1991 Acura NSX: Insert Velvet Underground Lyric Here
March 13, 2012
You can only drive as fast as you can see. And at night in our longterm 1991 Acura NSX, that isn't very far. I discovered this on a late evening run from the heart of the California desert last week.
When you're coming south on Highway 14 just out of Palmdale, you have a choice: take the sucky freeway route all the way back to LA, or take fun roads. The fun roads are Angeles Forest Highway to Angeles Crest, which spits you out in La Canada Flintridge.
No matter how late in the day, I always opt for the fun roads. Night driving here has its benefits: there's almost zero car traffic, headlights are visible long before the car they're mounted to comes into view, cyclists are rarer than rockinghorse turds.
The problem is seeing the road you're driving on. The NSX piddles little pools of yellowish splatter on the pavement directly in front of the car. High beams improve things somewhat for straightahead viewing, but on these roads high beams aren't the solution.
It's all about where the light is being distributed. What's needed here is light to the sides -- you're not driving straight; you're constantly turning into corners. In the NSX, there's just black holes off to the corners. Bew. This is why, again, you can only drive as fast as you can see. Want to go faster? Get better headlights.
On the plus side, windows down and 8000-rpm Honda V6 reverberating off canyon walls.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor