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Review of the 2017 Acura NSX: Back From The Dead!!!

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On: Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 3:45PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Review of the 2017 Acura NSX:  Back From The Dead!!!

In the list of things that we as a society have collectively been waiting for to return from the dead would probably look something like this:  1) Jesus 2) Tupac 3) the NSX 4) the Cleveland Browns. No word on Jesus just yet, Tupac seems like he comes and goes every other year, the Browns might have some luck with their new quarterback, and, then again, they might not. But, that one car that has been as elusive as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster is finally, finally, finally back from the dead.

It has been over a decade since the last first-gen NSX rolled off the assembly line. Since then, we have been fooled, promised, tricked, teased, taunted, and even lied to about when the next NSX would show up. Rumors spread, and we even got to see what the first edition of the second-gen car would look like in Marvel's "Avengers" (at the end of the movie, Tony Stark hops in a gorgeous hot rod), and then Acura scrapped that car and made us wait another five years… But all of that can be forgiven because the halo car for luxury brand Acura has been built and actually driven.

From the onset, the 2017 NSX looks like the love child of an Audi R8 and a McLaren 650S. It has a gracefulness that does convey an aggressive, yet mature, demeanor along the same lines as a Porsche Boxster might. In true Japanese fashion, the design is extremely functional, and definitely not just for show. The NSX's multitude of ducts and curves all help to channel air around and through the Acura to make going fast, and sticking to the road at speed, the primary function of the stylistic lines. Extensive use of carbon fiber, aluminum, and high-strength steel all help to keep torsional strength and rigidity high, and curb weight low. Inside, the NSX looks a lot like… an Acura. Simple luxury that offers a touch of sportiness with supportive two-tone colored seats and a cockpit-like setup, but comfortable enough that it very easily could be used every day if one were so inclined. A digital readout combined with a relatively straightforward infotainment system provides all the information any driver could need. There are even four drive modes that can be toggled between: Quiet, Sport, Sport Plus, and Track mode. Like unlocking a cheat to some old video game, each level grants you more and more access to the true performance of the NSX.

In a way the fact that the NSX has been delayed for a century and a half actually has worked in its favor in a huge way. If the NSX of today had actually come out say four or five years ago with all of the technology it has now, it very well could have cost over half a millions dollars. But, thanks to cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder, the NSX has been a huge benefactor of trickle-down tech. Much like when plasma TVs first came out and cost early adopters as much as $10,000, and then only a few years later were available for the same sizes for less than $1,000, the NSX uses similar gadgetry as the $850,000 Porsche at a fraction of the cost.

The engine setup starts out with a mid-mounted, hand-built 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC all-aluminum V6 that puts down a serious 500 horsepower and respectable 406 pound-feet of torque. The NSX then employs what was once some very expensive machinery in the way of electric motors. This is all the rage in the world of supercars, and Acura certainly didn't want to look like they had missed out on… a decade… ahem… Anyway, the NSX has two electric motors mounted on the front axle, and a third motor mounted between the motor and the nine-speed dual-clutch automatic (with manual shifting mode). These permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors create 36 horsepower and 54 lb-ft of torque from each of the two front motors and another 50 hp and 109 lb-ft of torque from the mid-motor. In case you don't have your calculator handy, that's a total of 573 horsepower and 623 pound-feet of torque. That's quite a bit of get up and go for a car that weighs 3800 pounds.

Now that it finally can actually get up and go, the NSX doesn't feel like a car that has been sidelined for a decade. It has all the modern performance to keep up with the best competition out there; thanks to a prodigious amount of torque and a very useful all-wheel drive setup, the NSX wastes no time spinning its wheels, ironically. Punch it and feel the 245/35/ZR-19 front and 305/30ZR-20 rear Continental Conti-Sport Contact 5P tires claw for traction, and, when they do, the Acura rips from 0–-60 mph in only 2.9 seconds, 0–100 mph in a mere 7.6 seconds, through the quarter mile in 11.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 191 mph. Those numbers are enough to keep it in the rarified air of exotics… at least for a while. Even at the pump, the NSX posts a 19/26 city/highway mpg, not bad for a near 600-horse AWD rocket.

It's been a long, long time since we've seen Acura flex their hot rod muscles, and it feels like they tried to play it on the safer side with this car. it doesn't offend in any way, and has all of the modern features you could want from a sports car (sans a manual transmission). It's a car that is without a doubt an Acura, and given the irony of making the world wait so long only to scrap the plans at the last second and having to "rush" to get this car to the market makes it even more impressive. So, while we will still keep our eyes out for our Savior to come around, and won't be surprised when another Tupac song shows up on the radio, or when the Browns have the number one pick in the draft again next year, at least we can hold our heads up high because now we know that all of that time we spent waiting, wondering, hoping, anticipating, and, in some cases, grieving was not all for nought. We finally have the light at the end of the tunnel and can rejoice, because the NSX is back from the dead, and has never been better.


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