Way, way back in 1989, Acura debuted the first ever NSX at the Chicago Auto Show. At the time, the car served as a revolutionary project for the company, implementing a number of new, never before seen design features to their line-up. More than that, though, the NSX was also a revolutionary vehicle for the automotive industry as a whole as the NSX became the first production car to feature an all-aluminum monocoque body.
Going all in on aluminum, the ride featured an extruded aluminum alloy frame and suspension, as well as an all-aluminum V6 engine. In total, this commitment to aluminum (a formula that Ford has now emulated) helped the body shed nearly 450 pounds in weight compared to its steel counterpart.
For 15 years, the NSX continued to be manufactured, becoming a cult classic while also appearing in some of the world’s biggest races (including the beloved 24 Hours of Le Mans).
Heading in to this week’s Detroit Auto Show, there was a lot of pressure on Acura to re-create this magic with the debut of their second-generation NSX supercar. They did not disappoint!
Featuring a twin-turbocharged 75-degree V6 linked with a three-electric motor hybrid system and 9-speed dual clutch transmission, the new 550 horsepower Acura NSX was able to blend some of the car’s classic heritage with more modern (ahem electric) innovations. The car has surprisingly also switched from its well-known aluminum body to a combination of high strength steel and carbon fiber.
All in all, the company’s willingness to push the envelope and make changes to their formula helped them to create a modern monster. It also showed that they are done being stagnant and no longer satisfied with producing nothing but reliable and predictable sedans and sport utilities.
It was a move that the company needed to make.
“Bringing back a passion project like the NSX is a bold move, and one Acura needed to show that the brand can still step outside its comfort zone,” said Edmunds’ Jessica Caldwell in an interview with the LA Times. “This move will breathe life into Acura as the vehicle is iconic and it reintroduction will undoubtedly generate a lot of buzz.”
Priced at $150,000, Acura certainly isn’t expecting a lot of sales with this car, but that doesn’t matter. Instead, it will serve as a tent pole for the company’s research and development.
“The technology car can trickle down to your other projects,” said Mike Accavitti, Acura’s general manager. “The person buying an ILX (Acura’s entry-level sedan) can think there is a little bit of the NSX in their car.”