The Acura NSX Is Moving the Game Forward (Again)

Acura doesn’t want you to know the new NSX is a hybrid. And really, does it matter where the power comes from, as long as there’s a whole lot of it? The new NSX has got 573 horsepower that say no, power is power.


The Acura does everything a $200,000 sports car should: it’s fast and loud and it looks brilliant. There’s nothing its non-hybrid peers can do that it can’t, despite the fact it’s hauling around three extra motors and a big lithium-ion battery. Acura’s intention wasn’t to make a hybrid, but to create the next generation of sports cars. The idea was to move the whole game forward, just as the original NSX did. That just happened to involve using three electric motors working in concert with a twin-turbo V6.


The original NSX, by the way, has become a true collectible. Built from the early ’90s through 2005, it showed the industry that Japanese automakers could build world-class sports cars, too. Porsche took notice. McLaren used the NSX as a benchmark when it developed the F1 supercar. It was that good. But more than anything, the old NSX showed drivers they could have a sports car that was comfortable and reliable as well as thrilling and beautiful. Cars like that didn’t really exist until the NSX came along.


The fact is, it’s actually brilliant the car is a hybrid. The electric motors give it an advantage sprinting off the line, thanks to their instant torque. Having an electric motor at each front wheel means it’s easier to fine-tune handling behaviour, endowing the car with bubblegum grip through corners. Push the car to its limit and it feels like a rear-drive sports car, power-sliding on demand.


But if things get out of control, the front electric motors cut in to save you. It makes it unique among its fearsome rivals. The extra electric power is the ace up its exhaust pipe. All of which is to say, actually yes, it does matter where the power comes from.