Performance Cars

2019 Acura NSX gets more 'playful,' will turn you orange with desire

There wasn't a lot broken with last year's NSX, so don't expect major changes in 2019. Stiffer suspension plus a few software tweaks should make for an even more engaging car.

Acura

The new Acura NSX is a brilliant thing. It's fast and it's comfortable and everything in between. But, if it has one flaw, it's that it's perhaps a little too good. The car has been accused by some of feeling a bit cold, so in 2019, Acura is turning up the heat.

We'll start with the most visual aspect of that stale cliche, for which I can only apologize. In 2019, the NSX picks up a new color in its palette: Thermal Orange Pearl. Meant to harken back to Acura's motorsport heritage, fans of RealTime Racing will likely want to pony up the extra $700 for that hue.

The car also sees a few other visual tweaks, like the front grille garnish now painted rather than the former chrome. Orange calipers are an option on the carbon-ceramic brakes, too.

The interior receives a few tweaks as well. Those who go for the four-way power seats can now have them trimmed in red instead of just black, meaning my dream of a white NSX with red interior is now a practical reality. Those power seats are now standard fare, too, though the lighter, manual seats can still be had if you prefer -- but only in black.

Other former interior options like Acura's higher-end ELS Studio audio system and the connected navigation system are now standard, plus proximity parking sensors and even the fancy aluminum sport pedals.

The bigger changes, though, won't be so easy to spot. They start with a new standard tire, Continental SportContact 6, which is said to offer far better grip than its previous generation. With greater grip comes greater responsibility, so the anti-rollbars and bushings have been stiffened. Finally the dampers, transmission and SH-AWD system have all had a software refresh.

2019 Acura NSX

Time to live out those RealTime Racing fantasies. 

Acura

The result? Acura says the NSX is now a full two seconds faster than the previous model around the epic Suzuka Grand Prix circuit, a track that rewards both handling and power. More importantly, Acura says the car is now more "playful" at the limit, a description I can't wait to verify.

The 2019 Acura NSX starts at $157,000. That's $1,500 higher than last year, but remember, you get the seats and speakers and all that good stuff as standard fare, options that would have previously cost you $4,700. Just don't forget to budget an extra $700 for orange.