Sales may be down but the NSX still has plenty of life left.
It was a big deal when the Acura NSX returned to market in late 2015 as a 2016 model following a nearly decade-long absence. The first generation NSX was sold for an impressive 17 years and went through a number of updates including a 2002 model year facelift. The second-generation model itself received some updates for 2019, including some new exterior colors, such as Thermal Orange, and improved handling characteristics.
However, its 2018 sales were not so great with only 170 units sold. The year prior saw 581 leave dealerships lots. In 2016 it was 269 units total. Could the NSX be in trouble? Is the hybrid supercar excitement gone? Not according to Acura.
We spoke to Acura PR Manager Matt Sloustcher and he made it quite clear: "We have no plans to discontinue the NSX.” Furthermore, "the NSX nameplate is used to represent our (Acura’s) brand ideals. If you view sales numbers in isolation you can make all kinds of assumptions,” he said. "In fact, NSX is in ads for our other models. Versions (of ads) with NSX score higher in terms of emotion and breakthrough.”
In other words, it continues to be the ideal halo car that best expresses Acura’s dedication to ‘Precision Crafted Performance.’ Given Acura’s stated committed to the NSX, what about future updates? A targa variant, perhaps? "There are always proposals,” Sloustcher added. "We’re a company of enthusiasts and options are always on the table.”
When asked if a non-hybrid street-legal variant is possible, like the NSX GT3 rear-wheel-drive racecar, we were told that "a lot has been considered. We went with the hybrid setup because it’s the best technology for a supercar. For example, if we didn’t do electric torque vectoring at the front axle then performance would be very different.”
But surely there’ll be more performance enhancements with the current 3.5-liter twin-turbo, dual-electric motor powertrain, right? What about an NSX Type R? Although Sloustcher could not get into specifics, he reiterated that the Type S nameplate is back for Acura in general and the brand is "always looking at options.” Above all, Acura remains committed to the NSX for the foreseeable future.