Overview & Reviews
The Acura NSX was the first production car to feature aluminum construction for its body structure, body panels, suspension and engine. Its engine was the first to feature variable valve timing and a variable-volume intake manifold. It was the first Japanese sports car sold in America to truly go head-to-head with the world's best. And it came from an automotive brand that, at the time, had been in existence for just five years.
Despite being a car of innovative firsts, the Acura NSX never saw big sales numbers after its initial debut. After 15 years of production, Acura sold only about 8,900 NSXs; Chevrolet easily sells at least that many Corvettes in just one year.
Perhaps the NSX's fatal "flaw" was that it wasn't exotic enough. We'll see, as Acura will be trying again with an all-new NSX, slated to arrive for 2015. As a candidate for a used sports car, though, the first-generation NSX makes for a savvy choice. It's relatively rare, rewarding to drive and still looks every bit as exotic as it did in 1991. Plus, the lack of major revisions means that you can buy an earlier model and know that you're not missing out on much.
Upcoming Acura NSX
After many years of rumors and false starts, the Acura NSX is set to return by 2015. Shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in concept form, the next NSX, as expected, will be a midengine two-seater. It will be powered by a high-output V6 hybrid powertrain and sport Acura's latest version of its SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive) system as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Acura claims that the future NSX will provide "supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency."
Most Recent Acura NSX Models
The original Acura NSX went on sale as a 1991 model and continued uninterrupted through the 2005 model year. Product highlights included a midmounted V6 engine, aluminum body construction, solid build quality and crisp handling.
For its debut, the NSX featured a 3.0-liter V6. The engine was equipped with VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control) and a variable-volume intake manifold to increase power and tractability. Titanium connecting rods allowed a high redline. Developing 270 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, the engine sent its power to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. Acura also made a four-speed automatic available but with a reduced-output V6 (252 hp).
Acura used aluminum to build much of the car to keep curb weight at a minimum. Racecarlike double-wishbone suspension design was used at each corner. Standard equipment highlights included antilock brakes, automatic climate control and leather upholstery. In 1995, a targa-roof model (the NSX-T) became available.
Two years later the NSX finally received its first and only powertrain upgrade. The 1997 manual-equipped models featured a new six-speed transmission and a larger 3.2-liter engine producing 290 hp. Those with the automatic kept the previous 3.0-liter V6. A limited-production Alex Zanardi Edition was available for 1999; available only as a fixed roof coupe, it had special wheels and a more stiffly tuned suspension.
Acura performed its last NSX update in 2002. The coupe model was discontinued and out-of-fashion elements like flip-up headlights and monochromatic interior panels were axed in favor of fixed HID headlights and updated metallic-look trim. Functional changes included a firmer suspension (though it wasn't as stiff as the Zanardi's), larger wheels with wider tires, and a sequential-shift mode for the automatic transmission.
When it debuted, the NSX stood out more than just for its innovation. In the early '90s, most high-performance exotics suffered from poor visibility, awful ergonomics and very high running costs. The NSX demonstrated that high performance and a comfortable driving experience weren't mutually exclusive after all. Like it or not, the NSX was about as easy to drive as an Integra and just about as reliable.
Less defensible is that the car simply went on too long without a major redesign while the price crept up, the latter due more to exchange rates than any greed on Acura's part. By the time the new millennium hit, redesigned (and less expensive) competitors outclassed it in terms of performance and value by a significant margin.
Highlights of driving a used NSX include an easy-to-drive nature, excellent forward visibility, its sweet-sounding V6 and a very smooth shifter. The major downsides to the car are limited practicality and mediocre outright performance for an exotic. Finding an unmolested NSX might also be hard, as many cars have been modified with aftermarket parts over the years.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 108.00
My feel good car - 1991 Acura NSX
By governess54 - October 19 - 1:55 pm
I have owned my NSX for over a year, I was looking for a Z but when I saw the Black Beauty I had to have it, works flawlessly on short or long trips, you have to drive defensively because the car is so low (and trucks so tall) but when I'm in the mood for a rocking good time with plenty of [non-permissible content removed] I go for a drive . I have the 1991 with auto transmission and I would love to add the 2015 (manual) when are they going retail?
Supercar - 1998 Acura NSX
By khausmann - August 20 - 3:52 pm
Best car I have ever owned, which is saying a lot since I have had 69 cars. Beautiful from every angle, everyone wants to see it up close and ask about it. Many people have never heard of it, but most assume it is 2 or 3 years old and costs 100K or more. It is confused with a Ferrari a lot. It is comfortable, handles like it is on rails, great stereo, convertible. We drove from Colorado to Austin, never below 75 mph, and never got less than 26 mph.
One of the All-time Greats - 1991 Acura NSX
By phomat - July 29 - 12:00 am
Best irrational decision I ever made. Does very well as a car (fast, handles great, quiet when it should be and sounds incredible above 5000 rpm. But it's not really a car--it's a big trophy. It gets stares and attention wherever I go, particularly from 20-somethings. The other day I parked it at the Porsche dealer, where it was surrounded by cars costing 5 times as much. A couple arrived and made a beeline to the NSX, ogling it and ignoring all the expensive toys nearby. The only problem with it is that it's too nice to drive in traffic or park in parking lots.
NSX = Fun For Driving Enthusiasts - 1991 Acura NSX
By Pat - July 18 - 6:42 pm
I have owned this car for 2 years and never cease to have fun while driving it. It always pleases and never disappoints. Although it was 18 years old when purchased, after only a few maintenance items (suspension, brakes and dealer recommended engine maintenance) and a little TLC, the car runs and drives like new. It is now 20 years old and starts and drives like it came off the showroom floor. The engine has 119,000 miles and never skips a beat, even at the 8000 RPM red line. Incredible!
Amazing Bang for the Buck - 1991 Acura NSX
By Ninjaneer - April 19 - 11:35 am
This car has the highest fun factor of any I have owned in 40 years of driving. It's beautiful looks turns heads wherever I go and it is a LOT of fun at the track or on the street. It is amazing that a car nearly 20 years old can compete in every meaningful way with some of the very best of today. The handling is superb, ergonomics excellent, and the sound of that engine revving to 8000+ rpm right behind your head intoxicating! While I may buy additional cars, I can't see myself ever selling my NSX.
Best not-a-station-wagon car ever made - 1999 Acura NSX
By Rainbby - October 22 - 9:51 pm
This silver NSX-T has been our daily driver for ten years. Unless you're hauling goats to a vet, this is the best way for two people to get from here to there we've found in a pretty long life. We've owned a dozen cars in fifty years together. Over half were sports cars. Getting out can be a challenge at our age. Otherwise we've never had a car so satisfying in every way. I raced Formula Ford and I'm an aerospace engineer. This is a superbly designed car in all ways. We only get 21 mpg, but Corvette friends grimace at that. Our first clutch lasted 97K and both have been a pleasure to use. Headroom's fine for a 6 footer and someone has a tall mod.
Best car I have ever owned. - 1995 Acura NSX
By enkrypt3d - April 1 - 4:26 pm
This is my second NSX. My first one was a black 1991 NSX coupe. I kind of miss having the coupe due to the better handling, but the NSX-T can be a lot of fun in the summer time! My current NSX is a 95 Midnight Pearl. This thing turns heads and no one really knows what it is. I have many performance mods - custom coilovers suspension, stiffer sway bars, intake, headers, hiflo cats, and exhaust and this thing screams! It can out run just about anything on the road.
Absolute Dream - 2005 Acura NSX
By Shawn So. Cal - November 3 - 5:18 pm
I've had this car for almost 1 year. The drive is superb, tight, quick, and responsive. The style and attention to detail of the body hasn't been matched. Everywhere you go, people comment. One catch, it is mainly guys that comment, women have no clue what they are seeing, so if your goal is to attract women, buy a Ferrari or a Porsche. The women that do notice tend to know a lot about the history of the car and what it is. The look and feel of the drive is awesome. Recently drove an M6 with over 500hp and love the NSX even more. You feel like you are one with the road. The NSX is an extension of you and your skills. Anyone considering this car drive the others first, and you will see
Nothing like it. - 2004 Acura NSX
By six7777 - October 12 - 2:33 pm
To have this car in my garage, and drive it whenever I want, is a dream come true. This is my 2nd NSX, my first one was a white 1993. The 2004 is amazing. I have the yellow/yellow. The paint on this car is flawless. Just an amazing car in so many ways. Love the fact that not many people "get" what this car is all about. It's not about power, its about balance. You have to own one to understand. I have owned many cars, but nothing compares to the NSX, and I will have it for years to come.
Mine's a Red One - 1995 Acura NSX
By OZZY - October 3 - 3:05 pm
Don't even think about buying one without T-tops, what a blast. Just sounds terrific, handles great and there aren't many cars around that'll beat you away from a light. Holds two sets of golf clubs and gets amazing gas mileage. Built like a swiss watch and sturdy as a tank. And if you've ever driven a Viper, you won't miss the 200HP - NSX build quality and driveability leave the Dodge embarassed. Big wow factor, even at the club, too much fun for what I spent, pleased with my purchase.