Supercharged NSX vs. Lotus Evora: Unlikely, Yet Evenly Matched

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Lotus Evora 400 may be the spiritual successor to the original NSX, but the OG has still got it.

The second-generation Acura NSX is a wonderful machine, especially one touted as the “revolution of an icon” designed, developed and assembled in the United States. From the extensive use of carbon fiber in its body to the 573-horsepower hybrid powerplant delivering the goods through its bespoke all-wheel drive system, the current NSX is the perfect machine for many. But for quite a few, it’s not the same as the original NSX, the Ferrari-fighter touched by the hands of the late, great Ayrton Senna. For them, the current NSX misses the mark on what made the original an icon in the first place.

The Smoking Tire‘s Matt Farah knows this feeling, and he’s found its spiritual successor in the 2018 Lotus Evora 400. Both are lightweight, mid-engine, V6-powered sports cars, after all. But, Farah wondered how the Evora compared to the original NSX, so he brought a supercharged 1991 model to compare against the Anglo-Japanese exotic on the canyon roads of Southern California.

1991 Acura NSX

Up first is the NSX, one Farah drove for his previous show, /TUNED, years ago. The old-school NSX has a Comptech Supercharger, pushing the V6 to 400 horses at the crank, along with upgrades to the tires, wheels, brakes and suspension. Though it will be 30 in less than three years, the weekend track day car more than proves its earned legendary status, from its “light and airy” cockpit with usable rear window and large windshield, to its “super-direct” steering and good driving dynamics. It’s even quieter than the Evora, though the latter has a better turning radius, the one concession Farah gives to the Evora.

2018 Lotus Evora 400

Speaking of, the Evora is the car you want “if you wanted a new version of the [original] NSX, instead of the hybrid car that we got.” Farah says the Evora is an “extremely versatile” exotic that can go to and from the track repeatedly, powered by a 400-horse supercharged Toyota V6. He adds that this car is so good that it “really turned [him] off to the idea of project cars.” And it adheres to Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s lightness mantra well, something the NSX also did in its first incarnation.

2018 Lotus Evora 400 and 1991 Acura NSX

Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you got about $89,000 to spare, you can either pick-up a new Evora 400 (and opt for the deletion of the useless rear seat while you’re at it), or find a good first-gen NSX on eBay or Hemmings, then use the buckets of spare cash to make it the best NSX on your block.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth about Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive expert is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected]

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