2019 Acura NSX First Look: Mid-Engine Hybrid Supercar Gets Refreshed


In just its third year on the market, Acura is giving its NSX mid-engine hybrid all-wheel-drive supercar a relatively thorough refresh. Along with gently enhancing the aesthetics, the options list has come in for some rationalization, and the chassis team has made a dynamic tweak or two. We fervently hope the handling tweaks will address some areas of improvement we highlighted when the spanking-new NSX made a bid for Best Driver’s Car honors in our November 2016 competition, finishing in eighth place.



View 41 Photos

Let’s start there. After his lapping session, our resident hot-shoe Randy Pobst complained that the car was overly sensitive to weight transfer on corner entry. Load the nose with just a bit too much trail-braking, and the car responded with excessive, time-robbing oversteer. Others noted that the NSX demanded an unconventional driving style—too much braking before a turn followed by more acceleration than usual to force the torque-vectoring front axle to work its magic pulling the car through. The fix (hopefully): larger anti-roll bars at both ends that increase roll stiffness by 26 percent in front and by 19 percent at the rear. We’re not sure how the front and rear roll stiffness percentages compared on the original, but our test car behaved like the front was rolling enough to dig in and allow the stiffer rear end to slide, so this modification sounds like progress.

Rear toe-control link bushings that are 21 percent stiffer and rear hubs that are 6 percent more rigid should reduce any lateral slop that might have permitted undesirable passive rear-steering effects. The last hardware change is an upgrade of the standard Continental tires from ContiSportContact 5Ps to SportContact 6s. The new footwear features a revised tread pattern, updated internal construction, and a tweaked rubber compound, all of which is targeted at improving handling in all conditions. (The Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires that we had on our BDC test car remain a $1,500 dealer-installed option.)



View 41 Photos

On the software side, the calibrations of all related subsystems—the Super Handling all-wheel-drive power unit, active magnetorheological dampers, electric power steering gear, and stability control system—were revised to capitalize on the new chassis hardware and the grippier tires.

To make it easier for buyers to get what they really want, a bunch of past options are now standard, including the ELS premium audio system (was $2,800); the semi-aniline leather/Alcantara power seats (they were $1,500—the formerly standard manual Milano/Alcantara seats remain a no-cost option, and the price of full leather with power drops from $2,500 to $1,000); and aluminum sport pedals (these used to be packaged with the $2,900 carbon-fiber interior). Acura reckons the newly free stuff is worth $4,700, but it’s only hiking the base price by $1,500.