The end of an era began today in Marysville, Ohio as the first Acura NSX Type S rolled out the doors of the Performance Manufacturing Center.
Honda’s luxury unit announced last year it would end production of the latest iteration of the sports car, but would follow “tradition” and build a collectible model to end the run. When it killed off the first-gen NSX, it build the NSX Zanardi in 1999.
With a total production run of 350 units, every NSX Type S was quickly reserved when pre-orders opened last August. PMC will finish production of the limited-run supercar this year.
“Today is an exciting day for PMC and Acura as we begin shipping the highly-desired NSX Type S supercar,” said PMC Division Lead Gail May. “Every associate here is committed to ensuring that each Type S we build, from VIN#001 all the way up to VIN#350, will be as perfect as the first second-generation NSX this team built in 2016.”
The final hurrah
Acura shipped out the first two NSX Type S in the exclusive Gotham Gray matte paint finish, which requires new handling and shipping techniques at the PMC to ensure it is completely protected during its shipment to dealers.
The special handling includes a new protective film for the car’s exterior as well as a thicker, softer body covering for transportation. Acura dealers will train owners how to care for the new paint properly.
The current-generation NSX is a much aggressive looking beast that its predecessor, and many of the components make sure that it walks the walk as well as talking the talk. It features unique 5-spoke wheels, stickier Pirelli P-Zero tires, a retuned Adaptive Damper System, Type S decals and a standard carbon fiber roof.
Under its available carbon fiber engine cover is Acura’s most powerful production drivetrain ever: an updated version of the supercar’s twin-turbocharged V-6 and three-motor hybrid system that produces 600 horsepower and 492 pound-feet of torque, Acura notes.
The supercar’s 9-speed DCT and revolutionary torque-vectoring Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) also are retuned to maximize performance. An available Lightweight Package includes Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Carbon Fiber Engine Cover and Carbon Fiber interior package, reducing total curb weight by nearly 58 pounds.
Sales of the current-generation NSX never quite met initial expectations and have faded into insignificance since its return in mid-2016. American motorists purchased just 138 in 2020, with dealers delivering a mere 16 this past June. But it was, nonetheless, a significant and influential product.
The original 1990 model was the first Japanese supercar and achieved a number of breakthroughs, starting with its lightweight aluminum body. Production was halted in 2005 and Acura spent a decade trying to figure out how to bring NSX back to market. It tinkered with a variety of different powertrain alternatives before settling in on a hybrid system pairing a twin-turbocharged V-6 with three electric motors, one in back, the others driving the front-wheel.
The internal combustion system provided a peak 500 horsepower, the front motors 34 hp each. The back motor added another 47 ponies. (And don’t try to do the math; the V-6 and the electric motors hit peak hp and torque at different RPMs.) That was enough to launch the NSX from 0-60 in 2.7 seconds, with a top speed of 191 mph.
As tough as it was on the street, the NSX was also a force to be reckoned with on the track, Acura’s statement noting, “The second-generation NSX has also dominated on the racetrack, with the NSX GT3 Evo winning the 2019 and 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship titles in the GTD class, and the 2019 Super GT driver’s and manufacturer’s championships in the GT300 class in Japan.
“NSX also currently holds the Hybrid record in the Time Attack 1 division of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, set in 2020 by James Robinson, and the production vehicle record at the Grand Prix of Long Beach street circuit, set in 2019 by Peter Cunningham.”