1991 Acura NSX: The Rumored "Titanium" Key
October 21, 2011
A friend of mine told me that the early Acura NSXs came with a titanium key that was very expensive to replace and couldn't be cut by an ordinary key machine. This piqued my interest, so I did some research on it in the NSX Prime forum, which was once again an excellent source of information. It turns out that the key isn't actually made of titanium, but rather a nickel alloy called "Monel".
Monel, composed of mostly nickel with a bit of copper, and iron, is a strong metal that is highly resistant to corrosion and is commonly used in marine applications. Monel was also used to make dog tags for soldiers in the early stages of World War II, until there was a shortage of metals and then brass and stainless steel was used.
I should point out that we don't actually have this key for our NSX. Somewhere in the 20-year life of this car, it was either lost, or maybe the original owner hung onto it as a souvenir. For now we're stuck with the basic key, which only costs about $10-$15 to replace.
If you want to replace the Monel key, it will run you about $125 for a blank key. According to NSX prime, it requires a cutting machine that will copy an original key. The stamping machine, which uses the key code, will not do it.
The NSX came with the Monel key from 1991-1996. After that, Acura switched to a typical transponder key, which was safer in terms of theft protection, but didn't look as cool.
If you owned an NSX, would you pay extra for the Monel key?
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 47,286 miles