Top 5 Reasons Why the Old NSX is Better Than the New NSX

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After eleven long years, filled with promises, concepts, and hype the new NSX is here, and the initial fanfare is…lukewarm, to say the least. What happened? The original NSX was a revolution, and the new one is just an evolution. Here is where they went wrong.


1. Engine


Both cars have V6 engines with a redline north of 7000 RPM. The problem is that while the original NSX had a tractable, linear, smooth naturally-aspirated engine, the new NSX has a rather quiet twin-turbo engine. Sure, it has torque in the way that the old car never had, but in tandem with the electric motors powering the front wheels, it all feels a little too soulless.


2. Transmission


Honda/Acura has long been known for their silky smooth manual transmissions. Where is the fun factor of a 9-speed automatic? Sure it’s faster on paper, but in the real world, the involvement with the car offered with a great manual transmission made the original NSX feel like an extension of one’s self. This new-fangled hybrid, with its all-wheel-drive automatic, makes this machine feel distant.


3. Price


The original NSX was a pricey endeavor, starting at $60,000 way back in 1991, for reference, you could buy a Corvette for about $35,000 back then. However, the new NSX blows it out of the water with a base price of $160,000! Again, for context, a modern Corvette starts at around $55,000. Proportionally, it’s not even close. The NSX has jumped price brackets and intended audiences. It’s gone from an aspirational car that a Honda diehard could work hard, save up and eventually buy, to a car that will only be seen valet parked with the other vehicles of the rich and the famous.


4. Weight


Coming in around 3000 lbs depending on the specification, the NSX was light on its feet and agile. Even with its’ modern carbon fiber-infused chassis, the new NSX’s hybrid electric powertrain really ramps up the curb weight. At over 3800 lbs, it’s a heavyweight, more so than a Porsche 911 Turbo, McLaren or any other “benchmark” car that Acura wants to name drop. The heavier a car is, the harder it is to drive on the limit, and the tactility of the original NSX is long gone.


5. Premise


This is one area where both cars share their mission statement, but we lament it for that reason. The original NSX was designed to beat anything coming out of Europe, and be more reliable doing it. The new NSX shares this mantra, but the competition has changed. Originally it was the raw, V8-powered Ferrari 348 that the NSX looked to shame. Now it’s the Porsche 911 Turbo, McLaren 570/650S, and Audi R8. These cars are less focused on being sports cars with sharp handling, instead, they are complex, technology-laden touring cars that happen to be capable on a track.


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