Acura NSX vs Honda NSX – Uncovering the Key Differences
Launched simultaneously in 1990, the Acura NSX and Honda NSX variants featured almost identical underlying mechanicals. Yet despite being born twins, respective generations diverged slightly in specifications and features tailored to North American versus Japanese tastes. Beyond nameplates, several meaningful differences separate these two versions of what Honda dubbed “New Sports eXperience”.
Both breeds of NSX deliver everyday supercar usability with pinch-me performance thanks to a mid-mounted C30A V6. Power gets routed through a rear transaxle for optimized weight bias. While outputs differ slightly between models, any NSX serves up Ferrari-like speed through an accessible package focused on driver connection versus straight-line acceleration. Beyond shared DNA and aluminum monocoques lie nuances between Acura and Honda editions.
Distinguishing First-Generation Differences
Debuting in 1990 for 1991, OEM wheel sizes differed between continents. Standard Japanese-market phones measured a staggered 16-inches fore, 17-inch aft. The NSX’s bespoke tires were also exclusive to Honda, branded as ZR high-performance rubber. North America received Gatorbacks. Interior plastic quality skewed higher in JDM cars along with seats featuring fixed headrests. Dashboard layouts mirrored respective brands too.
Both offer a central tachometer and digital speed readout. But the JDM NSX omitted cup holders, thanks to cultural tea-drinking customs. facility increased in 1993 from 262 to 276 horsepower. Honda’s version maxed around 291 horses. Unique bumper designs, badging, and side marker lights complete the NSX distinction for Generation 1.
Acura NSX vs Honda NSX Separating Second Generation Attributes
Swapping model years 2002 and 2005 brought the NSX’s second iteration with over 500 tweaks. Now boasting nearly 300 horsepower plus a six-speed manual, both brands focused on enhancing rigidity, aerodynamics, and handling. The NSX grew three inches in length while losing about 40 pounds through increased use of carbon fiber and aluminum.
Alongside powertrain and weight upgrades, Gen 2 NSXs tout unique styling. Gone are the pop-up headlights in favor of fixed units with auto-leveling HID projectors. Honda stuck with five-spoke wheels while Acura gained seven Y-shaped spokes. Cabins remain driver-focused, but JDM editions feature Honda emblems and Type-V steering wheels.
Standalone badges aside, the NSX spirit perseveres between nameplates via pedigrees cementing them amongst history’s purest sports cars.
Owning an Original NSX Today
Since ending production in 2005, all NSX generations hold collectible status for their innovative alloy craftsmanship. This is especially true when seeking out unmolested, low-mile examples. However, when shopping for an NSX, the more rare JDM Hondas tend to command higher valuations and interest than Acuras. Contributing factors include smaller production numbers for Japanese markets and perceived authenticity.
Beyond investment, what matters most comes from behind the wheel. Either NSX delivers one of motoring’s greatest highs. Their racecar-like dashboards connect drivers directly to the mechanics orchestrating such ethereal handling. Masterful steering response makes apex clipping a joy.
Expansive greenhouse visibility paired to a rearward engine note creates full immersion when exercising an NSX’s performance potential. Regardless of brand, both are landmark achievements cementing Honda’s engineering chops.