2019 Acura NSX: A few small tweaks make a huge difference
When the all new, all singing, all dancing, NS-6 hit the streets in 2016, it, well, it left some people wanting.
As it turns out, 573 horsepower delivered to all four wheels through what is still one of the most hybrid systems in production, just wasn't enough.
People wanted something more engaging, something more edgy, something with a little more soul.
I have to admit that I'm one of those people.
I love the original NFL and when I I got a chance to drive the new one, I was left wanting just a little bit more, but that's what Acura promises is in this.
It's the new 2019 NSX with a series of subtle suspension and software tweaks that promise to make it more engaging on the road and faster out here on the track.
So let's hit the road and then we'll come back to the track And see if this thing can change my mind.
First though, lets you and I run through the changes in the new car which in many respects looks just like the old one.
Only eagle eyed and SX fans will spot the revised grill garnish on the nose.
Now painted to match the rest of the car.
It's a subtle but welcome change from the previous chrome University.
While the $5,000 optional carbon fiber we're splitter on our car here, and a strong sense of purpose to the occasion.
And the other changes Well, they're even more subtle than most focus around the new tires believe or not, continental sport context six rubber offers more grip, and so the car suspension was refined take advantage of it.
Including different robots and other aspects of the drive train our unchanged but software modifications and all those other changes are said to offer greater feel and a two second improvement and laptops around the epic Suzuka Grand Prix circuit in Japan, on the inside red or blue leather interiors.
Now available, though this one sadly had neither.
While many previous options are now standard, like the upgraded and ear-shattering ELS audio system.
Although standard features mean that the new SX is even better equipped than before, which is impressive because this was already one of the best and most livable super sports cars in the market.
I mean, how many cars are there out there putting down almost 600 horsepower that also come with a perfectly livable infotainment system with both Android Auto and Apple Car play?
Although the lack of a volume knob is a bit of a bummer, but even better are the economics.
Year, I'll let you make your own [UNKNOWN] jokes at home.
But there is seriously a lot of room in here, way more than you would think from the outside.
I mean, I have enough head room that my hair doesn't even touch the head liner, and I never have enough head room in sports cars.
The seats are low and you have enough Nice, racy feel of them.
But, they're comfortable enough that I feel I can be in here for hours without having any back pain.
And then there is my favorite part, which is this steering wheel.
It's small, but it is perfectly shaped.
It's like it was molded to fit my hands like a race car.
And the steering rack in this car is so sharp that That I never need to shuffle steer.
I am absolutely love the way the steering fields.
Steering is just one of the many parameters in this car will adjust as you toggle through various dynamic modes going from quiet which realized the hybrid system to make this car as quiet as possible, up to sport and then Sport Plus and then track mode which we'll get into that later.
Everything from the suspension to the throttle response, the steering, the braking, even.
All gets dynamically adapted based on what mode you're in but if there's one big missing piece, something that the NSX desperately needs, it's the ability to create a custom mode.
I still can't, for example, have comfortable steering and comfortable suspension but full-on throttle response if I want Want it, or my personal favorite mode which is, erasing everything but a quiet exhaust which is what you need for those late night runs without waking up those neighbors.
You still can get a custom mode on the NSX and that's pretty disappointing.
But regardless which mode you're in, the NSX puts down a lot of power coming out of one of the most advanced hybrid systems on the road today.
So there are no changes to the hardware of the doctrine itself.
But given that complicated nature of everything tucked in here, let's run through it all one more time.
The heart of the unisex is a compact 500 horsepower 75 degree three and a half liter twin turbocharged b6, that's made it to both a nine speed Let's transmission and a 47 horsepower electric motor which inaccurate speak is called the direct drive motor.
All that Contraption is exclusively connected to the rear wheels up front nestled behind that revised knows you'll find another two electric motors the so-called twin motor unit.
He's driving one of the wheels.
And each offering a maximum of 36 horsepower.
Now due to the complexities of maximum electrical power delivery and aggregating all those power sources into a single all wheel drive power train, you can't just add up all that power.
But per Acura Maximum output is a very, very healthy 573 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque.
A tiny 1.3 kilowatt hour battery pack provides just enough juice for the NSX to cruise silently for short distances, perfectly those sneaky 2 AM departures to go find your favorite roast.
All that means that you can go from a perfectly quiet electric car to sneak out of your driveway if you want to.
And then with just the twist of a knob you can have an absolute rocket ship with remarkably good throttle response.
And out here on the road, it's really, really fun.
And the ride quality is actually remarkably good too, despite those incredibly low-profile tires.
But as ever with a car this quick in order to really feel what it can do and to find a racetrack.
Welcome to Lime Rock park, one of my favourite tracks in the US and not just because it really does look like a park.
Its short and sweet nature belies its tricky character.
The fastest sweeping downhill turn that leads racers either onto the crucial front straight or straight into the wall.
It's a beautiful place and a beautiful place for an afternoon of hot laps.
All right, let's start with the launch control.
Foot on the floor for the brake, foot on the gas, launch mode ready.
All right, that's pretty quick.
That 0 to 60 in just 2.9 seconds, which is as fast as a Porsche 911 Turbo S.
And that's really fast indeed.
But what's interesting about the NSX is it actually feels a little bit more subtle than the Porsche.
It's a little bit less of a kick in the pants and more of a Gentle and then really, really fast get away, and that really speaks to the subtlety of this drivetrain.
Despite having all those motors and all those disparate systems working together, they all work so incredibly well that you never know the difference.
You never feel the electric motor handing over to the gasoline engine, it's all just an incredible shove at any speed, at any RPM.
The electric motor the back is primarily for torque film basically making up for any turbo lag and that means when you put your right foot to the floor, it just goes but the real magic is what's happening in the front end.
Those dual motors up front they may not put down a lot of power But they do remarkable things for handling of this car.
They make it handle unlike any other car I've ever driven.
I've driven a lot of all wheel drive cars, front wheel drive cars, rear wheel drive cars, and this is not like any of them.
The first time I drove the NSX that's part of the reason that I was a little bit underwhelmed because turning into a corner the car can feel, maybe a little bit sedate at times.
But in talking with Peter [UNKNOWN] Him famed racing driver from accurate real time program.
He told me that to really get the most out of this car, you need to do something different.
And that is basically when the front end feels like it's under steering, turn the wheel in more, and give it more gas.
And if you've ever driven an all wheel drive car on the track that's actually the reverse of what you would typically do Usually when you start to lose the front, you unwind the wheel, and lift off the gas, to give it a little more grip.
But with the NSX, you just turn it harder, you put your foot down, and those electric motors at the front, they just figure it out.
The outside motor spins up, the inside motor can even drag to give a little bit of Regen, and that dynamic torque vectoring across the super handling all-wheel drive.
It absolutely works wonders.
And the more laps I turn in this car, the more time I spend on tracking this thing, the more I gotta say.
I've fallen in love with this thing.
The changes to the 2019 NSX are so many and so minor that in isolation, it's.
Pretty well impossible to detect any of them, but together they create a car that, while I've been doing hot laps all afternoon and all I want to do is get back in the car again.
I'm even looking forward to the drive home and let me tell you, after many long days of shooting, Super Cars, that's usually not the case.
And then there's the look.
I don't know whether its that red, or the way that those black wheels work with it, or the minor tweak that nibs the nose, but I can't stop looking at this thing.
The 2019 and SX has truly stolen my heart and since it was heart that was missing in the first place, it's safe to say this car is now complete.