Attention, future Barrett-Jackson bidders: The final Acura NSX Type S was completed today at the brand’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio. Billed as the last production NSX, the Gotham Gray coupe – number 350 of 350 – was allegedly shilled off to a private collection.
Having recently revived the Type S moniker for its performance products, Acura is keen to get the label on the famed NSX before it’s discontinued. The mid-engine, hybrid-electric sports car will be leaving us next year. But not before the Honda Motor Company attempts to build the finest example ever to grace the pavement.
Acura has said the vehicle will be produced in limited quantities, with a scant 350 units being the outside envelope. However, 300 of those are supposed to be reserved for the United States, where take rates are higher and consumers appreciate salt-of-the-earth supercars that don’t need to have Italian roots or cars to be manufactured in places with long, European-sounding names. The NSX is assembled at Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, where the town motto happens to be “Where the Grass is Greener.”
One of the more frequent comments I’ve heard since the C8 Corvette dropped is some variation of “the Acura NSX is screwed.”
That comment makes sense – Chevrolet is promising similar performance numbers from the newly mid-engined ‘Vette, with a base price that is nearly $100K cheaper.
So yeah, if the next Corvette fulfills Chevy’s promise at a significantly lower cost than the NSX, that could spell trouble for a supercar that’s already selling slowly by supercar standards.
Still, the NSX has two things going for it. One, logic and rationality doesn’t always matter among the well-heeled – in other words, some will pay for the pricier car, regardless of specs, because of brand name/loyalty, or styling, or whatever.
Two, the NSX is just plain fantastic.
Following news that Acura is restoring the Type S designation for future high-performance models, the brand announced it would also expand its selection of heritage colors. While the NSX is already available in Berlina Black, the company says it will debut Indy Yellow Pearl for the 2020 model year at this month’s Monterey Car Week.
The hue is a throwback to the Spa/Indy Yellow that graced 1st-generation models and managed to stick around on 20 percent of NSXs produced between 1997 and 2003. It looks as though Acura’s future lies partially in its past, which is fine by us.
A full quarter of the names currently on The Truth About Cars masthead grew up in the Buckeye state, including yours truly, and plenty of contributors, past and present, have called The Heart of It All home.
The preceding message concludes the advertising section, brought to you by the Ohio Department of Tourism.
I mention this to remind the reader that there is more to the American auto industry than Detroit. Indeed, Honda has been building vehicles in Ohio for nearly forty years, with an engine plant, a transmission plant, and now three vehicle assembly plants. Journalists were given the opportunity to tour the newest facility, the Performance Manufacturing Center, to see how Acura turns out the exotic NSX – and now, the less-exotic but still remarkable TLX PMC Edition.
Deep within the wild jungle that is Ohio sits a facility in Marysville called the Performance Manufacturing Center. Right now, it’s responsible for crafting examples of Acura’s halo car, the NSX. Soon, however, it’ll also be hucking out hand-crafted copies of the company’s midsize TLX sedan.
As a limited-production car limited to 360 examples, the 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition will be built by the same master technicians who assemble the NSX. Hey, everyone has to share their toys eventually, right?
This weekend, someone raised their bidder’s number at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas when the auctioneer asked for $58,000. It wasn’t on a Hemi ‘Cuda convertible. Nor was it on a tasty ’70 Chevelle SS. It was on the 1997 Acura Integra Type R you see above.
After buyer’s fees, the new owner shelled out $63,800 for what may very well be the lowest-mileage ITR in existence. Do you think collector’s tastes have shifted? Maybe permanently?
I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was working for a crazy little company in Fremont, California in 1995. One day the boss-man pulled up in a shiny new Acura NSX. It was low. It was foreign. It was cool. Little did I know the bitchin’ Acura in the parking lot would upset the supercar apple cart.
Twenty-five years ago, Honda put the big-boys on notice with a fast, economical and reliable supercar. Yes, reliable and supercar can be used in the same sentence without irony when speaking of a first-generation NSX.
If you set the way-back machine to 1990, you’ll realize it was a different world. Supercars were rear-wheel drive, few made more than 300 horsepower, and a modern Volvo wagon would probably eat them alive on a track. By the time the NSX was euthanized in 2005, the competition had more than caught up and Honda decided its resources were best used elsewhere.
For 2017, Acura has resurrected the NSX name and applied it to an all-new mid-engine coupe, but can it fill the big shoes left by its predecessor?
Vast amounts of witless cash arrived at Scottsdale this week. To wit: the first serial production Acura NSX — or, at least, the right to order it — sold for $1.2 million at Barrett-Jackson on Friday.
For that $1.2 million (plus somewhere between $156,000 and $205,700 for the car itself), winning bidder Rick Hendrick (yes, that Rick Hendrick) will be the first “normal” person to enjoy such model-specific features as automatically reversing cat bolts, tires that don’t grip (if so equipped) and a painstaking 12+ month wait to 60 mph.
At least Acura and Mr. Hendrick will get the warm-and-fuzzies. All that crazy auction money will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground in Georgia, and not Honda’s Formula 1 engine development program.
Honda announced Friday that it had found a logjam in its news department, and summarily fixed the problem by releasing a month’s worth of news for the automaker in about an hour.
The logjam apparently precluded the release of information it had for the North American International Auto Show next month, namely an Acura sedan concept with hood lines like an NSX and hips like a Playmate.
The so-dubbed “Precision Concept” will make its bow next month and foretell the company’s future plans for performance sedans. According to Car and Driver, Acura general manager John Ikeda said there was much to be read into the car’s long hood — which may mean a longitudinally mounted mill and rear-wheel drive.
Honda won’t import its tiny S660 convertible to the United States because we are a nation of giant people who drive giant cars, Automotive News is reporting.
John Mendel, executive vice president for Honda, said three weeks ago that the S660 could bring some “spice” to the American Honda lineup, but apparently he looked at a nearby parking lot and changed his mind.
“When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car only so big, that might not be the best car for the U.S. market,” Mendel told Automotive News. “It might be better for India or China or somewhere else.”
After years of delays, a redesigned concept and lots and lots of auto show carpet time, the Acura NSX still isn’t ready for prime time.
The automaker announced today that the NSX would begin production in spring 2016, not this fall as was previously reported. Automobile first reported the delay.
A spokeswoman for Acura said delays at the Marysville, Ohio plant producing the NSX, and changing performance targets for the car were responsible for the setback.
“Since this American-made supercar is the ultimate expression of the Acura brand, we want to ensure we’re delivering the best vehicle and customer experience possible,” an Acura spokeswoman wrote.
Acura and BMW are heading to Monterey Automotive Week with vehicular examples old and new.
Both automakers will show vehicles at several events during the week, including The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Gordan McCall’s Motorworks Revival, and Carmel-By-The-Sea.
Whatever the patent filing is — whether it’s a smaller NSX, perpetual prototype or a late-night CAD fantasy — it could find a home in Honda’s lineup that’s decidedly missing a sports car.
When asked if there’s room for a driver’s car, Mendel responded: “Absolutely there is.”
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