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30 Years of Acura NSX

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author photo by Eric Brandt February 2019
  • The first Acura NSX concept was unveiled at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show.

  • The NSX was famous for being a high-performance supercar with everyday driving comfort and Honda reliability.

  • The hybrid second-generation NSX represents an advancement of the same idea as the original NSX.

The 2019 Chicago Auto Show marks the 30th anniversary of the global debut of the concept version of the 1989 first-generation Acura NSX supercar. To celebrate, it put together this cool video highlighting the 30-year history of the car. The NSX shocked the automotive world by being a genuine supercar that could compete with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche from Honda; an automaker best known for its affordable economy cars.

What Made the First Acura NSX Special?

Known to most of the rest of the world as the Honda NSX, the Acura NSX was born from the idea that you can have genuine supercar performance plus daily driving comfort and solid reliability without compromise. It was a big dream, but Honda delivered with the iconic NSX.

As a radical departure from everything else the Honda and Acura brands were doing at the time, the NSX had a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and introduced the first of many VTEC engines. The VTEC valvetrain which has since become ubiquitous in Honda car engines was instrumental in making variable valve timing mainstream which makes the engine more efficient under light loads and more aggressive when the driver demands more power.

A Triumphant Return

The VTEC V6 in the first-generation NSX made 270 horsepower which was pretty strong at the time, but fast forward to the second-gen model available today and you're looking at what is still a mid-engine supercar, but with an innovative hybrid powertrain that makes 573 hp. The second-generation NSX still uses a VTEC V6 engine, but it's mated to two turbochargers and a three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system that delivers a wide range of driving experiences. The new NSX can go from all-electric Quiet mode for the street to high-performance Track mode without missing a beat.

The Acura NSX has come a long way in 30 years, but many of the elements that made the car great three decades ago continue today. It's still a genuine supercar that delivers thrilling performance without sacrificing Honda dependability and everyday driveability. It's also an innovator much like the original NSX was by bringing a new hybrid powertrain to the table. After 30 years, the Acura NSX is still the supercar that you can drive to work every day.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
30 Years of Acura NSX - Autotrader