At first glance, we thought this engineering test vehicle was the Lexus LF-A, not an Acura NSX replacement. Then we remembered the 2007 Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept that debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. Suddenly it made sense.
This test car is well camouflaged, but there are some clear differences from the concept car. The front fascia is more aggressive and has a large air intake in the center that is flanked by two smaller intakes. Headlights have been modified for production by increasing the size and angle of the lights. The changes give the car a more aggressive front end, and also differentiate the NSX from other Acura products. With this much camo covering the car, it's impossible to tell if that's a good or bad thing. Hopefully a closer-to-production car debuts at an auto show this year.
While the concept car had rocker panels that tucked neatly under the car, the production car will have rockers that point away from the body. The greenhouse is a bit taller now, and the rear window will give much more visibility than the concept's. Changes to the rear bumper and lights are numerous. Expect the stacked exhaust to remain, but note the three air ducts at the bottom of the bumper and the production-friendly taillights. This car loses the distinct crease in the middle of the back bumper that we saw on the concept. We can't tell if the taillights stretch across the rear of the car like the concept's did. A pronounced bump on the hatch should provide downforce for better grip on the track.
Acura has been fiddling with the design and engine choices for the NSX for a long time now. It looks as if those choices have finally been made and the car should be headed to production as a 2010 model. Of course the Nissan GT-R is foiling Acura and Toyota's plans for building legitimate supercars since the Nissan is so cheap and so capable.