The 2018 Acura NSX is an all-wheel-drive, mid-engine hybrid supercar that stands at the top of Acura lineup. It is a formidable technical achievement and a strong player though flawed in some ways.
For starters, the 2018 Acura NSX is powered by a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 and a nine-speed transmission that specially designed and build for the NSX. On top of that, there are three electric motors: one to help the engine and two in the front axle to provide traction and assist the handling. Its chassis is a mixture of aluminum and steel and has a magnetorheological variable damper all around.
The NSX advanced makes this exotic sports car easy to drive every day. Forget that it reached 60 mph in about 3 seconds and returns fuel economy like the Acura TL in the 1990s. The organic driving experience in the face of big complexity is the greatest achievement of the NSX.
However, although sophisticated, the NSX lack of taste. The V6 doesn’t have an exotic sound like its body, while its cabin borrows elements from Honda in the $ 20,000 range, and the styling, though safe and proportional, does not invite you to linger or admire. Meanwhile, its extensive hardware is completely hidden. That NSX has a Quiet mode but not a Loud mode speaks volumes.
The question is whether you see this as sweepstakes or turn-off. If the latter, you will probably find models like the McLaren 570S and Audi R8 more attractive.
The Acura NSX is unchanged for 2018.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Acura NSX only available as a two-door, two-seat coupe in a single specification. There are no other trim levels or body styles.
Standard features for the NSZ includes 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, adaptive suspension dampers (magnetorheological), LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and manually adjustable seats, leather and simulated suede upholstery, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, 7-inch touchscreen, AcuraLink smartphone connectivity system, and an eight-speaker sound system with two USB inputs.
There are some optional features for the 2018 Acura NSZ. The Technology package adds parking sensors, a navigation system and a nine-speaker premium ELS sound system with satellite radio. Packages that add an extra exterior and interior carbon-fiber trim are also available.
Stand-alone options include premium paint hues, upgraded performance summer tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, a carbon-fiber component (engine cover, roof panel, rear spoiler and interior trim), a different style of wheels, a simulated-suede headliner and power seats in two leather choices.
The 208 Acura NSX uses a hybrid powertrain starts with a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 500 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. With the hybrid componentry, the NSX maximum output grows to 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque. That power sent to the rear wheels through a nine-speed automated manual transmission.
The front wheel is not mechanically driven by the engine at all. Instead, each front wheel is connected to its own electric motor. The twin-motor front axle gives the NSX all-wheel drive and freedom in how and when the front wheels are driven. In exchange, the NSX can automatically add power to the outside front wheels while slowing the inside wheels through brake regeneration, thus increases the car eagerly when turns toward the corner. Also, the NSX can do the opposite to help correct an oversteer condition.
The third electric motor is fitted to the engine crankshaft to help smooth the gearshift and provides torque filling functions at low revs when the turbos have not fully reached the speed.
In performance testing, the 2018 Acura NSX accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds and 7.6 seconds to reach 100 mph. Top speed of 191 mph. That would put the NSX side by side with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8.
Fuel economy is the NSX advantage. The EPA rating stands at 21 mpg in combined driving (21 city/22 highway), which is better than any other rival sports car. But for hybrid, it’s worth noting. The 911 Turbo, with its 20 mpg combined rating, isn’t that far.
Release Dates and Price
The 2018 Acura NSX is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Key competitors include the McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 and Audi R8 coupe.
The 2018 Acura NSX has a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $158,000. Sit below the $166,000 Audi R8 V10 and $192,000 Porsche 911 Turbo S.