- Terrifically versatile suspension
- Linear, responsive powertrain
- Spaceship styling
- Tiny cargo capacity
- Synthetic top-end sound enhancement
- Dated infotainment system
Acura NSX Expert Review
- Indy Yellow Pearl now available
The modern NSX is a hybridized, forced-induction, all-wheel-drive tribute to the automaker's first supercar, the game-changing first-gen NSX of the 1990s and early 2000s. Honda and Acura started teasing an NSX replacement all the way back in 2007 with the Advanced Sports Car concept, and we previewed the production car's design with the the NSX concept in 2012. After the production model's release for the 2017 model year, the NSX received a mid-cycle refresh for 2019 with new interior and exterior color options, light styling changes, revised suspension components, and different tires.
At first, hybrids were efficient; then they were flagship hypercars. With the new NSX, Acura brings performance hybridization to the relative masses in a car that costs no more than a well-optioned Porsche 911. And what's beautiful about the NSX is how well its hybrid powertrain has been tuned and integrated.
Cooperation between the electric motors and the mid-mounted twin-turbo V-6 is near seamless, and the result feels stronger than its 573-hp rating might suggest. There's linearity to its delivery, too—the NSX is immediately responsive to your every input and manages to almost feel naturally aspirated. We also called its light, precise steering feel "McLaren-like" in its execution, which is a major compliment.
We praised the magnetic shock-assisted suspension, as well. Depending on the drive mode, it can feel as supple and docile as an Accord and as stiffly buttoned down as a Civic Type R, and that's no small feat. Alongside that compliance, the NSX chassis also delivers what we labeled "a disgusting amount of grip," and the electric torque vectoring on the front axle augments what is already an excellent platform—no wonder the NSX is a recent comparison test winner. It's the best hybrid performance car on the market without question.
Before we get into performance, we can tell you this thing goes like gosh darn heck. Total combined output sums to 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque from a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 that works in concert with a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic, two electric motors on the front axle, and a third electric motor between the engine and transmission. Our First Test of a 2020 NSX recorded the hybrid supercar reaching 60 in just 3.0 seconds and clearing the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 124.0 mph. Fuel economy is great for a supercar, measuring 21/22 mpg city/highway.
Our figure-eight course serves as a dynamic snapshot of a car that allows us to get a feel for full-throttle acceleration, peak braking, lateral limitations, and the transitions between each of those phases. With a figure-eight time of 23.8 seconds at 0.87 g (avg), the 2020 NSX is quite the performer. Around that course, it's faster than an Aston Martin DB11, a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, and a Jaguar F-Type SVR, and it records the same time as the legendary Porsche Carrera GT. Not to mention, the 23.8-second lap was recorded on the standard Continental SportContact 6 tires, not the grippier, more aggressive Pirelli Trofeo R.
With an engine in the middle, there's only room for two seats in the NSX. Legroom measures 42.8 inches, which provides enough space for all but the longest-legged drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, while most mid-engine cars have a front trunk, the NSX's electric hardware eliminates that possibility. The diminutive cargo hold behind the engine has just 3.9 cubic feet of volume.
The NSX features a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system paired with nine-speaker ELS Studio audio. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support are standard on all models, as is integrated navigation with real time traffic information. There's also an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster display and two USB charge ports.
2020 Acura NSX
The NSX is only offered in one trim level but there are plenty of optional extras. No-cost paint options include 130R White, Curva Red, and Berlina Black; anything other than those three will set you back. Premium color options, which are a $1,000 extra, consist of the new Indy Yellow Pearl, in addition to Thermal Orange Metallic, Source Silver Metallic, and Casino White Pearl. Acura's "Andaro" colors, including Valencia Red Pearl and Nouvelle Blue Pearl, are $6,000 options.
As far as wheels, the signature Y-spoke design is standard, and an interwoven wheel design is available for $1,500. You can also swap the Continental SportContact 6 tires for extra-grippy Pirelli Trofeo R rubber, again for $1,500. There are also brake options; iron units are standard and carbon ceramic brakes are available as a $9,900 option. Each brake setup can be visually augmented with red calipers for an additional $700.
Let's talk carbon. The Carbon Fiber Exterior Sport package adds a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts, and engine cover for a cool $12,600. A carbon fiber roof and rear spoiler are available for $6,000 and $3,000, respectively. The Carbon Fiber Interior Sport package adds carbon trim and an Alcantara headliner; it'll set you back an additional $3,800.
In terms of seating, semi-aniline leather and Alcantara four-way power seats are standard, and Milano leather and Alcantara manual seats are available as a no-cost option. Semi-aniline full leather power seats are listed as a $1,000 option.