When it was relaunched for 2017, the Acura NSX proved to be much like the original. An attainable supercar that was equal parts technology and performance. Well, believe it or not, Acura has already done some tweaking on the NSX; addressing both technology and performance. So let’s hit the track and see if it still makes for a terrific combination.
Just two years ago, we declared the re-born Acura NSX 100% true to its heritage and well worth the wait. But, Acura felt they could do better; thus we’re here at Roebling Road Raceway with an updated 2019 NSX.
Primary hardware changes come from stiffer antiroll bars and bushings. Standard tires upgrade to the latest version of the Continental SportContacts; 6, replacing the previous 5Ps. Though the more track-focused Pirelli P Zeros of our test car are still an option.
Over on the software side, the front electric motors, active damping, electric power steering, and vehicle stability systems all get upgraded to best deploy the additional tire grip whenever you initiate the turn sequence.
Overall power output of 573-horsepower and 476 lb-ft. of torque doesn’t change; and of course 500 of those ponies comes from the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that is proudly built in Ohio, and gets fed strictly to the rear wheels. The other 73 come from the front-mounted Twin Motor Unit, providing all-wheel-drive traction to the fronts, and can even power the whole car in Quiet mode at speeds up to 50 miles-per-hour, providing the right conditions are met.
After hitting the track for just a few laps, any intimidation factor we may have had coming in, quickly disappears; as the NSX almost magically becomes an extension of yourself. The car is so fast, yet so predictable; that you may even find yourself not thinking about things as much as you should be. Not to worry, there are a whole host of processes being performed behind the scenes, manipulating everything to get you into, through, and out of corners as quickly and precisely as possibly.
Turns flow together easily, and the car feels almost serene even at high speeds. You never really feel like you’re flogging, just slicing through the track with accuracy like nothing else in the supercar field.
The updates have made it perhaps a little more track-focused than before, and Acura claims it’s two seconds quicker around the Suzuka Circuit; but it still feels exactly like what you’d expect from a superhero Honda.
Transmission remains a 9-speed DCT, which provides quick, timely shifts that are never too hard.
The NSX also launches from a standstill with absolute precision. Nothing but grip when taking off, and it can feel downright intense inside. It even sounds spectacular behind the wheel, as you streak to 60 in just 3.1-seconds.
But that sound is of course, actively enhanced and piped directly into the cabin, but so what? Outside, it doesn’t sound so great, but those offended will only have to listen to it for the 11.3-seconds it takes to complete the ¼-mile at 125 mile-per-hour.
Now, if you see this NSX sitting still, you’ll notice some exterior tweaks as well.
Black exterior trim changes from matte to glossy, grille trim goes from silver to body-color, and if you elect to add the Carbon Fiber Exterior Sports Package, you’ll find a shinier finish there also.
Inside, you can now have leather in Indigo Blue or full Red if you choose; but the bigger news is that a lot of what was previously optional, such as the Technology Package and the Alcantara-trimmed sport seats, is now standard.
But, we do have to point out that that Technology Package includes an infotainment system that doesn’t even measure up to what you can get in a Civic these days.
Totally up to date is the NSX’s Integrated Dynamics System. It features drive modes for Quiet, Sport, Sport+, and Track. They’re about as comprehensive as it gets, controlling throttle, brake, and steering response, all-wheel-drive power distribution, suspension settings, stability assistance, and of course active sound enhancement.
The NSX’s modest updates come with a modest price increase as well; base pricing is up $1,500 to $159,300. But if you factor in the additional content that now comes standard, you’re getting more car for less money than before.
Tremendously capable, more competent than ever, the 2019 Acura NSX goes about track work with robotic precision like no other car. It may not be the game-changer that it was when the original debuted 30-years ago, but it still holds a truly unique space in the supercar world.
Engine: 3.5 liter
Torque: 476 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
1/4 mile: 11.3 seconds @ 125 mph