in Ohio already. Weird.
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