After a protracted development process, the Acura NSX has returned after a 12-year hiatus. It's fair to wonder, then: What exactly has Acura cooked up in those 12 years? Well, while the previous-generation car was an elemental midengine, rear-wheel-drive sports car, the new NSX is a much more complex machine, boasting all-wheel drive, a twin-turbo V6 and a trio of electric motors for a full gasoline/electric hybrid experience. It's still Acura's flagship car, however, looking to compete with the world's best.
This new 2017 NSX is built in an all-new facility at Honda's Marysville, Ohio, plant. Its Japan-developed 3.5-liter V6 and nine-speed transmission are purpose-designed and -built for the NSX. On the chassis side, the NSX is a mix of aluminum and steel and is underpinned with a double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension with MR (magnetorheological) variable dampers all around. Carbon fiber is employed sparingly in the car's structure, but most of what you can see is used only for optional cosmetic dress-up items in the engine bay and cabin.
We're pleased to report that the NSX's advanced design doesn't detract from its mission. This is an exotic sports car that is easy to drive quickly every day. And it will accelerate to 60 mph in about 3.0 seconds while getting the fuel economy of what an Acura TL used to get back in the days of the old NSX. This organic driving experience in the face of its enormous complexity is probably the most striking accomplishment of the NSX.
And yet, as sophisticated as it is, the NSX lacks a sense of occasion. Its V6 doesn't have a particularly exotic sound to it, and the car's styling, while safe and well-proportioned, does not invite one to linger or admire. The NSX's creators chose not to showcase any of its extensive hardware. Consider that the NSX has a Quiet mode but not a Loud mode. The NSX has personality but not attitude. It's a supercar without swagger.
The question will be whether you see this as a draw or a turn-off. If it's the latter, you'll probably find the likes of the Audi R8 or McLaren 570S more appealing.
The 2017 Acura NSX is available only as a two-door, two-seat coupe. Standard equipment includes LED headlights, heated mirrors, adaptive suspension dampers (magnetorheological), 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) wheels, summer tires, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather and simulated suede upholstery, manually adjustable seats seats with heating, an eight-speaker sound system (with two USB inputs), a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and AcuraLink.
The NSX's main optional package is the Technology package, which gets you a navigation system, parking sensors and a nine-speaker premium ELS sound system with satellite radio. A couple of packages that outfit the NSX with extra exterior and interior carbon-fiber trim are also available.
Stand-alone options include carbon-ceramic brakes, upgraded performance summer tires, premium paint hues, other various carbon-fiber components (roof panel, engine cover, rear spoiler), a different style of wheels, power seats in two leather choices and a simulated suede headliner.