2020 Acura NSX Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos
Hybrids might conjure up images of a Prius puttering along in the far-right lane, but the NSX showcases the very real potential of hybrid technology when applied to high-performance applications. We give it a 10 out of 10.
The specifics are impressive: a mid-engined 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 has been mated an electric motor, to which Acura has bolted up the 9-speed dual-clutch automatic. From there power gets sent to the rear tires—and also up to the fronts, where dual electric motors and a battery pack turn the NSX into an all-wheel-drive performer.
No doubt, this is some fancy engineering, and it’s certainly not of the Colin Chapman school of thought—at 3,878 pounds, this is a machine that is not light nor simple. But the 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque it puts out is plenty to overcome all that mass and complexity. The NSX will storm to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds flat; keep your foot to the floor for a little longer and you’ll eventually reach a maximum velocity of 191 mph.
Ride and handling
All this fancy hardware might sound like it would neuter the experience, but it doesn’t. The NSX has been tuned to be talkative, understandable, and high-fidelity. All that front grip gets distilled back to the driver without getting lost in computer translation. It’s surprisingly natural for such an advanced piece of work, which can be credited to the wishbone suspension and magnetic dampers—and some serious engineering talent.
If you want to put those front motors to work, engage Track mode. This is where the ultimate performance of the NSX is unleashed; you can feel corners are being carved with more precision and the car comes into the straights with more authority. The 9-speed is also more responsive and snaps off shifts without mercy. It’s one of the fastest gearboxes we’ve had the joy of sampling.
Normally the car defaults to Sport mode, which is perfect for putting a grin on your face on public roads. If you’re not trying to disturb the neighbors there’s a Quiet mode that keeps revs down and gives full control to the electric battery and motors.
Other than the propensity to understeer in certain corners—which can be reined in with a quick lift of the throttle and a touch of the brakes— the whole of the NSX’s parts make one gem of a track car. It’s fast and capable, yet forgiving; a few laps will make a track hero out of an ordinary driver if they just tune in to what the car is telling them during a hot lap.
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