It took Acura more than a decade to bring about a successor to its much-loved original NSX, but as today’s Nice Price or No Dice candidate shows, there’s no waiting for that successor on the pre-owned market. Let’s see just how much of a success its price proves to be.
It’s somewhat surprising to look at the small cars of today — the Golf, Mini or Fiat 500, for instance — in comparison to their ancestral editions. In that light, the new cars seem absolutely huge. That’s partly a factor of the necessary safety and convenience features that modern cars must carry to be legal and competitive. Yesterday’s 1963 Fiat 600 was one of those old-school cars, and it had none of that safety and convenience baloney. Hell, entry to that Fiat was gained through portals whose rear-hinged operation earned them the unfortunate nickname of “suicide doors.”
That’s not to say that the little Fiat didn’t have appeal. It was cute as a bug, and with its Abarth underpinnings and engine upgrades it likely would be one of those famed fun slow cars to drive fast. Unfortunately for the seller, the $10,700 asking price meant it wasn’t going anywhere. That was according to the 57 percent of you who voted it down in a No Dice loss.
The 600 played bigger brother to the older 500. That model had a laudable initial run of 18 years, then settling in for a Rip Van Winkle-like 32-year slumber until it was reconstituted as a new retro-styled model in 2007. That’s a sizable gap in the run, but then the new 500 shares only its name and a hint of its styling with its ancestor.
Today’s 2017 Acura NSX represents another model that had a fairly lengthy hiatus between editions. The first NSX, born of Accord and Ayrton Senna, arrived in 1989 for the ’90 model year and continued in production through the end of 2005. When that model’s assembly line went dark, Acura promised that the model would be back, eventually.
It took Acura and its parent company, Honda, 11 years to make good on that promise with the late 2016 introduction of the second generation NSX. Leading up to that introduction was an interminable wait for production cars to hit the road after literally years of the new model being teased in promos, movies and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Yeah, Seinfeld, I’m looking at you.
Much like the modern Fiat 500 having little to do with its namesake, the new NSX eschews the lightness and relative simplicity of its predecessor. Instead, the new hybrid NSX serves as a technological tour de force for Honda’s engineering and design capabilities. At least the gas engine is still behind the driver, unlike the similarly reconstituted Fiat 500, which migrated its mill to the front.
Along with that over-the-shoulder 3.5 liter V6, this NSX carries three electric motors — two in the front and a single helper motor sandwiched between the 500-horsepower gas motor and the 9-speed dual-clutch auto/manual gearbox. This arrangement gives the NSX 573 horsepower in total, and AWD delivers limpet-like grip. Adaptive suspension and exhaust mean that it can make use of all of that power, or just some of it, as the mood demands.
You’d think that a car with such venerated history and amazing technological bona fides would sell like hotcakes. Sadly, that has not been the case. Part of the reason for that is likely the new NSX’s eyebrow-raising price tag, which starts at $157,000 and when fully optioned can tickle the toes of $200k.
This one is far less than that, and it looks for all intents to be as-new. Well, not quite, but we’ll get to that in a minute. To be certain, it’s not new. It has 16,605 miles of use under its belt. That’s not a lot and there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of even those few miles in either the white exterior paint or the red and black leather/Alcantara interior. That all should take the sting out of its apparent depreciation.
Another plus is the addition of the ceramic brake rotor option. That cost a staggering $10,600 to add when new. Here, it’s like you’re getting them for free. On the downside, the car comes with an aftermarket exhaust installed. The original pieces are included in the sale, but if you don’t go for such shenanigans you’ll need to account for the refitting in your buying decision. Also, those red wheels that the car wears in most of the pictures stay with the seller. The car wears its factory alloys out the door. Those are wrapped in Continental meats.
The asking price for all this is $120,000, which buys you a clean-title car and entry into a fairly exclusive club. As I noted, the new NSX has not been a big seller for Acura. In this model year, they managed to move only 581 cars off dealer lots.
The question for you is whether, at $120,000, this NSX should move into a new owner’s home. What do you say, does that seem like a sane price for such a crazy cool car? Or, does that price make this NSX DOA?
Denver, Colorado, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Don C. for the hookup!
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