At the heart of any supercar is its drivetrain and the NSX is no different. Power is supplied by a 500 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine, mated to an electric motor that sends power to the rear wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. The front wheels are also powered however, utilizing a pair of electric motors mounted in the front of the vehicle. Total system output is rated at 573 horsepower, enough to provide for neck snapping acceleration. With the bulk of the engine weight located behind the driver, but in front of the rear axle, the NSX also turns as well as it goes, its low center of gravity aiding it in achieving excellent cornering speeds. All-wheel drive ensures plenty of grip upon corner exit.
The NSX comes in just one well appointed trim level. Standard features include LED headlamps, Keyless entry, powered and heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a remote garage door opener, a leather trimmed steering wheel, a leather trimmed instrument panel, leather seats, a 7-inch Display Audio system with 8 speakers including a subwoofer, Bluetooth streaming and a Siri Eyes Free mode.
Options on the NSX include Alcantara seats, a variety of wheel designs, carbon-ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber exterior package, that includes a bare carbon fiber roof, an Alcantara headliner, and a premium stereo with SiriusXM radio.
The new Acura NSX had something of a long, troubled entry into this world and, when it landed, didn't receive universal praise. The original, beloved NSX was a car that flourished in an era of raw, direct sports cars -- a tough act to follow any modern machine.
But it's a modern world in which we live and in 2019 the new NSX hasn't evolved much. For this model year, Acura made a few subtle changes here and there, minor revisions to suspension and tires and aesthetics to create a car that I figured wouldn't really strike my fancy any more or less than before. Imagine my surprise when those tweaks and a little extra time behind the wheel left me impressed. Genuinely enamored, even.
If you're a fan of gee-whiz componentry, the new-generation NSX is truly a car made for you. Sporting one of the most advanced hybrid powertrains on the road, with three electric motors scattered around the chassis, it's the sort of car that has launched a thousand forum debates.
Those motors are configured to provide two key features. First, they enable all-wheel drive by installing the first two motors at the front. Secondly, the trio of motors helps to fill the torque gap created by the forced induction on the 3.5-liter V6. Before the twin turbos hit their stride, the 47-horsepower "direct drive" motor at the rear works with the two 36-horsepower motors in the nose to give the throttle response you want in a car like this. Then, as the boost builds, the gasoline engine takes over, delivering the bulk of the thrust to the rear wheels through a nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
How much thrust? 573 horsepower combined, and 476 pound-feet of torque. That hasn't changed from before, nor have the overall layout and use of these motors. But, the software controlling them has, and it's software that really makes a car go 'round these days. Those motors at the front work hard to help the balance of the car, providing more or less torque to the inside and outside wheels, enabling the car to pivot and dive for the apex like nothing else.
In less demanding times, those motors have the added benefit of letting the NSX stalk silently out of your driveway and go short distances entirely on electric power. That tiny, 1.3-kilowatt-hour battery won't get you far, but it does help this car deliver 21 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway ratings. Hardly Prius territory, but mighty impressive compared with the McLaren 570GT's 16 mpg city.
So if that's all the same other than the software, what's actually changed? Well, I hope you like bushings, because the 2019 NSX has new ones, along with many adjustments to the suspension designed to get the most out of its new rubber Continental SportContact 6 tires. If that has you shrugging your shoulders, Acura says the combination is good for a 2-second decrease in lap times around the epic Suzuka Grand Prix circuit. That's serious business.
More important than lap times, the changes were designed to give the car more of the thing many people said the new NSX was sorely lacking: personality.
The Good World-class handling and on-track performance backed by a dazzling drivetrain make for a unique driving experience.
The Bad While the NSX excels in the day-to-day, it still sometimes lacks the emotional appeal of other mid-engined supercars.
The Bottom Line The NSX seems to be getting better with age, and these subtle changes make for a more engaging, more appealing machine.
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