Acura NSX models

November 17, 2015

Acura NSX models

Acura's NSX debuted in the summer of 1990 for the 1991 model year. Designed to compete with other exotic, high-performance sports cars from Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini, the NSX was the most expensive Japanese car ever available upon its release. The NSX was the first production car to be produced with an all-aluminum body and chassis, with a body weighing 40% less than steel bodies but without sacrificing any strength. The two-passenger NSX also was manufactured with an all aluminum suspension and titanium connecting rods also used in the F-15 supersonic fighter jet.

Powering the Acura NSX was an aluminum 3.0-liter, DOHC 24-valve V6 engine featuring Honda's "variable valve timing and lift electronic control" VTEC system. The transversely-mounted engine was mounted in the middle ahead of the rear axle. All initial NSX came with a 5-speed manual transmission with the V6 engine generating 270 hp, later a 4-speed automatic transmission was introduced which generated 252 horsepower. Early published reports had the NSX accelerating from 0-60 mph in 5.03 seconds and running under 13.5 seconds for a quarter mile.

During its first year the NSX received many awards including: Motor Trend's "Top Ten Performance Cars", Road & Track's "Ten Best Cars in the World", Popular Science's "Best of What's New", Popular Mechanics' "Design and Engineering Award", and Automobile Magazine's "Automobile of the Year" for 1991, also in 1991 Motor Trend named the NSX "the best sports car ever built."

Each NSX was hand assembled by a team of technicians in a special manufacturing facility in Tochigi, Japan. Only 25 NSX cars were produced a day. Initially offered at a price of $65,000, high demand and limited availability soon pushed the final selling price up at many dealerships.

In 1995 the NSX-T with a targa top or a removable roof panel was offered. Also in 1995, the manual transmission NSX was offered with electrical power steering, a feature previously only available with the automatic transmission. The automatic transmission added a Formula One-inspired SuperShift feature that included a lever on the steering column for control. For 1997, the NSX and NSX-T received a larger, more powerful 3.2-liter DOHC V6 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission producing 290 hp.

The 4-speed automatic stuck with the 3.0-liter V6 engine. In 1999 a special Alex Zanardi edition was introduced and sold along side the base NSX coupe and the NSX-T with targa top. Alex Zanardi had won back to back CART Champ Car Championships for Honda in 1997 and 1998, and the special edition NSX was offered in New Formula Red only to reflect the championship car driven by Alex. It featured an exclusive interior and a revised suspension. Only 51 Alex Zanardi Edition NSX vehicles were built, with one being given to Alex Zanardi himself.

For 2002, the fixed roof model was dropped leaving only the removable roof panels. Also new for 2002, the NSX received a revised suspension, wider rear tires, larger exhaust ports, revised taillights, and Xenon HIC fixed headlamps replaced the pop-up units used previously. For 2004 a trunk-mounted CD changer and a keyless entry system were added. By the end of 2004 a total of 8,733 NSX cars had been sold in the United States. In 2005 Honda ended production of the NSX in order to focus research on a successor. While there has been much speculation about a 2010 NSX powered by a V10 engine, recent comments by Honda CEO Takeo Fukui indicate recent economic conditions have canceled plans for the new NSX.

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