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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

Designed and built in America, the 2018 Acura NSX is the luxury brand’s fastest, quickest and most powerful machine. Ever. And with a base price of over $155,000, the mid-engine hybrid-powered supercar is also the most expensive Acura. Ever. With 573 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the sophisticated NSX can squirt to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and its top speed is over 190 mph. So it has the power and the speed to rival the Ferrari 488 and the Lamborghini Huracan, but it costs much less than those Italian exotics. The Audi R8 and the hybrid-powered BMW i8, which is also a plug-in, cost about the same, but the BMW can’t keep up with the Acura, which is powered by a 500-horsepower twin-turbo, all-aluminum 3.5-liter V6 in combination with three electric motors, a 1.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you desire a sophisticated and technically advanced 2-seat supercar with exotic design, everyday civility and world-class speed and performance, you’ll like the 2018 Acura NSX. The plug-in hybrid can also be driven silently for a few miles on electricity alone, just like the $1,000,000 Porsche 918 Spyder and the McLaren P1.

You May Not Like This Car If...

On paper, the Acura NSX’s 573 horsepower sounds impressive, and on the road those ponies provide plenty of thrust. But they don’t come with bragging rights. The Audi R8 V10 Plus, Ferrari 488 and Lamborghini Huracan all pack over 600 horsepower. Even the Chevy Corvette Z06 and a long list of sedans and SUVs out-power the Acura.

What's New for 2018

All-new just last year, the Acura NSX has received no changes or updates for 2018.

Driving It Driving Impressions

It isn’t the speed of the 2018 Acura NSX that impresses. Oh, sure, it’s quick. Let it eat and the SH-AWD system does its thing, all four massive Michelins claw at the asphalt and you’re past 60 mph in about three seconds, your head pinned to the seat as the supercar’s 9-speed dual-clutch automatic snatches another gear and then another. Hold your foot down and it’ll crest 190 mph. And man can it corner, thanks to Active Torque Vectoring that independently applies power or braking forces to each front wheel to further enhance grip. And the Acura’s excellent mechanical/regenerative braking system feels great and is extremely positive. But the best part, the part that blows our minds is the civility and the comfort. The NSX is a pussycat in traffic and in the tight confines of the city. You can control these multiple personalities with four driver-selectable settings, Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track. Each tunes the steering, brakes, throttle response, Vehicle Stability Assist, magnetorheological dampers and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD while tweaking the level of exhaust roar both inside the car and out.

Favorite Features

You know the old saying, “Stopping is just a matter of money. How quickly do you want to stop?” Acura offers a Carbon-Ceramic Brake package on the 2018 NSX and it ain’t cheap. With black calipers the lightweight, heat-resistant track-ready brakes cost an additional $9,900. But the price climbs to $10,600 if you want red or silver calipers.

For the additional $2,800 we recommend this audio upgrade. The ELS system packs the NSX with nine speakers and 580 watts of power. That’s twice the power of the standard system, and the 5.1 DTS Neural Sound surround sound turns the supercar’s cabin into a concert hall. I’ve never heard “East Bound and Down” with such punch and midrange pulse.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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