On December 18, 2015, Acura announced the launch details of the two-seater 2017 Acura NSX. Touted as a “supercar,” the vehicle has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $156,000 in the U.S. and would go up to $205,700 when equipped with all the available factory features and options.
The much-anticipated 2017 Acura NSX has gained the distinction of being the most expensive car being produced in the country today. As Biz Journals quoted Matt DeLorenzo — a managing editor at Kelley Blue Book, a California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company — commented on the car’s price tag, “It’s right there at the top.” It takes over the title from the Dodge Viper, which is priced at $86,995.
Acura then auctioned off the first serial production NSX, VIN 001, at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2016. “Bids quickly started at $500,000 and rose past a million shortly after. In the last minute, a factory delivery and a special Indy racing package was added on. The winner was Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports. He shelled out $1.2 million for the vehicle,” reported Paulo Acoba in Fansided.
All proceeds from the auction went to two children’s charities: the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground.
Acura is the prestige car line of Japanese automaker Honda. It is the very first Japanese automotive luxury brand. However, Honda first unveiled it in the U.S. and Canada in 1986. Since then, there have been various Acura models produced.
In 1990, Honda launched the first-generation New Sportscar eXperimental (NSX) Acura line. It was marketed as a less expensive alternative to a Ferrari vehicle with a V8 engine. “It was a revelation for Honda — a company known more for thrifty, utilitarian cars that ran forever — and an unexpected challenge to contemporary exotics from those guys in Italy,” recalled Basem Wasef in his Wired article.
Wasef went on to note that the first-generation NSX “combined groundbreaking tech like an aluminum chassis and titanium engine valves.” It was created to be “a supercar you could commute in.”
The first-generation NSX reigned until 2005. “The original NSX, amazing as it was, eventually became a historical relic, unable (or unwilling) to compete in the horsepower wars of the past decade,” noted Wasef.
Some 10 years later, Acura finally got around to bringing the NSX up to speed — starting with updating the NSX branding as the “New Sports experience.”
The second-generation Acura NSX is produced at Honda’s new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio. Acura plans to build 800 units this year. “Each NSX will be constructed by 70 manufacturing technicians at the plant, each employed in various aspects of the car’s build, including several constituent parts,” wrote Aaron Turpen in Gizmag.
Turpen goes on to highlight some of the2017 Acura NSX’s distinct features. They the following:
- The framing and bodywork which makes extensive use of aluminum. Moreover, carbon fiber is also used in several components of the Acura’s body, including its deck lid.
- The powertrain in the 2017 Acura NSX is made up of a twin-turbocharged V6, a 9-speed dual clutch automated transmission, three electric motor/generators, and a battery pack.
- The engine gives 500 horsepower and the motors offer another 73, boosting the car to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.
As Joel Patel wrote in Car Buzz, “The Acura NSX has a few things going for it. For one, it offers hypercar technology for supercar money and can and even promises to be a supercar that shines on a daily basis, if that’s your thing.”
Car Fans and Critics Weigh In
Reviews of the 2017 Acura NSX have generally been positive. Autoweek associate editor Wesley Wren stated, “The cheapest NSX we can whip up with Acura’s online configurator rings in at $167,700, including destination. The optional carbon ceramic brakes are standard — until later in 2016 when you can order iron discs — and add nearly $10,000 to the already tall price tag.”
On the other hand, Autoweek road test editor Jake Lingeman said, “No, it’s not perfect. The big vents in the rear look cool, but we could see debris getting caught there on a long drive. And while the steering is direct, there’s not a lot road feel, though Acura says it did that on purpose to keep the daily drivability high.”
Meanwhile, Autorevolution‘s Alexandru Monenciu said, “Nobody says it is wrong to ask that kind of money on a highly expected super sports car, but let’s face it, that’s almost Lamborghini or McLaren pricing.” But even he had to admit, “Although the majority of us believe the price is a little steep, Jerry Seinfeld ordered one on the spot at (the 2015) NAIAS.”
All things considered, the 2017 Acura NSX’s place in the prestige car market seems secure. It will continue to draw the attention of the same crowd that frequents high-end auto auctions.
CNBC’s Brian Price — in his article “Luxury car sales in the fast lane?” — cites Kelley Blue Book executive market analyst Jack Nerad, who predicted that “high-end autos will continue to be good investments, thanks to more categories of collectors.”
Nerad named at least three different types of collectors: high-end collectors, speculators, as well as people who wanted cars as a child but didn’t have enough money to buy them.
In the same article Brett David, CEO of Prestige Imports, said, “Investors are looking for alternatives because they know that the stock market has instability, real estate prices are rising and they are looking for another asset. That’s feeding the want for these vehicles.”
That, of course, is what the 2017 Acura NSX is going for.