What's New for 2000
The 2000 Acura NSX gets improvements to its six-speed manual transmission, an upgraded perforated leather interior, and a cleaner engine that now qualifies it as a low emission vehicle.
Well-balanced, highly poised, easy to drive, graceful -- the NSX is a precision instrument that is forgiving enough to make drivers of diverse skill levels feel like pros. The 3.2-liter engine makes 290 horsepower (252 if equipped with an automatic) and moves the car to 60 mph in about 5 seconds. Though largely unchanged from the 1991 introductory model, the current NSX is still a capable ride. The mid-engine design provides excellent weight distribution, keeping the wheels securely planted around turns. Braking is confident and secure with only 122 feet required to get from 60 to zero.
Inside, the NSX is as comfortable to drive as the Honda Accord. All controls are logically placed, the seating position is ideal and the targa top is easily stored. While never a strong point of mid-engined exotic sports cars, rear visibility is better than you might expect.
Shift action, especially with the revised six-speed transmission, is simply amazing. The clutch and brake pedals are well-placed and provide excellent feedback while the steering is razor-sharp. Where the car fails, however, is in the cost of entry. It's simply too expensive. Costing as much as a three-car garage, complete with a Chevrolet Corvette, Jeep Wrangler and Honda Accord parked inside, the NSX is no bargain.
Upon introduction nine years ago, the Acura NSX was heralded as one of the best sports cars ever produced. With its 24-valve V6 engine, all-aluminum body, mid-engine layout and traditionally Honda-correct ergonomics, the NSX was one helluva car. To say that it set a new standard in the sports car segment would not be an overstatement.
However, even the NSX is not immune to the effects of time. With the 1994 introduction of the Viper and the 1997 unveiling of the C5 Corvette, both of which are cheaper and more powerful sports cars, the NSX became a questionable value. Even the current Porsche 911, which was recently improved in terms of both luxury and drivability, is a viable alternative to the pricey, and somewhat sterile, NSX.
The future of the NSX is not certain, though a more powerful and less expensive version is reportedly in the works. The current model still has plenty to offer. Its rev-happy powerplant makes it appealing for those desiring a supercar, while its livable interior and excellent ergonomics make it practical enough to live with on a daily basis. When pushed hard on a racetrack, it offers Indy car-like stability and responsiveness. And don't forget that Acura build quality and reliability are included with every NSX, making it one of the most stress-free exotics on the market. Unfortunately for Acura, the current Corvette offers 95 percent of the NSX's handling abilities, and 120 percent of its horsepower, for 50 percent the cost.