LOOKS . Cruise Missile
PERFORMANCE. Death Defying
COMFORT . Excellent
QUALITY . Well Detailed
STEREO . High Powered
CACHET . Exotic


Sticker. $79,500. est.
Power . 290 horsepower
0 to 60 . 5 to 6 sec.
Test Mileage . 21.1 mpg
Seating . 2 recliners
Trunk . 5.0 cubic feet
Parking . Social Event


A rocketship for moving in the asphalt/concrete continuum. The greatest crumpet collector since the original E type. A strato tech exotic with a super cool demeanor. An erotic animachine with a sensual feel and an impatient growl just begging to be unleashed. The automotive equivalent of a long legged 19 year old with gorgeous looks, a provocative nature, no sense of decency and an urgent desire to party harder than you can. I would reluctantly climb out of this car quivering and grinning from an adrenaline rush that would linger for hours. Hey, I'm not one to counsel financial irresponsibility, but if there is any way you can beg borrow or steal the $80,000 it takes to roll home in one of these - Go for it!

Having conquered the market in most pedestrian categories, the Japanese car makers set their sights on the automotive high end in the late 80's. Each of the key manufacturers produced high end sports cars. The RX7, Supra Turbo, 300ZX all came to market in the early 90's along with the NSX. Acura/Honda having the most competition proven pedigree of the lot, boldly decided to take on the esoteric ultra sports turf previously peopled by the high breed Italians, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. Flying in the face of GT traditions going back at least fifty years they succeeded in getting it right on the first try. While many of the other have gone out of production, the NSX remains, significantly costlier than the $61,000 price a few years ago, but still a bargain compared to the Italian exotics.

The NSX package combines heart stopping performance and awe inspiring handling with seductive styling, hi-tech hardware and unrivaled comfort and practicality. Unlike any exotic ever built, the Acura is equally at home tearing along the tarmac at 150+ or tooling through morning commute traffic.

In person the NSX attracts women and technophiles like a flying saucer offering free rides to nirvana. In fact, it becomes difficult to go anywhere without becoming actively engaged in some sort of conversation. Suffice it to say that the passenger seat was graced by more lovelies than I had room for in my little black book, and I must have recited the "aluminum chassis, slot car with a jillion horsepower" litany over 50 times in a week. This sex appeal/performance combo is the ideal promised, but so seldom achieved, by the exotic car concept. The NSX covers both ends in spades.

Our yellow spaceship brought one as close to flying on the ground as possible. The F-16 look exterior is wrapped around a very contemporary cockpit with just enough room for two semi-reclining co-pilots. There is an artful sweep to the door and fender line which provide a sense of movement and excellent visibility to the interior. Titanium finished accents highlight a twin leather-lined cubicle layout featuring excellent air conditioning, a novel analog/digital Bose stereo and a very professional instrument layout. From shifter to steering all controls were precise and polished in execution. There is nothing unnecessary or overstated. Trunk was small, but useful and one could easily live with this car day in, day out.

Twist the fancy key and you are greeted by an exciting roar as the hypertuned V-6 spins up to an 8000 rpm redline courtesy of genuine titanium rods. New for '97 a displacement boost adds 20 horsepower and better low end. Power is strong from idle on up with a booster rocket surge coming on around 6000 rpm as the variable valve timing kicks in with a tasty growl. Steering is just a tad heavy around town but feels perfect at 100 plus and cornering is downright boring except for frantic screams of unconditioned passengers. The limits were undiscoverable on public highways.

I tried every trick in the book to squeeze an extra week out of the Acura PR department and for one so automotively jaded that says it all. The NSX is one sweet bitch of a ride. I can't think of any car more perfect for its mission.