2020 Acura NSX review: The softer side of supercars

He is a broad boi.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

Supercars are hypothetical lose the forest for the trees. These rough-edged cars focus so intensely on high-speed performance and high-cost finishes that they are often difficult to truly use on a daily basis, relegating them at best to weekend warriors. But not the 2020 Acura NSX. This Japanese scalpel is more than ready to roar on a back road, but it comes with a softness that gives the car more than enough flexibility to become a quality grocer, albeit a little bit. ‘too equipped for the task.

Like it

  • Hybrid power always present
  • Impressive in everyday driving
  • It never stops being fun

I do not like

  • Mediocre infotainment
  • Persistent reflections on the windshield
  • No individual modes

Before I even get behind the wheel of the 2020 Acura NSX, I’m struck by that familiar kind of weird supercar for the sake of being weird. As I approach, the slender doorknobs open to greet me, which is a fun living room trick. Thankfully, the doors open in the normal direction, as the NSX has absolutely no problem turning heads without introducing atypical hinges and butterfly doors into the equation.

With interesting angles in every direction, from the flying buttresses at the rear to the aggressive front bumper, the NSX is like most other supercars in that it’s nearly impossible to blend in anywhere. Even beyond the show style, my tester $ 6,000 The Valencia Red Pearl paint job will not allow this to happen.

First impressions come soon after slipping through the door of the NSX. Despite the relative position of the bodywork relative to the mainland, the seating position is a little higher than I expected, giving me a feeling of normality greater than what I encounter, for example, in a McLaren or a Lamborghini. Visibility is pretty good in most directions, with plenty of forward view (thanks in part to the very thin A-pillars) and superb blind spot coverage from the mirrors sticking out of the body like antennas. The rear view is good, considering there’s an engine a few inches behind me. Be careful with the position of the sun, though: too many direct rays from the old Sol and the front windshield are starting to resemble a cheese grater thanks to the severe reflections of the massive speaker grille below. It can be really annoying, especially in brisk driving or low-speed neighborhoods where children and squirrels are likely to be on the street.

Overall, the quality of the NSX’s interior is worth the admission cost of over $ 150,000. Soft leather covers most of the dashboard, door panels, center tunnel, and steering wheel, and what isn’t done with smooth cloth is covered in carbon fiber (a $ 2,500 option) and brushed aluminum. The little piece of piano black coating on the transmission controls, which should be Very familiar to owners of newer Honda or Acura, it’s the only part of the interior that feels a little cheap, and only then is it because of its propensity to pile dirt on its fingers. The cup holders are small and only attach to a slot on the center console, but you can store them in the tiny glove box when not in use. More storage comes via wallet-sized slots in the door panels, a key-sized (and faceplate) slot in the center console, and a small closet hinged against the rear firewall that houses the USB port. It’s tight, like many supercars, but there’s still a decent amount of room for my 6-foot chassis to feel comfortable.

Most mid-engined supercars throw owners into a storage bone by means of front and rear trunks. But not the NSX: the electric motors and other hardware live under the hood, so the only cargo storage is located aft of the engine. Not only is the trunk small, its proximity to the V6 biturbo means that whatever returns there must be heat resistant. Place the ice packs in the passenger side footwell.

All those stupid worries dissolve the moment I hit the start button. Right behind my head, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 wakes up with a growl before quickly settling into a quieter idle, something neighbors are bound to appreciate. A press of the Drive button activates the nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, which provides only a hint of slip when shifting into first gear.

In the default Sport mode, the NSX proves to me that it can absolutely function as a daily rider. Despite the McLaren’s lack of air or complicated hydraulics, the NSX’s static suspension is surprisingly comfortable, absorbing a wide variety of bumps and bumps without disturbing the car or its occupants. The inherent stiffness of the frame remains obvious, but the ride is much smoother than I expected.

Small problems with the passenger compartment disappear completely when the speedometer starts to rise.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

Gear shifts are discreet, and in low-rev situations, the V6 (which alone produces 500 horsepower and 406 foot-pounds of torque) is content to go smoothly, provided it works. In silent mode, the NSX will use its small battery to run like any other hybrid, moving silently on electric power only – the Sport also offers electric-only operation, but in more limited quantities. The V6 cuts in and out with little, if any, shoving in the cabin. It’s a smooth Prius, in a good way.

Turn the mode dial to Sport Plus and the NSX emits a kind of magical substance that literally makes me forget anything other than the car or the road directly in front of it. I feel the frenzied energy starts to rise as the engine drastically increases its volume at all times, even if it’s a bit meh on the tonal front at low revs. The V6 requires the help of three electric motors – two in front, one in the back – to generate 573 net horsepower and 476 lb-ft. As you’d expect, the electric motors absolutely assault me ​​with torque in an instant, and it’s really noticeable in tight corners, where the front axle helps drag me while the Continental SportContact tires stick to the curb. It is easy to approach a corner faster than expected, but luckily it is also easy to move to the other side. Between those points, the optional carbon-ceramic rotors ($ 10,600!) Will blast the speed with excellent modulation and impressive speed, over and over again. It’s impossible not to have fun in the 2020 NSX.

My only real complaint here is that I wish I could mix and match modes. I get it, Acura has put these modes together to make sure the car exemplifies everything it’s looking for, but if me truly I wanted to drive this car daily, I would like the engine constantly in Sport Plus with the suspension in Quiet. Why the hell can’t I have it?

You never really feel the NSX’s turbochargers spin until you really turn on the throttle, then it is Everyone you will hear.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

One thing Acura has in common with every other supercar manufacturer is its mediocre infotainment system. Ripped straight from, oh, every single Honda Civic on the dealership lot, the NSX’s 7-inch head unit packs suction cup Garmin-era graphics, just OK response time, and limited functionality. Apple CarPlay And Android Auto they’re on offer, which means it’s pretty easy to ignore the standard configuration altogether. The pattern changes from red to blue depending on the vehicle mode, but I wish Acura could have given this a unique twist – or at least updated the NSX 2020 to the newer (and prettier) version found on the Odyssey and others. great Hondas for adults. The cluster of gauges is entirely digital too, and while it’s odd that it’s tilted away from my eyes, it gives me all the data I could ask for. It is also easy to joke, thanks to the very simple scrollers on the steering wheel.

As for the security systems, you get … parking sensors. And the non-adaptive cruise control. You want something else? Buy a TLX.

With a starting price of $ 159,495 after destination, the 2020 Acura NSX is almost competing with two separate classes of high-performance vehicles. On the one hand, you have hardcore non-supercars like the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Mercedes-AMG GT R or, if not need a six-figure window sticker, the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette, all excellent cars, but all lacking the “What was That? “emotional appeal of real supercars. By the way, the NSX is positioned against some big names here too, like the Audi R8 and, if you want to lose another $ 30k, the McLaren 570S. Those cars are more along the lines of the NSX, but they are also a bit sharper than the Acura.

When a car is designed to perform at the highest level, comfort must be returnedin it. Sometimes it requires complex components, other times it just doesn’t happen very well. But the 2020 Acura NSX does an excellent job of combining everyday usability and performance in a way that other supercars don’t. Leave some skidpad evaluation on the table? Sure. But damn it if you can find a more fun way to get around comfortably.