Handling Business: 2019 Acura NSX Gets Suspension, Trim Updates
Acura makes its accessible supercar even more so
Yeah, we're homers for the new era Acura NSX. What about it? Acura's reimagined supercar scored a podium finish at our 2017 All-Stars competition for its combination of potent hybridized powertrain, incredible dynamic performance, and everyday usability. In short, it absolutely rocks and knocked off our socks.
It has its detractors, most notably those who've taken issue with its price. We'd say at $159,300 to start for the updated 2019 Acura NSX, it's a smoking deal for what you get and the naysayers must be smoking something funny to think otherwise. Yes, you can push it up past 200 large when you spec it out, but almost everything short of the optional carbon ceramic brakes and Pirelli Trofeo R tires are trim packages you could probably do without—unless you're a carbon fiber fanatic, that is.
The biggest changes for the 2019 NSX revolve around the suspension. Acura engineers fitted larger front and rear stabilizer bars to the NSX to help stiffen things up (26 percent front, 19 rear). More stiffness was applied to the rear toe link bushings as well (21 percent increase). You want a more rigid rear hub? Of course you do. It's been 6 percent more rigidified.
The coding geeks then went to work on the NSX's electric power steering, its specially set up all-wheel drive power unit (SH-AWD in Acura-speak), active magnetorheological damper setup, and stability settings, optimizing the software to better take advantage of the hardware updates.
What did all that upgrading do? According to Acura, the 2019 NSX is two seconds a lap faster around the famed Suzuka Circuit in Japan than the previous model year car. Not bad, especially when you consider that zero was done to the NSX's powerplant, which is unchanged at 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque from its mid-mounted, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 and 9-speed dual clutch tranny combo. The engine is supplemented by an integrated electric motor between the engine and transmission to help provide more torque. Two electric motors mounted up front that Acura calls the Twin Motor Unit help optimize torque delivery between the front wheels. It's space age-y, all-wheel drive-y, and damn good fun at full chat.
The NSX's base tire option also took some ribbing when the car first debuted, so Acura has done some rubber optimization as well in cooperation with Continental. The new standard tire is the Continental SportContact 6, which Acura says has been developed specifically for the NSX to handle both track duty and inclement weather.
Other than that, the rest of updates are either equipment enhancements or body trim changes. For example, the ELS premium audio system, power sport seats, satellite linked navigation, and aluminum pedals are all standard now, offsetting the $1,500 price increase for the 2019 NSX with $4,700 of previously optional kit.
There's a new exterior paint color called Thermal Orange Pearl, and if you want you can get orange calipers to match if you go for the carbon ceramic brakes. Inside, indigo blue and full red interior are now on the option list. There are a couple of minor standard trim enhancements, including the top grille strip that's now body color, and the grille accents are done in a gloss finish. Various optional exterior carbon-fiber trim bits are also now all shiny.
Want to take a trip to lovely Ohio to see your NSX being built and hit the track in an NSX while you're there? The NSX Insider Experience gives you the opportunity to do that, starting at $2,700.
With some 1,700 sold for the 2017-18 model years (about 1,000 in the States) the NSX has proven pretty popular, all things considered. And lest you think Acura built some sort of super poseur, it has also taken the NSX big boy racing. The NSX GT3 car, which is campaigning in its second year of the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship, has been scoring poles, points, and wins, including back-to-back victories at the Detroit Grand Prix weekend on Belle Isle.
No, the changes aren't groundbreaking, but the incremental improvements take an already killer car and make it that much better. That's something any supercar fan can get behind—no matter what type of supercar you may ultimately prefer.