• 1999 Alex Zanardi Edition Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2000 Acura NSX-T
  • 1999 Alex Zanardi Edition Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
  • 2005 Acura NSX.
The Acura NSX might be one of the most important Japanese cars ever created. The Land of the Rising Sun had already established that it could make very competent performance vehicles when the NSX debuted in 1989, but Honda's two-seater was the first one that looked to the world like a true contender against Ferrari and Porsche, thanks to its cutting-edge technology. The Acura had an all-aluminum monocoque chassis, a beautifully low-slung body and a quick-revving V6 with an 8,000-rpm redline. This quintessential Japanese sports coupe celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and Autoweek recognizes it in a fantastic piece chronicling the model's US launch.

The story begins in February 1989 at the Chicago Motor Show where the car debuted. The day before the show opened, the concept still didn't have a name. The Japanese development team referred to it as New Sports, and the American Acura executives decided to add eXperimental to the end. The moniker NSX just stuck afterwards.

The article paints a fantastic portrait of the car and the company at the time. Honda had something to prove with the NSX. To succeed, the coupe had to be the best, and when the American press finally got a hold of it, they drowned it in accolades. Of course, Acura has a new American-built NSX on the way, and it has colossal legacy to live up to. This piece is definitely worth reading to understand why.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 68 Comments
      KO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Granted I'm biased (mine's 15ft from where I'm typing this), but in so many ways it's hard to believe it's been 25 years. What's been telling is that recently I've spent some time with members of the car club at the university I work at, all of whom weren't born when the car debuted. They've grown up with all the impressive machinery of the last decade, yet love and respect and know everything about the NSX as equally as a GT-R or R8.
      sundude
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 1990MY was a good year for sports cars. The Acura NSX hade its debut, as did the Nissan 300ZX and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Each one was a standout product in its segment.
      Not me
      • 1 Year Ago
      This era of cars were the best in my lifetime IMO SUPRA TT 300ZX TT RX7 3000GT TT SKYLINE TT M3/M5 C34/E55 And a few others I forgot
      cbamft
      • 1 Year Ago
      AB, can you please add photos of an actual Gen1 NSX? Seems like that would be more appropriate.
      lancasterire
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember seeing it at the 1989 British motor show. What a beauty! Sadly I think I have only ever seen 3 or 4 on the road in the ensuing years.
        fabulous71
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lancasterire
        Man, they are rare, but you've been unlucky in the sighting department! I'm fortunate enough to sometimes see a dark gray or black one on my morning drive to work here in Santa Monica, California. Its looks completely stock and super clean. Definitely stands out even now!
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ahh the glory days... back when Acura used to build stuff that was cool.
      zoomy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Always look forward to a good laugh at chanonissan.
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 1 Year Ago
      The NSX was an amazing car of it's time. Kind of like the current day Godzilla and many aspects. It took on cars that cost 2 to 3 times as much and should have been out of it's performance range. It was originally designed to take on the Ferrari 348. The "new" NSX isn't going to be nearly as impressive. If you consider it's performance level and the car that the Ferrari 348 ended up being... the F458, the NSX won't be able to touch it's performance. It will be closer to competing with cars that will cost about the same as the NSX, which kind of takes the whole awe inspiring part out of the vehicle. In fact, it probably won't even be able to top the current 911 S or Audi R8 in performance from the information I was reading about it... if they ever actually release the car. It's a shame, Honda should have never let this car die. They should have replaced the car every 6 years. 1991 - 1996, then 1997 - 2002, then 2003 to 2008, then 2009 to 2014. We should be on the verge of the 5th generation NSX right now. Just in time to leap frog the current 911 Turbo and Ferrari F458. Oh well.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johnnyhedwardsjr
        That where you are wrong, the nissan skyline GTR was known before the NSX, it was highly rated more than the NSX, it just that it was limited to Japan market mostly.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          [blocked]
        Max
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johnnyhedwardsjr
        I've always felt that auto manufacturers should put a production hiatus in between the model change over. I would think this would protect the demand curve by limiting supply while preventing an over saturation of the out going model. Cars the like the VW Beetle, Nissan Z, Honda and S2000 are niche cars that have exponential declination of sales as the production years go on. There are few incremental buyers and only a handful of move up buyers. I believe this phenomenon along with the inflated yen brought the death of the Japanese sports car of the late 1990s. Ferrari and BMW/MINI have figured this out and it protects both the resale price and the legacy of the model.
          Willy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Max
          Sorta like Disney selling DVDs a limited time only? I think that's great for some car models. But there might be a problem of letting a factory idle or more shutdowns to restructure may hamper this idea.
      JayP
      • 1 Year Ago
      I made a special trip to an Acura dealer to see the car in person. The shop had the car in the showroom, roped off. First car I'd seen with "market adjustment". This one was $60k over MSRP.
        malgu
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JayP
        Back in '89..? How much was the final price?
          JayP
          • 1 Year Ago
          @malgu
          I think MSRP was $60k. So it was around $120k. I asked a salesman pal of mine what that was about. Said the dealership owner's kid wanted it but would sell it if the price was right.
      David
      • 1 Year Ago
      Brings back memories! Sold my 92 10 years ago and still think fondly of it even though much newer cars have followed it into my garage.
      brmintz
      • 1 Year Ago
      classic!
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      "As the public relations department went over its lines, Tadashi Kume, then-president of Honda and an instrumental figure in Honda's Formula One efforts, presided. The people from Honda America were acutely aware that the Big Boss from Japan, Kume, rarely made a stateside appearance unless it was for something serious. Next door, Ford was in the middle of a full-on press conference. Honda kept its rehearsal respectfully quiet. While the executives busied themselves with the presentation, Kume sauntered over to the red-and-black prototype on the stage. He climbed in. Either the keys were already in the car, for one reason or another, or he put them in. He cranked the ignition. The engine sparked to life, then it roared as Kume proceeded to rev to redline -- right in the middle of the Ford conference. Everyone was shocked. "Mr. Kume, stop it!" yelled Kurt Antonius, Honda's spokesman emeritus, gesticulating wildly. "They're gonna hear this!"" Best part of the story right there. What happened to him?
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