2018 Acura NSX Review

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2018 Acura NSX Overview

The second-generation Acura NSX had been long overdue when it finally hit the streets in 2017, marking the end of a 12-year hiatus for the nameplate. Since it’s so new, there are no changes to report for 2018.

The exterior of the NSX is an interesting mix of sharp creases and curves that embody the latest in Acura styling. The shield-shaped front grille signature and “jewel-eye” LED headlights are part of the brand’s identity, and are represented quite beautifully here. Yet the sweeping buttresses, giant intakes--10 of them in total--and overall shape of the NSX are, by definition, unique to it within the lineup. Acura employs plenty of carbon fiber to make up the body while keeping weight to a minimum. The interior isn’t as impressive, but there’s plenty to love in the geometric forms, high-tech displays, and ergonomic seating position.

The NSX is one of a growing number of supercars that houses an all-wheel drive (AWD) performance hybrid system within its shapely flanks. It combines a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine with three electric motors and a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, for a total of 573 horsepower and 426 pound-feet of torque. The engine, transmission, and a single motor work in concert to send power to the rear wheels. Meanwhile, the other two motors independently power the front wheels. Thanks to this arrangement, the NSX is able to shoot to 60 miles per hour in about 3 seconds.

Beyond that, the NSX employs all sorts of electronic magic for drama-free performance, including the ability to distribute power to individual wheels as demands dictate. Large carbon-ceramic brakes are available, but even the standard iron units are potent. The NSX also has what Acura calls its Integrated Dynamics system, with four distinct modes: Quiet, Sport, Sport +, and Track. The NSX can even cruise for short distances under full electric power. And with 21 miles per gallon city, 22 highway, and 21 combined, it’s a guilt-free affair.

But the NSX isn’t just a performance toy; it makes good on promises of luxury, too. Standard equipment includes manual leather/Alcantara seats, a 7-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a premium audio system with 8 speakers and a subwoofer, keyless access and start, Bluetooth, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, a garage-door opener, a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster, and a valet mode. Power seats and memory settings for the driver are optional.

Safety wise, the NSX gets a reversing camera and plenty of airbags. Surprisingly, for such a high-tech vehicle, no advanced features like blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control are on offer. As it’s such a niche vehicle, the NSX has not been crash-tested by any major agency.

The Acura NSX continues to be the ultimate expression of a company dedicated to technology and sportiness. The advanced powertrain and background wizardry combine to let even novice drivers exploit its performance.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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