As much as it is about performance, a supercar isn’t a supercar if it doesn’t look the part. Needless to say, the designers behind the 2020 Acura NSX scrolled Instagram enough to translate that look into something very palpable. Our Curva Red tester doesn’t have a bad side when feasting the eyes on it from any angle, but this influencer manages to balance substance and style: Suggesting it packs power and race track readiness, but also would fit right in while pulling up in a red carpet event or for a quick errand run in Malibu.
The sleek and distinctive, low-sitting shape is a thing of beauty. However, it’s knowing that each curve and angle has a specific aerodynamic or cooling function that underscores this supercar. The model we took out for a spin had the extras that made it even more exquisite. Namely, the Carbon Fiber Exterior Sport Package, which wraps the engine with a carbon fiber cover and costs $12,600.
The carbon fiber roof ($6,000) and rear decklid spoiler ($3,000) were the other elements that spiced up an already haute supercar. The carbon-ceramic rotors with red brake calipers are an awesome addition to put an extra touch on the tires, although it will set you back $10,600.
For all of the sharp supercar exterior, the interior is down-to-earth and ordinary. It’s as if Acura decided to iterate the TLX interior, with a lower roofline. The dashboard controls and buttons harken to what you’ll see in just about any Honda and Acura. It’s simple to the point where it’s almost bland, saved perhaps with the extras such as the Carbon Fiber Sport Package with Alcantara headliner ($3,800). The interior does feature premium materials, including leather seats, but that’s something to hardly bat an eyelash at considering this NSX’ price point.
Not all hybrids necessarily have to look like a Prius, and the NSX is front-and-center in its ability to showcase what hybrid technology can do in a high-performance supercar. The NSX is powered by a mid-engined 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, which is paired with an electric motor and a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The power is pushed to the rear tires, but also to the front as well. Up there, dual electric motors and a battery pack generate the hybrid power, which turns this supercar into an all-wheel-drive champ.
The hybrid powertrain does add weight and more parts, meaning the NSX tips in at a gargantuan 3,878 pounds. It does generate 573 hp and 476 lb.-ft of torque to juice up the performance to levels you’d expect from a supercar. And by levels, we mean 0-60 sprint in 2.9-3.0 seconds, with the top-out speed of 191 mph.
If there’s one reason that the NSX is amicable to the daily commute it’s the Sport mode, which we had in default. This mode eschews complex hydraulics for NSX’ static suspension, which provides enough comfort for the driver and passengers. It’s a smooth ride, with equally smooth gear shifts, even if the powertrain overall is quite stiff.
In Quiet mode, the NSX taps into the small battery to run on electric power only, and it’s quite the serene stroll. While Sport has electric-only ability too, it’s only partial. Turn the knob to Sport Plus and the NSX tips the hat to its racing DNA. The energy pumped into the engine is felt, and the V-6 engine clearly pulls on its three electric motors – two up front, one in the back – to propel itself to the max.
The torque’s instant gratification is one thing, but the NSX really impressed in cornering and as the front axle responds to the road. The handling is delicately balanced, as any excessive speed will be nicely tempered by the optional carbon-ceramic rotors. If you haven’t figured we had quite the joyride, let me emphasize that it’s everything that we imagined it to be, and more.
The base price for the 2020 Acura NSX is $157,000. With all the extras outfitted, the total price tag comes out to a lofty $194,000.
Supercars are created to cater to the whims of the rich and famous, whose tastes are defined by luxury and exclusivity. When it comes to its looks and power, Acura NSX delivers to these whims. As gamely as it is, though, there’s no doubt it has a hard road to climb considering who its rivals are in terms of legacy and looks.
From the BMW i8, which cedes a bit in performance but picks up efficiency, or the Audi R8 V-10, which is more traditional but has the V-10 growl and would be a solid choice for daily driving, the competition is robust.
Other supercars in the category include the Lamborghini Huracan, which recently added an Evo edition and features an oasis of digital displays inside the cabin. For all the innovation, the traditional Porsche 911 Turbo is also a rival, at the very least due to timeless appeal.
Photo Credit: Copyright 2021 Angel Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog