2017 Acura NSX VIN 001, as delivered to its new owner. (Image: Acura)

“When is Acura actually going to build that new NSX?” was asked so many times in the last six years the thing was starting to look more caricature than car. So how long did it really take to come out of its chrysalis? Let’s break it down.

The first, real, civilian-drivable second-generation NSX was delivered to a customer this week on Tuesday, May 24. That’s some 1,600 days after the design was debuted. It’s 1,598 days to be exact, if you measure from the auto show reveal to customer collection.

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A Mr. Rick Hendrick, not Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld, picked up the first serial-production 2017 Acura NSX for $1.2 million. The car has an MSRP of about $150,000; “VIN 001” sold for such an exorbitant sum because the money was given to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground charities.

“We can’t wait to give our clients a chance to experience this dream product, and will carry this day’s momentum forward as we continue to invest in and grow Acura,” the company’s Vice President and General Manager Jon Ikeda said in a press release.

Of course, they could wait. They did wait. We have all waited for this car since it was first announced on December 12, 2011 and actually “revealed” at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 9, 2012.

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It’s not uncommon for a concept car to bow well ahead of a production variant, but the new NSX is unique in that it was never really “a concept.” It was simply “the design.”

At least Acura spent those 1,598 days tweaking the design. Remember how wild the car looked in 2012?

2012 Acura NSX Concept

And then when they revealed it again in 2013?

2013 Acura NSX Concept

Then right around the time the “new NSX” design was about as fresh as the half-open hummus in your office fridge, Acura came out and hit us up with a brave new look for 2016.

2016 Acura NSX Concept

It must also be remembered that along the way, Acura re-engineered the entire thing in 18 months.

And yes, you have every right to scream at your screens at this point because you’ve probably read rants about how “it sucks that production cars never look like the concepts” on this very website.

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The problem though, as my esteemed colleague Doug DeMuro basically pointed out, is that the “new NSX” has now been around so long it’s already due for a redesign.

Now as I posited, that 1,598 day timeline is a little hard to compare to other cars because “99 percent complete” designs are generally not released as concepts.

Take the current-gen Jeep Wrangler JK for example; concepts were coming out by 2004 but the “final design” wasn’t released to the public until April 13, 2006. That Wrangler went on sale in October, about 180 days later.

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For a little more context on how long cars take to bake, Ford teased the current Mustang for ages but didn’t reveal the finalized design until December 5, 2013. They “sold” the first production car 47 days later on January 20, 2014 and started delivering the cars in September, call it 300 days after the design reveal.

Cars get hyped, concepts get dangled in front of us way before we can buy whatever they eventually turn into, but I’ve yet to find any remotely normal car that took nearly as long to go from “finished design” to “in the hands of the first owner” as Honda’s new halo product.

All that said, driving impressions of the production car have been overwhelmingly positive. The thing does still look pretty sexy. And yeah, I’ll be falling all over myself when I see the first one in LA traffic.

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Screw it, I’m still stoked about the new NSX.