Clarion Builds Acura NSX heads to Barrett-Jackson for charity
All auction proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross.
Jon WongFormer editor for CNET Cars
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
Want a first-generation Acura NSX with 232,000 miles on the odometer? Personally, I'll take any original NSX, but would be doubly excited if it was the Clarion Builds Acura NSX that's poised to cross the Barrett-Jackson auction block in Scottsdale, Arizona.
While the chassis of this 1991 NSX has north of 200,000 miles, everything on the car has been freshened. The drivetrain is from a salvage-title 2004 NSX, meaning it's got the bigger 3.2-liter V6 with a CT Engineering supercharger mounted on top for extra kick. Along with other go-faster goodies such as an AEM computer, intake and exhaust, Clarion says output is approximately 465 horsepower.
In addition to the engine, the six-speed manual sourced from the 2004 donor car jumps over to replace the original five-speed unit.
Better handling comes courtesy of a KW Variant 3 coilover suspension, upgraded CT antiroll bars, rear shock tower brace and Volk ZE40 wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Brakes also get beefed up with a StopTech calipers clamping down on cross-drilled rotors.
Visually, the body kit on the NSX retains an overall factory appearance with slight changes. Fiberglass fenders are 2 inches wider than stock, while the carbon fiber hood and rear wing are styled after the NSX-R that was sold exclusively in Japan. Completing the exterior is a Blu Caleum paint job.
The interior makeover features contrasting terracotta and black leather trim, and a modified flat-bottom steering wheel with thicker side grips. Not surprisingly, Clarion also updated cabin infotainment ditching the original cassette deck and trunk-mounted CD changer with its NX706 head unit featuring a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, surround-eye cameras and Apple CarPlay capabilities. Clarion Z7 digital speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer finish things off to provide rocking tunes.
Clarion Builds Acura NSX to cross Barrett-Jackson auction block for the American Red Cross
So how does the reworked 1991 Acura NSX drive? Based on my extremely brief test drive, it's amazing in that it retains the feel of an old-school Honda/Acura performance car, but with much more power. Throttle response is on point, with muscular pull from the middle of the rev band to redline. Transmission shifts are fluid and the light clutch is easy to modulate.
Through bends, it's planted and eager to change directions. The brakes are mega strong, letting you confidently dive deep into corners. Bump stiffness is firmer, but far from harsh and jarring.
Those interested in adding the Clarion Builds Acura NSX to their car collection will be able to bid on it this Friday during the Barrett-Jackson auction at approximately 3:30 p.m. Mountain time. All proceeds from the sale will go to the American Red Cross, meaning the lucky winner not only gets a wicked car, they'll also be supporting an extremely worthy organization.
Watch this: Old NSX vs. new NSX on the road and the track