The hybrid supercar has quickly become a bargain.
When it comes to the second-generation Acura NSX, online commenters who have never driven the car complain that it doesn't come with a manual, it feels boring to drive, and it costs too much money. After testing a 2019 NSX, we can assure anyone there's nothing boring about the new NSX. But the sales numbers speak for themselves: the NSX has been anything but a hot seller. Acura managed to move just 170 of them in 2018 and has offered up to $20,000 off 2019 models to entice people to buy the car before the 2020 models arrive in showrooms.
The NSX will never be a volume car but Acura has no plans to discontinue it. Acura has even announced a 2020 model with a retro yellow paint job and 2019 sales have already outpaced 2018. A brand-new NSX is still a great option for someone cross-shopping supercars but after taking a look at pre-owned prices, purchasing a used one might be a better move.
Why should you buy an Acura NSX? Well, do you enjoy having fun? Because the NSX provides it in spades. Few supercars on the market can bend reality like the NSX. Its combination of electric power and all-wheel-drive grip means it can take corners at speeds that would normal put you into a tree. Driving purists may turn their noses at the new NSX because it isn't a "pure" driving experience like the original car, which had a manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and a naturally aspirated engine.
Some have even called out the new car for being an affront to the NSX name but do you know why the original NSX was built the way it was? Because that's what was fast at the time. The name 'NSX' stood for 'New Sportscar eXperimental' but has now been modified to stand for 'New Sports car eXperience.' No matter which abbreviation you choose, the NSX is meant to push the limits of what a sports car can be, not retread a tired, outdated formula.
For the 2020 model year, the Acura NSX starts at $157,500 plus $1,995 delivery (assuming there aren't any factory discounts offered). The 2019 model we tested had plenty of appearance and performance options, pushing the price near to the $200,000 mark. This is still competitive with rivals like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo but a used example is an even better value. You can find a 2017 NSX starting at around $120,000, meaning it now costs roughly $37,000 less than it did just a few years ago. We predict values will sink even lower, so be sure to monitor prices if you aren't quite ready to drop $120,000 on a used supercar.
Aside from a few tuning changes and new tires for the 2019 model year, the NSX has remained relatively unchanged from 2017. Power comes from a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 500 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty all on its own. Acura then pairs the turbocharged mill with three electric motors - one in the rear between the engine and the transmission and two on the front axle - adding additional power and torque with the ability to drive each of the front wheels independently.
Total output is 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque going out to all four wheels through a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 mph has been recorded in as little as 2.7 seconds and the top speed is 191 mph. If this isn't fast enough for you, it may be time to start shopping for private jets.
Acura's interior likely won't blow you away if you are used to sitting in sports cars from Europe. The infotainment is taken directly from a Honda Civic but it can be tied to a phenomenal ELS Studio premium audio system, which became standard equipment in 2019. There is a decent amount of storage in the cabin but the cupholders are housed on an inelegant detachable unit on the passenger side. Some of the plastics don't feel right in a car costing nearly $200,000 but neither do they ruin the whole experience.
Supercars are not the most practical class of vehicle and the NSX is no exception. There are only two seats, so you better not have any kids to pick up from school. The NSX is fine for a weekend getaway with your spouse but you will have to travel light because the trunk only offers 4.4 cubic feet of storage. And if you do put anything back there, it probably shouldn't be icecream because the trunk area is shared with the engine and sits right above the exhaust, meaning it gets quite hot. Most mid-engined cars offer storage upfront but the NSX's frontal area is taken up with electric motors.
On the plus side, the NSX is more economical than most supercars with EPA ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. It is also incredibly comfortable, meaning it is easy to drive every day.
The Acura NSX may not be perfect but it is easily one of the coolest cars on sale today. Used prices are continuing to come down and we would not be surprised if they fell below the six-figure mark in just a few years. The next generation of supercars will likely learn from the NSX's hybrid technology but this is an excellent chance to get ahead of the curve at a relatively low price.