You don’t need 573 horsepower to enjoy a nice country drive. But it ups the smile factor.
Acura loaned me its new Acura NSX supercar for a couple of hours in upstate New York recently, while also putting me in the passenger seat for a hot lap around Monticello Motor Speedway with a professional driver. One ride was delightful, as you can see in the video above. The other was nauseating, as I attempt to disguise in the video below. And both for the same reason: The NSX is more car than nearly any human being knows what to do with.
The NSX offers all the stats and superlatives car geeks demand. 0 to 60 in about three seconds. Tons of space-age aluminum. A 9-speed dual-clutch transmission. A drag coefficient so minuscule Acura won’t even say what it is. Four driving modes including one that’s electric and another that’s optimal for slinging rubber around the track.
It’s assembled in Ohio, making it, by one definition, the only supercar made in America. (To purists, the $80,000 Chevy Corvette Z06 doesn’t count as a supercar.)
The 2017 NSX, introduced earlier this year, arrived 11 years after Honda retired the original NSX, which debuted in 1991. The second generation, like the first, is an instant hit. Road & Track named it the performance car of the year, beating out the best from Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and other master automakers. Even criticism of the car—it’s too complicated, for example—is inherently praiseful. Since the NSX is a handmade, limited-production vehicle, some buyers are waiting years for their orders to be filled.
The starting price is around $157,000, with options easily pushing it past $200,000. But the NSX isn’t likely to be a profit machine. Acura, a division of Honda (HMC), won’t dish on the financials, but exotic vehicles like the NSX are typically referred to as “halo” cars meant to spice up a brand’s overall image. That allows the men in suits to say profitability doesn’t really matter, since the car is part marketing campaign, meant to show off the fancy engineering Acura is capable of. Its real purpose is to help sell more RLX sedans (which start around $55,000) and MDX people-movers ($44,000). Same DNA, and all that.
On my hunt for curves in upstate New York, I barely tested the capabilities of the NSX, which makes you wonder why anybody would buy a car of this caliber just to drive on ordinary roads. Maximum speed, NSX: 191 miles per hour. Maximum speed limit, New York State: 65 miles per hour. The car is built to go three times as fast as legally allowed on the fastest highway.
I got a better feel for its power and grip when race car driver Ryan Lewis, hired by Acura for the day, gave me an exhilarating ride around the Monticello track. You can’t quite tell from the video, but jinking from curve to curve at speeds well over 100 miles per hour made me dizzy, and glad when it was over. The NSX, I can confirm, is best enjoyed from the driver’s seat.
Via Rick Newman, Yahoo