Serving as the most costly and strongest-performing member of the Acura lineup since 1991, the mid-engine NSX coupe gains carpeted floormats this year, but not much else is new. Inspiration for the original NSX two-seater came from Formula One racing cars. Through the years, its been a technological showcase for Honda, Acuras parent company.
Competing against the Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Porsche 911 and new BMW Z8, the NSX comes either as a fixed-roof coupe or with a lightweight removable roof panel; the latter is called the NSX-T. Though originally intended as a response to Ferrari and other high-end sports cars, the NSX never achieved that status level, so its investment potential is less dramatic. Only 221 NSX models were sold in the United States during 2000, according to Automotive News.
Unlike some sports cars with designs that date back to the early 1990s, the NSX still looks sleek and contemporary. Aluminum is used for the low-slung coupes sculpted, wedge-shaped body, as well as for many of its components. At the rear, an integrated spoiler contains a center-mounted brake light. Tires are 215/45ZR16 up front and 245/40ZR17 at the rear, all on alloy wheels.
Only two people can fit into the NSX, but tall folks get more usable space than in a lot of sports cars. Because of the mid-mounted engine, a modest-size trunk is located up front. Acura likens the interior to the cockpit of a jet fighter.
Standard equipment includes perforated leather seat upholstery, automatic air conditioning, four-way power bucket seats, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a four-speaker Bose cassette stereo, variable intermittent wipers, and power windows, locks and mirrors.
Under the Hood
Two powertrains are available. With a six-speed-manual shift, the 3.2-liter V-6 engine develops 290 horsepower. Selecting a four-speed-automatic transmission brings a 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 252 hp. The SportShift automatic unit features a manual gear-selection provision, using buttons on the steering wheel an idea borrowed from Formula One racing. Instead of a throttle cable connected to the gas pedal, or hydraulic actuation, the NSX uses electronic drive-by-wire technology.
Dual front airbags, all-disc antilock brakes and traction control are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.