Last year, Acura returned to the mid-engine supercar fold with an all-new NSX for the first time in 12 years. While the original version of the car was fairly elemental, though sensationally executed, the new NSX dispenses with tradition in favor of advanced technology.
That means all-wheel drive, a 500-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, a nine-speed transmission, and a trio of electric motors that continually monitor and optimize the NSX's traction. The V6 powers the rear wheels alone, and each front wheel has its own electric motor. This setup lets the car's onboard computers carefully accelerate or decelerate each wheel to keep the NSX on course during high-performance driving.
A third electric motor pairs with the V6 engine in common hybrid-electric fashion, adding torque at low speeds and enabling seamless engine starts. The combination of gasoline V6 and electric motors generates 573 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque.
Like the original NSX, the new model relies on steel and aluminum construction and mostly eschews the lighter, stiffer carbon fiber that helps reduce the weight of premium sports cars. Its heavy electric motors and batteries push the NSX's weight up to 3,803 pounds.
Inside the NSX cabin are two comfortable seats mounted low to the floor, adding some challenge to the act of entry and exit. The car is fitted with plush leather upholstery, but any luxury pretenses are undermined by off-the-shelf Acura switchgear. The steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, for example, are made with plastic that looks and feels cheap instead of aluminum or magnesium more common to this class of car.
Thanks to its mid-engine layout, the cowl is low, contributing to excellent forward visibility. This is certainly helpful when piloting the NSX at the speeds it easily achieves.
Magnetically adjustable shock absorbers create a supple ride that is unexpectedly absorbent for a car of this performance caliber. The brakes, which use electronics to connect the pedal to the actual brakes, impart a feeling of absolute confidence, with none of the awkward action common to brakes in hybrid cars.
The hybrid electric components contribute to the NSX's outstanding performance numbers, including 0-60 mph acceleration in 3 seconds and EPA fuel efficiency of 21 mpg combined (21 city/22 highway).
That relatively thrifty hybrid-electric drivetrain and all-wheel-drive system add capability but also weight, eroding some of the visceral thrill that leads drivers to buy cars like the NSX. There's a nice bit of sound from the V6, however, especially when switching the NSX to Track mode. The Quiet mode will surely be appreciated by neighbors when it lets the NSX creep out of your garage on electric power alone in the wee hours, but the car's overall character is somewhat muted for a sports car of this class.
When it's time to pick your new sports car, Edmunds has all the details you need on the 2018 Acura NSX and its competitors.
2018 Acura NSX Overview
The 2018 Acura NSX is offered in the following submodels: Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 9AM). NSX models are available with a 0-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The 2018 NSX comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 9-speed automated manual. The 2018 NSX comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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