First shown as a concept in 2012, the blood red, 550 horsepower-plus, 2016 Acura NSX supercar came shrieking onto Cobo Center's stage Monday morning as a full-blown production car to be built at an all-new production facility in Marysville, Ohio.
Jerry Seinfeld was impressed too.
The comedian — who has publicly coveted the NSX — was on hand for the unveil with Acura Senior Vice President Mike Accavitti. "Some customers are more anxious than others," said Accavitti, announcing that the $150,000-plus NSX will be available for orders this summer.
Discontinued in 2005, the original mid-engine NSX debuted in 1992 and marked Acura as a performance leader among luxury brands. Yet since the NSX ended production in 2005, Acura's reputation for fun luxury has slipped along with its sales. With the NSX, Acura signals the brand's performance chops are back with a vengeance. To that end, the supercar also resurrects Acura's original 1987 brand tag line, "Precision Crafted Performance," for all Acura models
But the second-gen NSX is hardly a rehash of the first.
"Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX — a supercar that delivers a new driving experience," said Accavitti.
A quarter-century has not dulled the Honda luxury brand's taste for innovation. Like the Porsche 918 hybrid and BMW i8 before it, the NSX is a radical remaking of the supercar as a plug-in, hybrid-electric track star. Twin electric motors drive the front wheels. A 3.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6 rotates the rears. With all-wheel-drive, a nine-speed transmission and a lightweight aluminum/carbon fiber chassis, this samurai promises neck-snapping performance.
The sinister, swoopy NSX illustrates the brand's "Interwoven Dynamic" design language. "The ideal blending of exotic sports car form and supercar function," says NSX designer Michelle Christensen — and a welcome antidote to a brand that has been panned as boring by critics.
The mid-engine Acura eschews the full-carbon tube used by Porsche 918 and BMW i8 in their supercars, but retains the lightweight material in the car's floor. The rest of the chassis is a lightweight aluminum space frame design — recalling the original NSX, which was the world's first all-aluminum supercar.
The NSX's instrument cluster features a liquid crystal display, and an Integrated Dynamics System dial control so the driver can select from four drive modes. Drivers can drive in a fully electric "Quiet" mode in the city or in "Track" mode for asphalt-shredding track days.
Other Acura models like the TSX sedan feature the company's critically acclaimed Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, and the NSX takes the system to new levels with its hybrid powertrain.
Driving the rear wheels is a racing-inspired, dry-sump, dual-overhead-cam V-6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to a quick-shifting, dual-clutch transmission. The longitudinally-mounted 6 was a mid-development replacement for a normally-aspirated V-6, causing a major redesign of the car. Operated by paddle-shifters, the auto tranny will feature rev-matching downshifts. The front wheels are driven by twin electric motors. By packaging the battery and electric powertrain in the bottom of the vehicle, the NSX promises the lowest center of gravity of any car in class.
The NSX will be manufactured by hand in Marysville by 100 highly skilled associates. Custom orders will be taken this summer, with customer deliveries expected late in 2016. Seinfeld will have to wait.