Intermittent Daily Podcast: It's the End of the Acura NSX, and I Feel Fine
The car bloggers went sub-ballistic (what would that be, scientists?) today because Honda announced that it was killing the NSX project. Well, I say good riddance to a stupid idea. I’m in that camp of people that thinks the original NSX is the very rare car that came out perfectly. And while many people have admonished me for clinging to outdated conceptions of what a particular car or company “should” be (like the 1-Series not being a suitable sucessor to the 2002, or the Subaru Forester betraying its goofwagon roots), I can’t understand the business case for a front-engined V10 Acura NSX. Trickle down tech? Maybe – though certainly not the V10 engine, unless it was going to be tacking two extra cylinders onto Honda’s already dubious planned V8. Front engine supercar? Plenty of those out there. Expensive? Again, plenty of those out there. Lexus reportedly cancelled its LF-A program because it was clear that they weren’t going to take down Godzilla (the Nissan GT-R). So why would Acura plan differently? I think people would welcome a modern version of the original NSX concept, though – a mid-engined car with the best handling in the world, a great gearbox, and a relatively simple V6 or V8 engine. Or, as Lieberman says in the podcast – Honda’s version of a Ferrari F430. Sold.
Not only were those '90s Z-cars great looking, they were introduced with one of the best car ads of all time. I'd love to see the true spirit of the 240Z resurrected though. Lightweight, small engine, fuel efficient coupe on a chassis designed for handling. A Miata with a roof.
I would quibble about the comment that you could drive an NSX without having a panic attack if it got scratched. Repairing aluminum bodywork is a bitch -- my mechanic (former Honda service manager who now has an independent Honda/Acura shop) says fairly minor door dings can easily end up becoming $2,000 repairs. Owie. Still, I agree with Mr. Berkowitz -- the NSX was a brilliant piece of work, kind of a Japanese reinvention of the Dino 246 GT. They still look great, and other than their penchant for eating tires, they provided near-exotic performance and handling with amazingly little finicky behavior. I think the interesting but flawed S2000 is closer to that spirit than any overmuscled V10 ubercar.
I'd rather see them go for the Boxster with a mid-engined roadster to replace the S2000. Too few choices in mid-engined cars out there as is and something with a bit of civility but lightweight would be amazing.