Against the NSX GT3 Evo race car no less.
The second-generation Acura NSX had big shoes to fill. Its iconic predecessor made sure of that. While not everyone has warmed to today’s NSX, it remains a very impressive supercar. Yes, it’s a supercar with supercar levels of performance both on and off the track. To prove this, Acura pitted the road-going NSX against its race-winning counterpart, the NSX GT3 Evo. With pro racing driver Trent Hindman on hand, a head-to-head comparison test was done at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, not far from where the NSX is assembled.
With a total of 573 horsepower thanks to its hybrid V6 powertrain, the NSX road car actually beat the NSX GT3 Evo in the acceleration test, though this should hardly come as a surprise. Remember, the NSX we can buy features an all-wheel drive system while the NSX GT3 Evo ditches that for a RWD setup and doesn't benefit from a hybrid boost.
Despite being 1,000 pounds lighter, the GT3 simply couldn’t keep up. However, it wasn’t designed specifically for outright acceleration but rather track performance. Even though both cars share about 80 percent of their components, the GT3 has serious aerodynamic elements that produce about 500 percent more downforce over the road car. Not surprisingly, it lapped the Mid-Ohio course about 9 seconds faster than the regular NSX.
Both cars, however, share one major thing: an ultra-rigid, lightweight, aluminum-intensive space frame. It has not been significantly modified for the GT3 as both NSX variants were developed simultaneously.
"We knew from the outset that the second generation NSX would be tested at the highest limits on track," said Ted Klaus, who served as global development leader for the second generation NSX and was recently named president of Honda Performance Development, the North American race engineering arm of Acura Motorsports. "Competitive racing was an essential consideration during NSX development, which influenced critical decisions we made regarding the car's fundamental design.”
The 2019 Acura NSX has a starting MSRP of $157,500 while the NSX GT3 Evo runs for at least $525,000.