By on February 11, 2011


Every time I see an early NSX— which, sadly, isn’t often— it reinforces my belief that the early 1990s were a golden age for the automobile. You had decent electronic engine controls instead of carburetors (and primitive might-as-well-be-carburetors 80s EFI), model bloat hadn’t gotten totally out of hand, and the SUV revolution hadn’t yet caused cup holders and other McMansion-esque gear to metastasize from every interior surface of every vehicle. Sure, we’re now living in the Golden Age Of Engines— there’s no arguing with the horsepower and efficiency numbers we’re seeing from internal combustion these days— but I’ll take the early 1990s. And the NSX.

I shot this car in San Francisco a couple of years back, while in transit to the nightmarish Gumball 3000 kickoff, and I was reminded of the photos when I spotted a black mid-90s NSX cruising through the snow in Denver earlier this week.

While the Miata’s “like an MGB, only you can actually drive the thing” concept inspired legions of worshipers, the NSX never really inspired the same sort of passion among North American car freaks (even given the $65,000-versus-$13,400 price tag comparison in 1992).

Speaking of price tags, the ’3,010-pound/270-horsepower ’92 NSX listed at about a grand more than the 3,031-pound/250-horsepower ’92 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 coupe. You could also get a ’92 ZR1 Corvette for a few hundred bucks more than the NSX, which would have given you a mighty 375 horses in a 3,465-pound machine; sure, the build quality might not have been in the same universe as the Acura or the Porsche, but what a deal! Say you were time-machined back to 1992 with a suitcase full of cash and had to choose, which would it be: the NSX, 911, or ZR1?

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102 Comments on “Down On The Street: 1992 Acura NSX Braves Streets of San Francisco...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    This car had the most comfortable seats I’ve ever experienced.  As the French say, “They fit your ass like a hand.”

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve been valeting cars for 2 1/2 years, I’ve driven 3 NSX’s, two first gen and one second.  The second gen I drove first; 5 speed, hard clutch, it didn’t feel like a S2000′s or Civics, a little shorter too; very Honda like controls, lights, locks, windows, and dash.  It was red and a little riced out (the resort I was working at was having an Asian wedding).  The two first generations were more enjoyable, one a ’95, the other I never looked.  The pop-up head lights popped up and came on fluidly, same hard, short clutch; short throwing 5 speed and Honda controls.  All sported Acura badges, though the second gen that the Asian was driving had a Mugen Honda badge on the front, that I MADE sure was parked along the front entrance of the resort along side Bentleys, S classes and Ferraris.

      They definitely felt like an experience driving them and you can tell there’s some power in there, but trying to sprint past a more powerful Corvette or Ferrari and the car ends up coming up for air.  More expensive than a Corvette, far cheaper than a Ferrari.  It’s really for the Japanese car guy.

      I’m a Honda lover, which always fuel my love for this car and made me absolutely ecstatic to drive.  However, I’ve driven many more Ferraris, Corvettes, Porsches, Astons and Lamborghinis (all cars that the NSX was supposed to be associated with) and save for the Corvette, the NSX was far too Honda like to be anywhere near those cars on a luxury, prestige level.
      Damn, I mean the car did have a 16 year product run, that’s gotta say something.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    I knew a couple guys in the mid to late 90s with NSXs.  Oddly enough, all Asian.
     
    I delivered pizzas in one in a 98 model in 1999/2000.  Oddly enough, I got a lot of odd looks.

  • avatar
    epsilonkore

    I would pick the NSX simply knowing they would only make this one model (with a mild refresh) and end production in a long 16 year run. You see Porsche 911 and Corvettes all the time, various generations and years, but the NSX was (to date) a one time event for Honda/Acura in the USA. That and the fact that it STILL looks great all these years. To me, it and the mid 90′s Supra, were responsible for pushing GM into making the better quality Corvettes we enjoy now (not to mention giving them a few design cues in their next generation exterior). Granted Porsche had excellent quality at that time, so did Nissan with the Skyline in Asia, but Honda/Acuras first and only go here was a home run success for a halo car, even if sales were less than stunning after averaging over 16 years.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Back when Acura meant something other then ugly Euro Accord and lifted wagons called CUVs. The NSX was one of the greatest cars ever built… however like most master pieces it was slightly too advanced and thus too expensive for its time.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    The NSX is to sports cars what the LS400 is to luxury cars.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    An under appreciated classic for sure, although if I had one I would paint it all one color.

  • avatar
    cfclark

    An extreme example to be sure, but (like the Element, or the S2000, or…) another Honda/Acura model brought out to much acclaim and then left to die on the vine, almost as if Honda got bored and wandered off to do something else.
     
    When I was in grad school at the U. of Wisconsin in the mid-90s, I used to see several of these piloted by undergrads–apparently it was the cool car to get one’s parents to buy you for college if you were a wealthy kid from Hong Kong (per a not-so wealthy HKer friend who drove a secondhand Civic at the time).

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Even better, you could use it to pay for college.  If you drove it for IIRC 2 years in the US, you could export it back to Hong Kong tax free.  With car taxes in excess of 100% you might make 50k on a car like a NSX.

      http://www.mercedes-benz.com.hk/content/hongkong/mpc/mpc_hongkong_website/enng/home_mpc/passengercars/home/new_cars/price_list.html

      I’m not if these numbers are before or after tax but in Hong Kong an E350 starts at nearly 100k USD.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      As I mentioned in a prior post, I knew a few Asian guys on my east coast campus who were driving these around as undergrads and the guys *I* knew had bought them with their own money that they’d earned from taking a year off and working in the nascent dotcom industry.  Very small campus and undergrad pop, so it was like the year of the NSX invasion.
       
      The wealthiest kid from Hong Kong I knew was actually a white guy who drove a hand me down Ford Explorer with manual everything.  Except for the transmission.  That was automatic.  (We’re talking hung out with the Aga Khan’s kids in Swiss boarding school money.)

    • 0 avatar
      roadracer

      First one I ever saw in the flesh was in Madison.  Younger guy was driving it, and there were two hot young babes in the passenger’s seat.  That guy had it made.  I was driving a $500 Sentra at the time.

  • avatar

    Well, in a way, I still live in the early 90s.
     
    My daily driver is a 92 Mitsubishi Galant VR4, and my race car project is a 91 Galant VR4.
     
    What’s all this noise about cupholders and stuff? My Galants have two apiece, though they’re mostly afterthoughts; plastic armrest inserts affectionately known to Galant owners as “cup throwers.”
     
    Oh, um, I guess I’d take the Porsche, given the provided choices.

  • avatar

    Q: “Say you were time-machined back to 1992 with a suitcase full of cash and had to choose, which would it be: the NSX, 911, or ZR1?”
    A: “I’d first check the dealership/maintenance facilities in my near vicinity, before making a decision.”
    But the NSX would be my first choice. Poor man’s Ferrari, of course. Even Italian restaurant owners drove it, of course.
    My then favorite Italian restaurant owner loved it, especially, as he owned a Ferrari 400i before. Me too, when we drove around.

  • avatar

    Beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in white!

  • avatar
    DearS

    I may just take an NSX over a new ZR1 and C2S.

  • avatar
    hurls

    I took my $13,800 Miata (yep,that’s exactly what I paid for it) for a canyon run with my neighbor in his NSX and a bunch of his NSX buddies.  Needless to say I was in the back :)  It was a hell of a lot of fun watching them and listening to them — they actually caused a gawker-running-into-the-back-of-the-car-in-front-of-him crash a stoplight, which seems to prove they’re not unpopular.
    Yeah, I’d probably take the NSX over the same-era 911 or Z06, but I would be worried as hell about ever denting it… are Acura dealers even maintaining their aluminium body work expertise now that the NSX is long gone?
    I do agree… early 90s weren’t quite there compared to today’s monstrous HP ratings (hell, the 211 HP of my wife’s A4 is the most of any car I’ve ever owned, would have been huge for a compact/midsized station wagon back then, but is below average now)… not too much crap, not too much bloat, but potentially reliable and “hey it just works” as hell. Not sure we haven’t gone downhill from there with things like DI and more ubiquitous turbocharging.

  • avatar
    obbop

    One of the few car critters I would opt for (but not pay for) over an early 70s Duster 340.
    As stated, if given gratis and am comparing to vehicles I would have to pay for.
    I couldn’t afford a 1971 Plymouth GTX 440 6-pack or whatever the proper term for that engine combo was (varied among Mopar makes of that era) but a Duster might be affordable but unwilling to forgo what I would have to relinquish as proclaimed by the might Picard unit:
     
    “Make it so.”

  • avatar
    segar925

    This is just about the only Acura I’d care to own.  Does anyone else wonder what the hell happened to Acura?

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Any integra with a stick? Vigor? Legend? TL? All cars worthy of ownership. I won’t argue that their current design direction is divisive but you guys act like they’ve started building unreliable, inefficient and generally terrible cars when your only gripes are over aesthetics.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    Continuing the line about Miata-MG-B, an NSX is a Ferrari that you can drive.
    Lovely car, still not outdated appearance, engineering brilliance all over. 
    Would love to own one, the broblem though is not just the price of the entrance ticket, but the annual membership fees (cost of upkeep).
    And I am simply too scared to think of the price for all that wonderful all-alluminum body repairs…

    Early 90s were great because engines were sufficiently clean but still relatively simple, reliable and many could last for eternity.
    Horse power rating is only half the story, as torque is just as important. As well as reliable application thereof to the driven wheels for many many years and miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      Continuing the line about Miata-MG-B, an NSX is a Ferrari that you can drive.

      Exactly. The first time I saw one, I was wonderng what new Ferrari it was.  Then I got closer and saw it was an Acura, whoa.  Still love its appearance today, though I’d want one in black.  Haven’t seen one in years.

      I’ll never forget the “Cops” episode where they are trying to catch an NSX, and it just flies by them then flies off the road.  The cop says, if that guy knew how to drive we would have never caught him.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      But you only need to repair the aluminum body it you crack it up. The rest of the time, an NSX was the supercar with the Honda Accord maintenance costs.

  • avatar
    twotone

    I’ve met the owner of the black NSX here in Denver. He bought it brand new and it’s his daily driver and only car. I guess any car can work as a daily driver if you are dedicated enough.

  • avatar
    MBella

    I agree too that this era was the best. They were computerized enough to provide reliability, but not overcomplicated to ruin the driving experience. Many people consider the F40 the greatest super-car for this reason.
    Out of the three choices I would take the ZR1, because it seems even more rare. Even though they stickered for more than the NSX, some dealers had some deals. My dad almost bought a leftover ’90 model in ’91 for $35K, and instead settled on a regular model for $27 because he liked the color more. This is a decision I have not been able to understand.

    • 0 avatar

      Not that rare. I know a guy who has two. One he keeps under a cover in his driveway and drives now and then and a pristine one he keeps in storage. The one under the cover is kind of ratty, but it still has that engine.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      Also, engine parts for the ZR-1 are becoming much more expensive and hard to find.  The LT-5 doesn’t really share much with the rest of the chevy engine family, except for it’s displacement.  I’ve seen several of these at bargain-basement prices lately.  Still, an exciting car.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    My dad asks me this all the time: Acura NSX, Corvette or Porsche? My answer’s always the same: I can drive around five Levittown sections and see 20 Corvettes and a Porsche. I can drive around all of Bucks County and maybe see two NSXs. Give me the NSX, luxury, power and handling all in one. This and the second generation Legend are Acura’s best cars period. The Integra is a tarted up Civic and I’ll take the 90º V6s in the NSX and Legends over the four-cylinder in the Integra anyday.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      A tarted up civic? Do you actually know what the very significant differences between the two cars are or do you just like the way that incorrect characterization rolls off your tongue?

    • 0 avatar
      Ian Anderson

      My bad there- I forgot the Integra wasn’t based (at least not completely) off the Civic’s platform.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      It is very similar to the Civic in the sense that is shares almost all the hard points but that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Up to 200hp in stock trim, bigger brakes, more aggressive suspensions, better seats, better looking… Maybe you didn’t mean anything by it but trivializing such a great car because it shares quite a bit of DNA with a “lesser” econobox doesn’t seem right. If you want to build an absolute riot of a car that your grandmother could drive every day for 15 years and will still embarrass almost anything out there you take all the relevant parts off an integra and put them in a 5g Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I used to drive a 1987 Integra, manual.   It was built on the Civic platform, but with a better tuned suspension. It was also equipped with a relatively rare-at-the-time DOHC engine (no V-TEC yet).  And it had a coefficient of drag of 0.34.   Not a tarted-up Civic, the Integra was described by auto journalists as what a Civic wanted to be when it grows up.  The Integra was awesome and ahead of its time.
      When the NSX debuted, I was drooling,  Answering the original question, I’d definitely choose the NSX!
       

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    You drive one of these and you put Kumho’s on it?!!! Please. BTW, that “you” is for the owner, not anyone on the list.

    Still stunning after all these years. Of course I’d still take the Porsche but that’s because I couldn’t get my fat ass out of anything else but a 911.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I’d probably want the NSX, you just don’t see many of them and I like the idea of a Ferrari with Honda reliability.  My only issue is they should have put a turbo on them from the factory, I don’t like the idea of a “supercar” getting beat by a similar-era Camaro.   The 993′s though were the best Porsche’s, they really oozed quality and class.  The only issue is, 911′s in general are a dime a dozen and a bit boring.
     
    I have a low opinion of the ZR1, they were quick, but a V8 that had under 400hp is just not that big of a deal, and certainly not worth twice the price of a regular Corvette.  A few bolt ons on a regular LT1 and you’re close enough. The early 90′s C4 Vettes also had craptastic interiors that were laughable (hello Knight Rider),  just not in the same league as the competition for the money.

    • 0 avatar
      protomech

      Well.. the modern equivalents still occupy roughly the same positions.
       
      2011 Porsche 911 base: 0-60 4.7s, $78k
      2011 Lotus Evora: 0-60 4.9s, $75k
      2011 Corvette ZR1: 0-60 3.4s, $110k (ZR1 has moved more up-market since)
      2011 Camaro 1SS: 0-60 4.8s, $31k

  • avatar
    CamaroKid

    A great car that only lacked a decent engine… Honda and Acura continue to bring butter knives to gun fights…  By mid 1992 you could order near 300 HP engines in Cadillac’s being marketed to senior citizens. 270 hp in 1992 was at best “ho hum” no where near “super car” class… Honda builds a super car and then gives it a engine lacking at least 2 cylinders.

    • 0 avatar

      Really?  Keep in mind you’re just coming out of an era where any car with above 150hp was doing pretty good.  The Northstar was an 8-cylinder engine getting 275/300hp out of 4.6 liters of displacement.

      The NSX had a 6-cylinder engine that got 270hp out of 3.0 liters of displacement.  A smaller, zingier engine getting power figures nearly matching a semi-lazy V8.  And it was more reliable, to boot.

      The NSX got its supercar bonafides from its overall performance, not just by how many ponies it was packin’.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Yes really,  in 1992 Porsche made more power, Vette did too, and MB and BMW… It was a the runt of the Horse power liter… No need to look at Ferrari, or Jag, or Lambo is there…  The NSX COULD have been a GREAT car.. it just needed another 100 HP…  It also needed another liter of displacement.

      There is a reason that so few of these were sold… By 1993 a $30,000 Camaro was just as fast… by 1998 both Mullet Camaros, and Mustangs were embarasing this “super” car.

      If/when Honda brings back this car… What to bet that they DON’T repeat this error.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda made the mistake of not keeping up with its contemporaries horsepower-wise, but I’d still take one over the aforementioned BMWs, Porsches, etc.
      And I’d definitely take one over the Camaro and Corvette.  No offense, kid, but I’d rather enjoy a well put together package than just having loads of power with miserable interior and build quality.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      For mullet aficionados I suppose “going fast” is exclusive to straight lines. Short of today’s Mustang and Camaro, a 1992 NSX would slaughter any variant of either car anywhere except a drag strip. Don’t be ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      Perhaps the NSX was a “runt” as far as horsepower was concerned, but it was also lighter in comparison to most of the other vehicles you mentioned.
       
      And don’t get us started on the weight of a Camaro…and by that I mean almost any Camaro, of any year.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      It’s worth noting that the NSX had the straight line edge over the Camaro all through the 90′s and early 2000′s and was only at a slight disadvantage to the Mustang. That small disadvantage becomes moot when a turn shows up.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      No issue with any of that… just a simple observation… if you are going to build and market a super car… it needs super car performance numbers.  This car did not have it.  period… There is a reason these cars did not sell, did not come close to sales targets, lost money, and were ultimately CANCELED.
      My point was not that I would take a Camaro over this… I wouldn’t.  My point was that within a year or two of this “super car’s” introduction it was not only outclassed by EVERY other uber sports car and high-end coupe… But it was getting shellacked by cars costing less then half as much… WAY less then half as much.   Shoot by the time this car was canceled a front wheel drive maxima was making almost as much power.

      Lets review… This car had a great suspension, perfect balance, a wonderful interior, amazing seats, a drop dead gorgeous body… and no balls under the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Everything you just wrote is either patently false or irrelevant and you’re ignoring the fact that, while it wasn’t the fastest straight line car in the world, it could handle with all of them and cost significantly less to purchase and maintain than any other exotic. You’re making a terrible argument , take your ball and go home.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      itsgotvtakyo.. You got me,  I stand corrected.

      Let me fix my post as per your observation.

      This car had a lousy suspension, terrible balance, a awful interior, uncomfortable seats, a ugly as sin body… and 400 V12 horse power under the hood.
       
      There, happy now?

      Come on now lets be honest here… Almost NONE of these spent ANY time at the track… Crap almost 1 in 10 were built with freaking automatics. Super cars are about three things: a hopeless attempt to attract younger hot women, dealing with a mid life crisis, or making up for short comings… and super cars are measured by one large yard stick… Just like real-estate is “location location location” Super cars are HP HP HP. Lets see… MB? yup they still make a uber coupe, so does Ferrari, Jag, GM, and Porsche… But this one.. the best of the best dies off selling less then 300 examples per year in the last 4 or 5 years or production…

      Ya, it was a smashing it.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Kid you’re so far off the mark here it’s starting to annoy me. Make an argument that doesn’t consist of flawed logic, outlandish rhetoric and semantics and maybe you’ll be taken seriously. If I were you I’d be embarrassed about constructing such a transparent strawman argument.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Gee I thought you said that everything that I said was false.. I agree with you, I post the opposite and I’m still wrong… Hmm… I know which of the kinds of buyers you would be.

      Flawed logic.
      Lets see.
      Fact it was a sales dog
      Fact it never came close to sales expectations
      Fact in is last production years it sold in the range of 160 -250 units PER YEAR
      Fact Honda has stated publicly that if the car returns it will have at least 500HP..

      Fact even Honda admits the the engine was lacking… if it comes back it will be with a V10 or better… Gee if the 290HP V6 was soo hot why not keep it?

      Don’t feel bad, the lack of a decent “flag ship” quality engine hurt not just this car but Acura sales in general. As it became clear that 400HP was the new 300HP Acura failed to keep competitive and the sales have collapsed… The only car with an engine more embarrassing then the NSX would be the current RL.. I wonder how long before they pull the plug on this car too.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Your first post said the car lacked a “decent” engine. Sure did. It was actually a brilliant engine with ahead of the curve technology. What it did lack was, in your opinion, power, and your opinion is irrelevant and in this case, wrong. The fact of the matter is that their 3l v6 was only down 30hp on the 3.4l v8 that came in the Ferrari 348, and that car was a 100lbs heavier. The NSX was just as fast as the 348 to 60 and through the 1320. I mention these times not because I think they’re the end all be all of a car’s worth, but you do. So, using your rubric, at it’s introduction NSX=Ferrari. You also mention that 300hp v8s were available from Cadillac at the time and if you really think that is in any way relevant I don’t know what to tell you but I’ll try; it’s not.
      Your next post claimed that a 93 Camaro was just as fast as the NSX. It wasn’t. In fact the NSX as fast or faster to 60 and through the 1320 than any Camaro up until they retired it in 02. The Mustang maintained a bit of an edge depending on what numbers you get your hands on and what trim we’re talking about. Again, we’re pretending that those numbers are a real barometer of a car’s worth and not some wildly overvalued time emphasized by buff books for years because they are one of the few completely objective ways to test a car. The reality is that you can’t tell a half second either way between two different cars. I can’t. Most people on here can’t. The only guys whose ass dyno I would trust are people that have made a career out of driving cars fast, and time and time again it’s been shown that even those guys don’t “feel” the right time every time. The average Joe Enthusiast just isn’t good enough to repeat the number anyway and, when you add the fact that these numbers can vary wildly depending on a litany of external factors before we even start talking about the actual cars, we begin to see exactly how little they matter as anything more than a rough expectation for baseline performance in a very narrow skill set.
      Your third post goes on to bash Honda for not giving what they marketed as a “supercar” supercar numbers. What does the number matter when it has “supercar” performance? Was it not just as fast to 60 and through the 1/4 as the mid-engined v8 Ferrari of the same vintage? Didn’t it cost almost $40,000 less than that car? Wasn’t it infinitely cheaper to own and maintain while providing just as much performance? You erroneously claim that it was being out classed by every other “uber car” available. Just not true. Even if it was, the statement you make after about the NSX getting “shellacked” by cars costing half as much, while just as offensively incorrect as your previous statement, brings up an interesting point. We’re bringing value into the equation now? Oh. Wow. What a concept. So a car that’s only a few tenths “slower” than cars that cost two and three times as much while being infinitely more reliable shouldn’t be admired and celebrated? Not according to you. To you they’re garbage. Got it.
      I don’t know why I’m refuting all of your nonsense, I know it’s time wasted but I can’t help myself. Let’s move on.
      Your fourth post makes a completely irrelevant point about the ratio of automatic to manual boxes the cars were sold with. Porsche? Mercedes? Corvette? Jaguar? Haven’t all of these companies offered (or made exclusive) automatic transmissions in an effort to appeal to the largest possible audience? I could have sworn they were trying to make money but I could be wrong. Your three “tenets of supercar buying” aren’t without merit but I see absolutely no reason why you might think that means anything in this discussion. I, and I should hope other legitimate enthusiasts, buy and drive the cars we do because of what they can do and how they make us feel while driving them. The motivations of hyper rich attention cars and their perception of what makes them “cool” has absolutely no bearing on what actually makes a car legitimate. You conclude this post with a reference to the number of NSX’ that were sold towards the end in an attempt to insinuate that I was trying to make the argument that the car was a sales hit. At not point did I say that and at no point did I think that. There are dozens of reasons why the NSX wasn’t as popular as it should have been; the performance it delivered at the price point it sold at had very little, if anything to do with it.
      Your last post goes classic strawman in an attempt to cover up the fact that everything you had argued previously was either wrong, misstated or the result of a seriously skewed perception on what actually matters when it comes to evaluating a car in a fair and reasonable matter. When the NSX was put down it was an honest mid 4 second car to 60 and a high 12 in the 1/4. This was eight years ago and those are still competitive numbers today. Certainly nothing embarrassing about a car that can run with all but the fastest cars in the world, costs a fraction to own and can be serviced next to an Accord for not much more than an Accord. I never tried to make the argument that it was a sales success but, in light of what you’ve learned here, shouldn’t it have been. Just take your medicine like a big boy and next time you want to say something outlandish about something you know nothing about, don’t. I’m still not sure who this posts makes look worse. Me, for having written it or you for needing to read it.
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Read all of that… wow… all very nice and detailed and logical.
       
      You just missed one point… The most important one…
       
      Why is Honda going to replace it with a V8 or V10 that will make at least 500HP?
      Or is that FACT a straw-man argument…

      Oh and in 2005 the Vette was going 0-60 in 4.1… 4.3 wasn’t world class then.. it isn’t world class now

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Because they have to if they want to be competitive in the class, this is hardly ground breaking information. I take it you don’t know what a strawman argument is if that is honestly the only thing you have to say in response. At no point did I say the NSX wasn’t getting long in the tooth at the end of it’s run. Nor did I try and argue that they could have kept the same car in production and stayed competitive. What I DID say is that the car was a competent and competitive performer for it’s entire lifespan, something you tried to refute. And here I was thinking I was engaging someone that was capable of actually forming an argument. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… not gonna, not gonna… not gonna fool me again.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      So now you are admitting it isn’t competitive? LOL a second a go this car was and is world class…
      Who is the Strawman now eh?

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      The car WAS competitive right up until they put it to bed EIGHT YEARS AGO. Where did I say it’s comparable to today’s supercars? You were the one that was trying to argue that the car wasn’t world class when compared to vehicles of the same vintage. Stop being an idiot.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Not gonna gonna… looks like you got fooled again… You arguments are a joke…
      Its world class AND its long in the tooth…
      Its competitive AND it needed to be replaced.
      270 HP was plenty went it wasn’t..

      It was barely competitive when it was launched within a couple of years it was a whannabee

      You should just stick with your Fart Can Exhaust system on your Accord.
       

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      I got fooled into getting into a discussion with an idiot that lacks basic reading comprehension skills, that’s for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Ya and I’m arguing with a guy who argues with his own points and drives an Accord with 4″ tips.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      /puts down popcorn.
       
      That was almost as entertaining as tonight’s fights.  :)

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Not my fault you can’t appreciate a nuanced argument. You couldn’t be more wrong about my cars but I’ll let you think that was your little victory of the evening instead of keeping this up. I’ve used my allotment of “time wasted on mouth breathers” for the evening.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Sure keep pitching and I’ll keep hitting them out of the park…
       
      Do you want me to list all of the cars that were faster to 60 or faster in the quarter in 2005?  Its not a short list and actually includes some SEDANS…

    • 0 avatar
      Zas

      @CameroKid – you’re obviously not old enough to know that the Japanese manufacturers had an un-written “gentleman’s” agreement regarding horsepower output. This agreement stood in place for a number of years before the doors were blown off and HP numbers increase beyond 300HP.
       
      That being said, the 1992 Honda/Acura NSX followed that agreement, even up to the point when they did a displacement bump to the 3.2L, and that was making 295HP PUBLISHED. That being said (and I’m still on google trying to find this), independent testing of the stock NSX proved that the engine was pushing way more than the 295HP figure. But we’re trying to compare relatively similar cars, so let’s see some raw numbers from each car.
       
      1992 NSX vs 1993 Camaro Z28 (both in STOCK form only)
       
      Horsepower:  NSX: 270BHP V6 3.0L; Camaro Z28: 275BHP V8 5.7L
       
      Hmm… the Camaro was a heavier car, didn’t have independent rear suspension, had a larger engine only producing 5BHP more, so, how do you get off saying that the NSX was “ho hum”??
       
      As for the 1992 Cady’s with the Northstar V8: great engine in a boat-of-a-car, it was never known for having any decent handling characteristics. Who cares about HP when that is only effective in a straight line. Real world driving is around a track, and last I checked, 1992 land-boats have a difficult time around curves…
       
      Do everyone a favor, before you spout on about how “ineffective” of a car is, do some research on the internet (like I did) to find your facts before posting the jibberish that you have. It just makes you look like a complete tool and rather ignorant of what the real motoring world is.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      Excellent point and something that I’d completely forgot about but I don’t think it was a gentlemen’s agreement so much as it was a state driven mandate but I could be wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Yes a great point, and it proves what I was saying… gentlemen’s agreement or not… The car lacked about 100HP.

      Lots of research on this car… much of it from Honda HQ… the car was not competitive with the other super cars that it was to go up against.  Honda did little to increase the HP output of this car over its life and a car that was just barely on par at its introduction was slower then 4 Door sedans at it termination.   Honda CANCELLED the car because it was at the wrong end of the performance bell curve. 

      Just what you want from your brand new super car… to have some guy in a M3 or AMG, pull up to the light with a set of golf clubs in the trunk… and blow your doors off.

      That was a VERY possibility in the NSX.

      By 2005 Ferrari had gone from the 348, which was the original benchmark for the NSX development team, to the F355, 360 and to the F430. While the NSX was “stuck” at the bench mark… The world simply had passed it by. Like I said, this was a great car, that did not get the engine development and updates that it deserved.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      You’re not very bright and I find it hilarious.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      You say you are done and yet you keep coming back for more… Do everyone who drives grandmas accord have such issues?  Shall I post a video of a mid 90s NSX getting it doors blown off by a stock GMC TRUCK no less?

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I think CamaroKid defines a supercar as anything with wheels and tons of HP. In that case, excuse me while I get my golf clubs out my SpaceShuttle. :)
       
      It’s much more interesting to take a nuanced view as to what makes a car a supercar — an exotic look, for example. I think the NSX looks super. Lightweight materials such as aluminum (NSX), fiber glass (Corvette), carbon fiber (F1). Balance and handling — the NSX has a mid-engine setup and an insane amount of grip. Aerodynamics.
       
      BTW, the NSX-R posted a time of 7:56 in Nurburgring, equal to the time of a Ferrari F360 which had almost 100 bhp more.
       
      Supercars don’t necessarily need to make money. Yes, they need to look good and be fast. They also need to lead to lighter materials and improved engine management for our daily drivers. And they need to make people talk about the car company in a positive way. The NSX was, and did, all those things.
       
      But CamaroKid, you are right about one thing.  It is time for Honda to come out with an NSX successor.  But that does not diminish the legend that is NSX.
       

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      I actually agree and said most of that… Don’t know how many times the reading comprehension challenged hoopty civic “vtec” crowd can miss the fact that I have stated over and over that the NSX was a great car… it had one problem…
      And that was simply this…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqO6uZ0ZhX8

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      I’m glad you agree with that because he was actually, very politely, calling you an idiot that thinks hp=supercar and that you’re completely incapable of forming any kind of nuanced, dynamic opinion of a car while relying on the least (relatively) facets of what makes a car “super”.

    • 0 avatar
      itsgotvtakyo

      “By 2005 Ferrari had gone from the 348, which was the original benchmark for the NSX development team, to the F355, 360 and to the F430. While the NSX was “stuck” at the bench mark… The world simply had passed it by. Like I said, this was a great car, that did not get the engine development and updates that it deserved.”
      This kid can’t make an argument to save his life so he plagiarizes from wikipedia and then adds his own special brand of BS to liven it up, I love it. The NSX was competitive with all the V8 midengined Ferraris’ available from it’s inception up until they discontinued it, this is a fact. I enjoyed mocking you and your terrible arguments but it’s going to end now, I don’t engage people who, no matter how retarded, have to resort to plagiarism in an attempt to keep up.
      Under the “End of the NSX” heading.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_NSX
       

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      For the record I was not calling him the reading comprehension challenged Hoopty driving idiot… That is you…

      Ohh.. I cut an paste a quote that I like from the wiki… Ohh… big slight there…

      Still no relative comment about how this super car got its vetc backside slapped by a GMC truck that cost less then half…

      It was at your urging that I do some research… everywhere I go… I read similar quotes…

      “Wow it does really well for only 290 HP”…  “Keeps up with car with 200 HP more”…  and then the part you constantly ignore… “Imagine what it could do if it had 100 or 150 more”…

      One more time… that was the point.

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    My daily driver was a 1991 Subaru SVX.

    So, if I had a time machine taking me back to 1992 with a suitcase of money, I’d still have gotten a SVX. But I’d have had the extra money to bulletproof the trans, cooling, alternator, and bearings which eventually became known as the weak points of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      stickman

      I had a 1992 SVX.  I bought it with >100K and drove it until >160K.  It was a great car.  The transmission had been swapped by the previous owner and I did have to do the front CV and bearings but it was a good ride.  I remember it fondly.
       
       

  • avatar
    dignotov

    Early 90′s were indeed a good time for cars. Was a west coaster then. Young and had money. I remember the NSX and Acura of the day in general and almost bought a used Legend. Not the choices offered but does anyone remember the Nissans of that era? Wanted an early 1990′s 300ZX badly when they first came out. Still a great used car if you can find one in good shape. Had to settle for a 1991 240sx with 5MT, brand spanking new in red no less. Drove the shyte out of that car. A little under powered but RWD and perfect balance and driving position. The wife at the time got a 1992 SE-R with 5MT. FWD BMW 2002. We were stylin! I even liked the Hardbody pick-ups of that era. I am still a Nissan fan and drive an Xterra 6MT now. No flames. I live in Montana.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I still have a couple of ’90s hardware in the fleet.  They can be quite refreshing to drive, what with their light weight, excellent visibility, and good mileage.  And one sports a real stick.  What seemed fast back then is marginal today. Of your choice of the three charmed ones, I would be happy with any of them.  Just please, no no no white.  White cars are even worse that a home with a zero imagination all white interior.  I really have a soft spot for the NSX and might lean toward this choice just for the uniqueness and the unadulterated engineering.
     
    BTW, i have to take exception to the dig at throttle body fuel injection.  They were leaps and bounds over cranky carbs and offered 90% of what the next generation of FI did.  And they were easy to work on, too.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    I delivered pizzas in one in a 98 model in 1999/2000.  Oddly enough, I got a lot of odd looks.
    Your car depreciations greatly exceed the money u make on wages & tips?
    How doe sit all add up? Basically u’re buying a job. Say if u work inside dont rely on your own car except driving there u would have saved more $$.
    These jobs they dont pay hardly anything extra for car use. A lot of us dont realize driving for delivery is rated as one of the highest ins rate. A daily delivery driver in BC could run to $400/mth. Should u be so unlucky involved in a fender bender with such as expensive car, u bet the ins dude will ask u questions back from the day u were born. If u have wong coverage and = to no coverage!
    20 some yrs ago Domino Pizza promised speedy delivery, and a delivery car ran a stop. Form then on they had to curtail the delivery time. Probably being in USA, Domino will have to absorb some Liability. that aint cheap at all.

    The NSX I read was designed with a lot input from late Ayrton Senna. Senna drove for Honda then. He kept telling Honda to tighten up the chassis. With a F1 driver on design team u will have a real nice car, as long as money no object. The power then was adequate, but not going to win all stop light grand prix for the price paid.  A turbo or Kompressor would have been nice too, Honda could tag on $200k and sell it as a deluxe model.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      That was a nice rant.  Too bad it has nothing to do with me.
       
      The owner of the Italian restaurant/carry-out/pizza place was a buddy of mine and he needed help every a couple times because he was always having issues with his staff.  It was his NSX and by the time he’d call me, he was desperate enough to agree to my condition, which was that I got to drive his car to make deliveries.  I don’t know what wages and tips added up to because I worked for pizza & beer and but mostly for the smile I’d get on my face every time I peeled out of his parking lot knowing how much it freaked my buddy out.

      Also, I demanded to be called The Deliverator. With a friend like me, you don’t need enemies.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      I demanded to be called The Deliverator.
       
      But did you have a harpoon?

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      No, but I did make a bunch of late night deliveries to Texas Instruments a couple nights in a row wearing a black leather jacket and sunglasses.  I think the third or fourth delivery, someone caught on and a couple guys came down to pick up the pizzas and on my way out, one of them goes, “Dude, where are you swords?”

  • avatar
    MattPete

    When I look at cars today, I think “What happened”?
     
    It’s like everything regressed.  Even stalwarts such as BMW could not hold out, and are producing todays equivalent of the 70s land-yachts, complete with landau tops (gunslit windows, stupidly low-profile tires, giant grills, SUVs the size of McMansions, electronic doo-dads overquality, porky overweight cars, etc.).
     
    The engines are great, but there is nothing that really grabs me and makes we want to upgrade my car.  I drove a 3-series loaner car last year, and it felt just like my 3-series from 8 years earlier, except that it had an ugly gaudy interior made out of cheap plastic.
     
    I parked next to an Acura Integra (late-90s) just the other day, and I was amazed at it’s huge greenhouse and low hood.  All the while, it seemed to have roughly the same interior as a more modern car.
     
    Even Chrysler made attractive cars back then.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Actually, other than the M cars BMW is probably the last bastion of sanity in wheel size and tire profile. And even the M-car wheels are only big enough to clear thier ginormous brakes. The base model wheel and tire combo on a 328i is a modest 205/55-16, and even the upgraded 17s are 225/45-17. Very tall by modern standards. of course, BMW will happily relieve you of $4-5K for oh-so-fashionable 19′s.

      I agree, the interior of the current 3 is not amazing. Leather helps a lot though. You buy them for the drive.

      But as to the original question, none of the above. I would have spent the money on a used Ferrari 308GTB. I don’t care that it is relatively unreliable and slow – it would be worth it for the looks and the sound. And it’s a FERRARI!

      I agree with EducatorDan – the NSX is the LS400 of sports cars. Beautifully built, works well, but has all the soul of my washing machine. No Thanks.

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    I know exactly where that is: Pine St between Powell and Mason.  I was there last year, and I remember because I spotted a 1978 Toyota Corolla only a few feet from there.  It was parked on the same side of the street, a little closer to Mason (opposite the Grosvenor Suites).  I took a couple of pictures because it looked like new.  The only blemish was a dent in the hatch.  Even the tires looked new, that’s how clean it was.

    Back to the car in question – yes I agree the early 90s was a golden age, particularly for Japanese cars.  Those cars offered a great balance between technology, reliability, packaging efficiency and performance.  It’s too bad that the auto journalists of the time constantly criticized them for being small and underpowered.  They are so much better than the big, slow, and heavy cars of the Malaise era.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    1990-2005 was a great age for automobiles in general.
     
    After that period (well, even earlier with the expensive Germans like the S Class & 7 series) cars became increasingly complex and unreliable for complexity’s sake (and to make owners dependent on dealers for any service). Case in point. The necessity for a BMW dealer with a $50k GT1 diagnostic machine to code a battery to a 2006 or later E90 3-series. That’s just complexity for complexity’s sake. It does nothing functional for the car, but ties it to the dealer for $400-500 of part & labor every time a new battery is needed.
     
    The current Lexus IS350 and Infiniti G37 use conventional batteries (the likes of which one can get at Autozone) and easily match or exceed the 3-series in performance and reliability.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Acura NSX is not an uncommon site on the streets of the Bay Area. Plenty of Acura fan boys over there. What’s stranger is that I have seen more Acura NSXes there than Acura RL.

  • avatar

    After a certain point, extra power does very little to improve my driving satisfaction. I’m guessing the Porsche and the NSX are near equal on handling, and the NSX is gobs more reliable. In that case I’d take th NSX. Assuming a more even match in reliability, and cost of repair, I might take the Porsche.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Beautiful car. The NSX has aged very gracefully, and it’s not just because of its design was futuristic (the whole car was certainly futuristic in many ways), but also because the Honda designers chose to forego “trendy” details that would have looked dated in a few years. Why can’t they do the same today? (In my opinion, the trends of the early 00s, like Bangle Butt and Altezza lights, have aged very poorly.)
     
    In fact, that should be an “Ask the Best and Brightest” question: “What cars have aged well, and what cars haven’t?”

  • avatar
    djn

    I have never owned a Japanese car for myself (wife’s Sienna excluded), in fact only drove a VW Dasher, 5 Alfas, 1 Fiat Brava, 1 Audi 4000 and 1 Jaguar E-Type and a Citroen CX since I got my license.   I would own an NSX but It would be a hard choice vs. a Citroen SM.

  • avatar
    mistrernee

    Though I am sure it has serious problems.. I’d have to go with the ZR-1 just because of the odd Lotus/Mercury Marine power plant.
     
    The new supercharged Corvette has no business wearing the name.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    I would own an NSX but It would be a hard choice vs. a Citroen SM.
    SM is from a different era of cars I bet it drives very nice, but not as fast as a NSX, dont think it will be as trouble free as NSX though.
    SM is outright high maintenance. Mechanical very complicated, hydro-pneumatic suspension alone can make u cringe. No need to go so far even a W126 560sel also has similar suspension, can be a PITA when its not levitating.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Another thing that strikes me about that NSX is the flawless fit of that hood/headlight/front clip assembly.  My Altima’s hood isn’t even close in fit.  Collectively all of today’s cars have good fit of the body panels, but this NSX makes me envision the assemblers toiling with great care to get the alignment just right before torquing the fasteners tightly.
     
    Sam P:  I agree 100% with your assessment about technology being used to tether you to the stealership for service.  That battery BS is just the tip of the iceberg.  BMW is the leader in depriving the independent repair market from information.  That alone might be enough to prevent me from buying one in the future.  I don’t mind the purchase price, but I simply refuse to be held hostage to a stealership for service when I’d rather do it myself.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Agreed.
       
      I went for an E46 BMW because it is the last BMW that is truly serviceable by an indie BMW mechanic or an owner who likes DIY (and unlike the IS350, it is available with a manual gearbox).
       
      I could have gone for a CPO E90 BMW, but once out of warranty, the prospect of owning a dealer-service dependent BMW isn’t an pleasant one.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      Collectively all of today’s cars have good fit of the body panels, but this NSX makes me envision the assemblers toiling with great care to get the alignment just right before torquing the fasteners tightly.
       
      What makes it even more impressive is that the NSX was purposely built in small numbers, and it’s unlikely that computers were used much to ensure near-flawless assembly. Most of the ones I’ve seen for sale recently still show good fit of the body panels – including the “T” (targa) models, which weren’t as rigid.

  • avatar
    M 1

    Good only in their time. Severely overrated otherwise, and not especially durable.
     
    In your suitcase scenario, I’d buy the ZR1 and stick it in a garage with zero miles until the 2006ish Barrett-Jackson era rolled around, then sell it to some gold-chain wearing greasy old man who thinks buying yet another Vette will get him laid. (Hey, it’s a time machine, I’ll know it’s coming.)

  • avatar

    Say you were time-machined back to 1992 with a suitcase full of cash and had to choose, which would it be: the NSX, 911, or ZR1?
    None of them. I’d go to a sports book in Vegas, a la Back To The Future, make a number of suitcases of cash, then return to my own time, buy some nice examples of the fully depreciated early ’90s NSX, 911, and ZR1 and have enough money left over to buy a new ZR-1.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The NSX has held up well over the years both in styling and reliability though there are issues with premature rear tire wear.

    You can look at late 80′s to mid-90′s vehicles as a golden era. For example today I saw a 7-series BMW they are just the right size with nice lean styling unlike the Bangalized newer ones. Same goes for Volvo’s of the era.  

  • avatar
    Roland

    Early 90′s were good. My car today is a 1994 Mazda 323 hatchback. Gutless with its 1.6 L auto, but durable and trouble-free, with an incredibly low total cost per kilometre driven. In my Vancouver neighbourhood there are still several of these little econoboxes parked on the streets within a three-block radius.

    The only drawback to the 323 is the wide C-pillar and resulting blind spots, but even in this respect it’s better than a lot of cars being sold today.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Definitely the NSX.  That’s the nicest car I see semi-regularly during summers here.  I saw an F430, a Gallardo, a couple of R8s, and even a beautiful Esprit on the streets last summer, but those are rare sightings in these parts.  I see a few NSXs every summer, and I always enjoy it.  I would definitely be willing to deliver pizzas for the privilege of driving one!

    I agree that the early nineties were a golden age. There are so many more cars that I’d like to own from that period than what I could buy new today. Along with the fuel injection issue, manual transmission availability, steering feel, cable-operated throttle response, electronic simplicity, proper visibility, and reasonable size and weight are all big factors in what makes them great. Even the Camry was a nice car back then, especially with a V6 and a 5-speed. My buddy still drives one in that configuration. Another is still driving his ’92 Vigor, and another a ’93 MX-6. They’re all so much more enjoyable to drive than anything new I’ve driven recently. The era lasted longer than just the early nineties though. I feel that it was finally buried with the 2008 TSX.

  • avatar
    Zas

    I would definitely buy the NSX: world class handling, insane horsepower from a V6 NA mid-ship-mounted automobile, and it looked like nothing else on the road for a 2-seater from a Japan. I always thought Porcshe owners were tools and ZR-1 owners were just pompous assholes (kinda like some Mustang GT owners I knew at the time). American “muscle” had lapsed into coma by that time, and paying 97k for a Corvette was unheard of. R&T had a review of the car, and I remember reading that while straight-line performance was impressive, skid-pad performance was lack-luster and the car was in much need of a suspension upgrade to be able to handle corners.
     
    I’d get it in the Grand Prix White that they had for a number of years (much like the photo) or the Silver that was on the original prototype (Best Motoring had a test drive in 1989 and I still have the video tape of it).
     
    That was, and will always be, an amazing sports car.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Is that NSX parked in front of the Dungeon?


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