- A flagship Type S model celebrates the final year of the NSX for Acura.
- Production of the NSX Type S is limited to 350 units, with 300 coming to the U.S.
- The NSX Type S adds more power and driver-friendly upgrades.
A mid-engine hybrid sports car with over 500 horsepower is usually special enough on its own, but Acura has decided to up the ante for the final production year of the NSX. In production since 2017, the second-generation NSX hasn't been the runaway success it could have been. Simply put, it fails to provide the superlative driving experience exhibited by similarly priced rivals such as the Audi R8 or Porsche 911 Turbo. But the final 2022 NSX, in its sportier and more powerful Type S form, aims to excite buyers and overcome the shortcomings that have kept buyers away in the past.
To make the NSX faster and more fun to drive, Acura has made physical changes and software updates to the 2022 NSX Type S. For starters, Acura has added turbochargers sourced from the NSX GT3 Evo race car, as well as new injectors and intercoolers to enhance engine performance. The pair of electric motors on the front axle have an altered gear ratio to make for better launches. Software changes have increased the NSX's battery output by 10% and the resulting total of all those changes is an increase in peak horsepower from 573 hp to 600 hp — an all-time high for any Acura product. Torque is also bumped, from 476 lb-ft to 492 lb-ft.
The NSX felt plenty powerful before, but these changes give it a slightly more aggressive character at slow speeds. Inside, the NSX sounds different too. Some of the intake noise is piped through the cabin of the NSX via a physical intake tube located behind the driver. With the Type S, this sound is more boisterous, specifically in the middle of the powerband. It might not add any power, but it does make the NSX feel slightly less restrained — instead of being reserved, it offers a bit of frivolity.
The NSX Type S is faster, of course, but Acura has also made changes to its appearance and improved the ride and handling. The front and rear fascia are revised to be more aggressive and angular, lending a sinister look to the NSX — especially in the new matte color scheme called Gotham Gray. A Lightweight package offers more performance in the form of a carbon-fiber engine cover and carbon-ceramic brakes, reducing the NSX's weight by nearly 60 pounds. Pair the Lightweight package with the Type S' standard carbon-fiber roof and carbon-fiber diffuser, and you've added quite a bit of lightness.
The Type S continues to set itself apart from the standard NSX with new, wider wheels that add 10 millimeters of front track and 20 mm of rear track. The new wheels come wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires made specifically for the NSX. A new rapid-downshift function has also been added, where the driver can pull and hold the downshift paddle, and the transmission will automatically select the lowest available gear. In Track mode, the most aggressive driving mode offered, you can now downshift 1,500 rpm earlier too. This is thanks to a change in the NSX's rev threshold, which means the driver can downshift significantly earlier, adding to an overall increase in the sense of control and engagement.
All these changes add up to a significantly improved NSX. Where previous models were a bit underwhelming to drive on a daily basis, the Type S is exciting pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to get your hands on a new one. Only 350 are being produced, with 300 destined for the U.S., and all have been spoken for. Keep an eye on the used NSX market, though, since this one is a mid-engine supercar that future generations will pine for.