2019 NSX New Car Test Drive
The Acura NSX is one of the most complex cars ever made, a masterful blending of electric motors, batteries, turbos, servos, clutches, gears, and last but not least, an internal combustion engine. The body structure is state of the art, aluminum and composite panels, with an available carbon-fiber roof. It was designed like a racecar, around aerodynamics, downforce and cooling.
Yet, it's the easiest supercar we have ever driven. It is very easy to drive fast, smooth and precise in the NSX. It would be perfectly comfortable as a daily commuter.
NSX was all new for 2017, after being away for a generation (and that's in people years).
The NSX can compete on engineering levels with other supercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder, though no in terms of performance. Its real-world rivals are more down-to-earth cars like the Ferrari 408GTB, Audi R8, Porsche 911 Turbo, or BMW i8. It can accelerate from zero to sixty in a mind-blowing three seconds flat, and hit a top speed of 191 miles per hour, yet it's tame around town, smooth, quiet, tractable, easy.
The Acura NSX measures 176 inches long, with a wheelbase of 103.5 inches, shorter than that of a Honda Civic. The NSX sits low, at 47.8 inches in height, and wide, at 87.3 inches. It's a heavy sports car, at 3803 pounds, despite its lightweight structure, because of the complex equipment that rides along and supplies the juice.
Its twin-turbocharged 75-degree 3.5-liter V6 engine makes 500 horsepower, mated to a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine uses both direct injection and port injection; the turbos provide 15.2 psi of boost, using electric wastegate control. A 47-horsepower electric motor can add power to the engine or be a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery. The battery is mounted vertically behind the driver, giving the chassis a front/rear weight ratio of 42/58 percent.
There's another twin motor located front center, between the seats, and it can drive the car on its own at a low speed. It provides 36 horsepower to the front wheels while varying the power between them, which Acura calls Super Handling-All Wheel Drive. The setup helps with turn-in for high-speed corners.
Total output from all the motors and engine is 573 hp.
The V6 is mounted longitudinally in the car's aluminum spaceframe, over the rear axle. The engine uses a dry sump oil system that prevents oil starvation from centrifugal force in the corners during hard driving on the track.
The suspension is aluminum double-wishbone with active adaptive magnetic-fluid dampers. The electric power steering is variable ratio. Front brakes are six-piston Brembo with 14.5-inch ventilated rotors and two-piece calipers, rears use four-piston monoblock calipers and 14-inch ventilated rotors. The standard tires are Continental Conti-Sport Contact 5P, 245/35R19s front and 305/30R20s rear. Pirelli tires are an option, as are soft Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for the track.
The Integrated Dynamics System offers four modes: Quiet, Sport, Sport Plus, Track. The driver can set the quickness of the steering, brakes (mechanical and regenerative), stability control, shock absorbers, engine, transmission, and SH-AWD. Quiet mode goes for fuel mileage and allows electric driving at slow speeds while restricting revs to 4000 rpm. It rates 21 miles per gallon, City or Highway, by the EPA.
The NSX is hand-built in the U.S. at Honda's factory in Ohio.
The 2018 Acura NSX ($156,000) comes standard with just about everything luxury, including LED ambient interior lighting and an infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming, two USB ports, HD radio, Siri Eyes Free voice control, Apple Car Play, and Google Android Auto. But not satellite radio. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $1800 destination charge.)
Other equipment includes a multi-angle rearview camera, hill-start assist, front and front side airbags, curtain side airbags with rollover sensors, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and a tire-pressure monitor. High-tech safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings, or automatic emergency braking aren't available.
The price can grow to $200,000 with options like carbon-ceramic brakes; carbon-fiber roof, engine cover and rear spoiler; or Alcantara headliner. A Technology Package adds a nine-speaker ELS audio system, navigation, AcuraLink telematics service, and front and rear parking sensors.