2017 Acura NSX Review

The first time i saw the new Acura NSX in person was in January of this year at the 2017 Montreal auto show. I was staring at it for quite some time and i felt that, design wise, Acura had created a worthy successor of the first generation NSX which was initially launched back in 1990. It was only last week that I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the legendary car and see if Acura fully delivered on this new and improved version.

Obviously times have changed, what we have here is not a simple sports car, Acura has brought back the NSX in the form of a hybrid supercar. This engineering marvel is equipped with a non-VTEC 75-degree twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 making 500 hp from 6,500 to its 7,500-rpm redline and 406-lb-ft of torque, available from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm. The engine is assisted by three separate electric motors. The first sits between the engine and nine-speed dual-clutch transaxle. That motor is rated 47 hp and 109 lb-ft. A front-mounted twin-motor unit uses two 36-hp, 54-lb-ft electric motors to power the front wheels and provide torque vectoring during cornering. Total system output is rated 573 hp and 476 lb-ft.

The new NSX rides on an aluminum-intensive space frame with carbon fiber floor with a body designed to direct airflow over, under, and through the car which also helps manage cooling.

The 2017 NSX certainly looks like it means business. The sharp roof line and wide-set taillights are signature cues from the first generation, while the functional air intakes give the new NSX its menacing face.

But despite its aggressive appearance, the NSX’s interior is remarkably comfortable. The seats hug the body; it’s more like a cockpit than a driver’s seat. My favourite aspects of the interior is the knob that swaps to the different drive modes (Quiet,sport, sport+ and track) which sits right in the middle of the dashboard, and it’s huge. It’s even fun to use. Rotate it over and pop! You’re in the fun zone. There are also the tiny details: the accents of alcantara and carbon fiber and the hidden stitching on the steering wheel, which feels like the seam of well-sewn suit jacket. The wheel stands in contrast to the buttons, knobs, and screen, which are reminders that deep down the NSX is still a trusty, straight-shooting Honda (for example the infotainment screen is literally the same as in the latest Honda Civic).

One thing the NSX is missing is the suite of driver-assistance electronics that is standard or available on virtually every high-end passenger car and SUV: adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, and forward emergency braking. I guess people who buy a car like that probably don’t necessarily need these things.

Firing up the NSX is somewhat unsettling because it doesn’t have a conventional starter. Rather its engine springs to life like many other hybrids, there’s no chin-chin-chin sound first, just the sound of the V-6 lighting off. The exhaust note isn’t particularly loud or distinct, even when you rev it up the sound is very subdued. You can hear the turbos while you’re driving, but you won’t believe they’re actually there. The relationship between your right foot and the engine’s output is so incredibly linear that you’d swear on your life that the NSX’s engine was naturally aspirated. Acura has made turbo lag inexistent with the help of the hybrid system. All this equals being propelled from 0 to 60MPH in under 3 sec. The thrust is outstanding yet very stable.

 

On the road, it’s so comfortable to drive. Depending on which mode you select, and even with the suspensions stiffened for handling, you still don’t really feel road bumps as you might expect from your typical sports car, making it ideal even for long journeys. It handles corners like it’s a straight line and you just feel safe driving it.

When I finished the test with the NSX i realised that even though the performance numbers make it appear that it might be a handful to drive, it wasn’t at all! This hybrid supercar was as easy to handle as a civic or a Honda accord but will keep up with a McLaren or a Ferrari on the track. My biggest disappointment is the fact that, as sexy as the car looks, it seems like for that for 200,000$CAD there more compelling offerings from other manufacturers who will give you more amenities for your dollar. But when it comes down to providing a driving experience that boggles the mind, Acura nailed it!

boostmi Tip: This car’s oem battery power requirement is 600CCA which is suitable for our boostmi + portable jumpstarter http://bit.ly/2wbKYvm

Thank you @louelavie for providing us the ride.