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How Can Acura Improve NSX Sales?

Sales / 23 Comments

Or do people just want more crossovers?

After driving the 2019 Acura NSX, we didn't think it needed any extra horsepower. Using a twin-turbo V6 paired with three electric motors, the NSX produces 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque, good enough for a 0-60 run in three seconds or less. Trust us, it's plenty, but recent rumors have suggested Acura could give the NSX even more power with a hardcore Type R model.

According to rumors, a Type R model could arrive later in 2019 with 650 hp on tap. But would this actually help Acura sell more NSXs? Looking at Acura's recent sales numbers, we are dubious.

Only 30 people in the US purchased an NSX this past May, which is actually twice the number of people that bought an NSX in May of 2018. Sure, that seems like a small number, but NSX sales are actually up, to 132 units so far in 2019. At this point in time last year, Acura had only sold 87 units of its flagship supercar and only 170 people purchased an NSX in all of 2018, meaning Acura should easily surpass this number with seven months left in 2019.

But we aren't sure a faster, more expensive Type R model will help move the sales needle. If people can't afford the NSX at $160,000 plus a big discount, then how will they afford a Type R at around $200,000? The NSX is clearly not Acura's cash cow. No, that honor goes to the RDX.

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The recently updated RDX set a May sales record with 5,415 units (an increase of 15.1%). The MDX and ILX saw increases too, of 8% and 21.1% respectively. Unfortunately, the aging TLX and RLX saw sales decrease by 17.9% and 44.3% respectively. RLX sales were so slow, in fact, that Acura only sold 91 one of them in May (623 in all of 2019). Rumors suggest Acura might bring back the Legend name to replace the RLX, which could help reinvigorate sales. We've never been fans of the RLX, so this would be welcome news to us.