Acura Can Build The NSX: It Still Won't Save The Company


A hardcore NSX won't solve anything.

For the past few years, Acura has had some trouble reinventing itself and finding new customers with its lackluster cars. It’s not that it makes bad vehicles. It’s just that the automaker doesn’t make memorable ones. In the hopes of drawing more customers in and attracting a different type of buyer, Acura came out with the new NSX. The hybrid-powered supercar was supposed to showcase everything that Acura stood for: beautiful design, advanced tech and performance. I'd say it only achieved a few of those goals.

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Acura isn’t like Ferrari, McLaren, or Nissan. All of these brands have a well defined lineup with a halo supercar at the top. For Ferrari it’s the LaFerrari, with McLaren it’s the P1 and for Nissan, the mighty GT-R. Unlike the NSX, these cars are designed with one thing in mind: the enthusiast. While these automakers have an obvious halo supercar at the top of the lineup, the supercar isn't being used to reinvent the brand or prove anything. The cars are being used to display the absolute best from the company and are a way to try out new technology for future models. Acura is trying to prove itself with the NSX, while showcasing its abilities, which is why the car falls short.

The first reviews point towards the NSX being a confused supercar that doesn’t know where it belongs and a lighter, more hardcore version won’t help its case. The other supercar automakers mentioned here already offer lighter and more extreme versions of "normal" supercars. Take the GT-R Nismo for example. It has more power, go-fast parts and is truly aimed at enthusiasts looking for track supremacy. In the latest NSX Type R report, Acura apparently has no interest in giving the supercar any more power. Instead, Acura plans to remove the supercar’s front two electric motors, which would reduce horsepower. That would make it lighter but is dropping weight and power how you make a more extreme track car?

Lastly, Acura is seen as a luxury brand. Therefore, it sells luxury cars that are supposed to be more affordable than Germany's offerings. But its NSX is more expensive than the competition and isn’t as good. A NSX Type R would be more expensive and, while it would weigh less, would still be missing the magic that makes a track-day supercar incredible. Giving a Honda Civic lighter bodywork, more downforce and a higher price tag just covers up the fact that it’s a Civic. I’m sure there will be a market for the NSX Type R and that it will be better than the regular NSX, but it’s not going to help Acura prove itself as a luxury brand or one that’s serious about supercars.

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