The 2016 Acura NSX Is A Rational Supercar, And That's The Problem

Illustration for article titled The 2016 Acura NSX Is A Rational Supercar, And That's The Problem

Okay, so we did wonder about who’s gonna buy the Acura NSX before. At $150,000, that remains a rather huge question mark. But since then, a bunch of journalists drove the pre-production cars, and the first reviews are out for all to dive into. Oh boy.


We haven’t driven the NSX, but I can’t say that I like what I read from others so far. To give you an idea of exactly what’s wrong with the NSX - a car make no mistake has literally nothing in common with the original NSX - let’s look at the numbers and targets before you check out what Motor Trend’s Jason Cammisa found out about it on track.

The NSX weighs 3,800 pounds. It has a twin-turbo V6 with three electric motors and a four-wheel drive system with real torque-vectoring sending a combined output of 573 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque to the ground. Acura says it doesn’t matter that it weighs as much as the Moon, because it’s an exotic sports car that’s going to be easy to live with and drive daily. You know what other mid-engined sports cars are pretty easy to live with? The Audi R8 and the McLaren 570S, for starters.

The base R8 weighs 3,516 pounds and its 5.2 V10 sends 540 horsepower and 398 ft-lb through its all-wheel drive system. It’s down on torque and power a bit, but there’s always the V10 Plus if you need more in your daily driver. Otherwise, it’s as refined as a sports car gets.

The cheapest McLaren is also fantastic on the road, mostly because McLaren threw as much complicated technology out of it as Ron Dennis’ coffee breaks allowed, so it weighs just 3,174 pounds. With 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft from a twin-turbo V8, it looks like it will keep up with an NSX all day long, torque vectoring or not.


In driving the new NSX, Cammisa calls it a “rational supercar.” There’s the problem. A supercar is not supposed to be rational, but Honda’s choices—AWD, sport tires instead of supercar tires, software—have made it so. Very fast, very capable, but not that engaging.

With so much depending on the software that does pretty much everything in the NSX including the stuff drivers should be responsible for, I wonder how can they improve this package before it hits the showrooms next year. If not significantly, the NSX will flop at that price, no doubt.


Photo credit: Acura


Contact the author at


Margin Of Error

That’s pretty much what the original NSX was, so what are we complaining about ? It wasn’t as wild as the 348, nor as raw as the 911 Turbo, or even as ridiculously unreliable as the Lotus Esprit Turbo.

It was rational.