Acura NSX vs the competition

 


Ultimate performance and environmental stewardship combined

Ever since Acura became Honda Motor Corp's luxury division 32 years ago, its approach to the premium car market has been different than most rivals. Sometimes eschewing orthodoxy has paid major dividends, and sometimes not. Yet overall Acura has stayed true to its core ethos, which can be summed up as performance-oriented luxury with a healthy dose of environmental stewardship. 

This was true of the original 1990-2005 mid-engine NSX sports car, and is even more apropos for the current second-generation NSX supercar introduced in 2016. The new NSX is capable of matching or besting some of the most illustrious names in the highly competitive "exotic" supercar sector on both road and track, yet its advanced two-motor hybrid drivetrain allows ultra-premium sports car buyers the ability to boast of fuel economy and CO2 emissions that are much more in line with today's environmentally responsible priorities. 

To help you appreciate just how well the new Acura NSX competes with its closest mid-engine exotic sports car rivals, we've organized some straightforward, point-form lists of standard and optional features, plus key specifications from the base trim levels of direct sports car challengers, including the BMW i8, Audi R8, McLaren 540C, Lamborghini Huracán and Ferrari 488 GTB, plus we've elaborated upon each with some competitive analysis. Take a closer look for more:
 

 

No compromise performance with zero apology emissions 

 

Acura NSX

BMW i8

Audi R8 Coupé V10 5.2 FSI quattro S tronic

McLaren 540C Coupe

Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2

Ferrari 488 GTB

Engine specifications

Mid-engine 3.5L twin-turbo V6 + two-motor hybrid

Mid-engine 1.5L turbocharged I-3 + plug-in hybrid

Mid-engine 5.2L V10

Mid-engine 3.8L twin-turbo V8 (Opt: 4.0L twin-turbo V8 hybrid)

Mid-engine 5.2L V10

Mid-engine 3.9L twin-turbo V8

Power (hp)

573 (net)

369

540 (Opt V10 Plus: 602)

533 (Opt 570S & 570GT: 562; 720S: 711)

580 (Opt LP 610-4: 610; LP 610-4 Performante: 640)

661 (Opt Pista: 710)

Torque (lb-ft)

406 (net)

420

398 (Opt V10 Plus: 413)

398 (Opt 570S & 570GT: 443; 720S: 568)

398 (Opt LP 610-4: 413; LP 610-4 Performante: 443)

561 (Opt Pista: 568)

Acceleration (0-100km/h sec)

3.3

4.4

3.6 (Opt V10 Plus: 3.3)

3.5 (Opt 570S: 3.2; 570GT: 3.4; 720S: 2.8)

3.4 (Opt LP 610-4: 3.2; LP 610-4 Performante: 2.9)

3.0 ((Opt Pista: 2.85)

Top speed (km/h)

307

250 (limited)

320 (Opt V10 Plus: 330)

320 (Opt 570S: 328; 720S: 341)

320 (Opt LP 610-4: 325)

330 (Opt Pista: 340)

Brakes (f/r)

Brembo 6-piston calipers on 370-mm discs / 4-piston on 360-mm discs (Opt 380-mm carbon ceramic)

340 mm discs / 330 mm discs

8-piston calipers / 4-piston (Opt 6-piston / 4-piston carbon ceramic)

6-piston on 394 mm discs / 4-piston on 380 mm discs (Opt carbon ceramic)

8-piston calipers / 4-piston (Opt 6-piston / 4-piston carbon ceramic)

Brembo 6-piston on 398 mm carbon ceramic discs / 4-piston on 360 mm carbon ceramic discs

Regenerative braking

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Braking distance (m from 100km/h)

29

39

29

31 (Opt 570S: 30; 570GT: 32)

32 (Opt LP 610-4: 31; LP 610-4 Performante: 31)

30

Drive configuration

AWD

AWD

AWD

RWD

RWD (Opt LP 610-4: AWD)

RWD

Transmission

9-speed dual-clutch auto

6-speed auto

7-speed dual-clutch auto

7-speed dual-clutch auto

7-speed dual-clutch auto

7-speed dual-clutch auto

Individual driving modes

Quiet, Sport, Sport+, Track

Comfort, Sport, Eco Pro, eDrive

Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual (Opt V10 plus: Performance)

Normal, Sport, Track

Strada, Sport, Corsa

Wet, Sport, Race, CT Off, ESC Off

Chassis

Aluminum-intensive, multi material

Carbon-fibre intensive, multi material

Aluminum-intensive, multi material

Carbon-fibre intensive, multi material

Aluminum-intensive, multi material

Aluminum-intensive, multi material

Body/frame construction

Aluminum-intensive space frame, carbon-fibre floor, composite body panels

Carbon-fibre intensive, multi material

Aluminum-intensive space frame, carbon-fibre B-pillars, floor/central tunnel, bulkhead, aluminum body panels

Carbon-fibre intensive, multi material

Aluminum-intensive space frame, carbon-fibre B-pillars, floor/central tunnel, bulkhead, aluminum body panels

Aluminum-intensive, multi material

Roof panel

Aluminum (Opt exposed-weave carbon fibre)

Carbon-fibre

Aluminum

Carbon-fibre

Aluminum

Aluminum

Curb weight (kg)

1,725

1,539

1,695 (Opt V10 Plus: 1,645)

1,438 (Opt 570S: 1,457; 570GT: 1,503; 720S: 1,436)

1,389 (Opt LP 610-4: 1,422; LP 610-4 Performante: 1,382)

1,475

Fuel Economy (city/hwy/comb L/100km)

13.5 / 12.3 / 13.0

8.4 / 8.1 / 8.3

17.1 / 11.3 / 14.5

16.5 / 7.4 / 12.4

21.0 / 10.4 / 16.2

18.1 / 12.3 / 15.5

CO2 emissions (kg/year)

5,962

3,802

6,760

5,706

7,600

7,240

Hybrid or electric motive power

Standard (two-motor hybrid)

Standard (plug-in hybrid)

No

No

Opt plug-in hybrid (late arrival)

No

Steering type

Power-assisted electric rack and pinion

Power-assisted electric rack and pinion

Power-assisted electric rack and pinion

Power-assisted rack and pinion

Power-assisted electric rack and pinion

Power-assisted rack and pinion

Suspension (f/r)

Double-wishbone / multi-link

Double-wishbone / Double-wishbone

Double-wishbone / Double-wishbone

Double-wishbone / Double-wishbone

Double-wishbone / Double-wishbone

Double-wishbone / multi-link

Adaptive suspension system

Yes (active magnetorheological coilovers)

Yes

Yes (magnetic ride control)

Yes

Yes

Yes (active magnetorheological coilovers)

Weight distribution percentage (f/r)

42/58

49/51

42/58

42/58

40/60 (Opt LP 610-4: 43/57)

41/59

Standard wheels (f/r)

19/20

20

19

19/20

19

20/20

Standard tires (f/r)

P245/35ZR19 / P305/30ZR20

215/45YR20 / 245/40YR20

P245/35ZR19 / P295/35ZR19

P235/35R19 / P305/30R20

P245/35R19 / P305/35R19

P245/35ZR20 / P305/30ZR20



It's no longer just ok to be as fast as the rest. Now it's more important than ever to be quick as well as responsible. Even with Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, in which Acura's parent company Honda is now the official power unit supplier of four-times championship winning Red Bull Racing, electrification via energy recovery system (ERS) is now a critical part of the performance equation. 

For comparative purposes we've included the BMW i8 in this discussion, and while it's the best on this list when fuel economy and CO2 emissions are highlighted thanks to its small-displacement 1.5-litre three-cylinder Mini-sourced engine and plug-in hybrid powertrain, the 369-horsepower Bavarian's acceleration from standstill is by far the slowest in this class at 4.4 seconds to 100km/h, whereas the 573-horsepower NSX hits the 100km/h mark in just 3.3 seconds while achieving some of the best fuel economy ratings and emissions results in the class at 13.0 L/100km combined city/highway and 5,962 kilograms of CO2 emitted per year. 


 

That's incredibly quick, by the way, only beaten by the Ferrari 488 GTB, and then by a mere 0.3 seconds. On that note it's amazing to think the NSX hybrid will blast past the Audi R8 V10, McLaren 540C and Lamborghini Huracán in a straight-line dash, and then pass them once again when they're lined up at the pump. The Ferrari, for instance, requires 15.5 L/100km combined when driven gingerly to maximize economy, while the slightly slower Lamborghini sucks back a whopping 16.2 L/100km combined when the throttle is treated most tenderly. The McLaren's highway and combined ratings are a bit better on paper, but most reports state that it's near impossible to achieve its claimed highway rating in real life, which of course would make its actual combined results quite a bit higher. No doubt the NSX' paddle-shift actuated nine-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox and partially electric all-wheel drivetrain played a part in its efficiency, as well as its performance. 

To put the worst offending supercars into perspective, the most efficient version of Cadillac's massive full-size Escalade SUV achieves an estimated 14.0 L/100km combined city/highway while only adding 6,580 kilograms of CO2 to the atmosphere per year, and this comparatively slow moving hulk of a leather-clad workhorse has a much better chance of achieving both claimed estimates in the real world than one of these sultry carbon-fibre and aluminum-skinned mid-engine tempters. So all said the NSX not only cleans most rivals' clocks on the road and track, but it pays respect to mother nature by besting them at the pump and tailpipe too.  




Brilliant braking thanks to lightweight carbon-fibre and aluminum construction 

What's more, the new Acura NSX is also tied with the Audi R8 for safest supercar, thanks to a 100km/h to zero stopping distance of just 29 metres, compared to 30 metres for the Ferrari, 31 for the base McLaren, 32 for the Lamborghini, and 39 for the BMW. Yes, the i8 needs an additional 10 metres to stop from regular highway speeds, which is just another performance parameter showing that it's not truly in the supercar league. 

Then again, the i8 joins most of its competitors when it comes to exotic build materials, with much of its underpinnings formed from carbon-fibre. Similarly, the NSX is based on an aluminum-intensive space frame with a carbon-fibre floor and composite body panels, and can even be had with a carbon-fibre roof panel and exposed carbon-fibre exterior and interior trim. Such close attention to weight savings is a key reason for being so incredibly fast and agile. 


 

Incredible value despite more standard features 

 

 

Acura NSX

BMW i8

Audi R8 Coupé V10 5.2 FSI quattro S tronic

McLaren 540C Coupe

Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2

Ferrari 488 GTB

 

MSRP

 

$189,900

$152,715

$185,000 (Opt V10 Plus: $214,900)

$209,500 (570S: $229,000; 570GT: $241,000; 720S: $312,500)

$223,500 (LP 610-4: $267,100; LP 610-4 Performante: $329,895)

$301,000 (Opt 488 Pista)

Headlamps

Full LED

Full LED

Full LED

Full LED

Full LED

HID with LED

Auto high beams

Yes

Opt

Yes

No

No

No

Dynamic cornering headlamps

No

Opt

No

Yes

No

Opt

Passive keyless entry

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pushbutton start

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Parking brake

Electric

Electric

Mechanical handbrake

Electric

Electric

Electric

Auto-dimming centre mirror

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Auto-dimming side mirrors

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Opt

Rain-sensing wipers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Colour TFT primary gauge cluster

Yes (8.0-inch)

Yes (8.8-inch)

Yes (12.3-inch)

Yes (10.0-inch)

Yes (12.3-inch)

Partial (mechanical tachometer)

Backup camera

Yes (multi-angle)

Yes (Opt 360-degree surround)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Front, corner and rear parking sensors

Opt

Yes

Yes

Opt

Opt

Opt

Dual-zone auto climate control

Yes

Yes

No (single-zone)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Garage door opener

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Opt

Opt

Leather upholstery

Yes (Milano perforated leather and Alcantara-trimmed; Opt semi-aniline)

Yes

Yes (Nappa)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Full extended leather interior

Yes (instrument and door panels)

Yes

Opt

Yes

Opt

Opt (lower instrument panel)

Alcantara headliner

Opt

Opt

Opt

Opt

Opt

Opt

Power front seats

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Driver-side memory

Opt

Yes

Yes

Yes

Opt

Opt (includes powered steering column)

Heated front seats

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Opt

Opt

Centre infotainment display

7.0-inch (touchscreen)

8.8-inch

No (infotainment functions in TFT gauge cluster)

7.0-inch (vertical)

No (infotainment functions in TFT gauge cluster)

No (infotainment functions in TFT gauge cluster)

Apple CarPlay + Android Auto

Yes

CarPlay (for 2019)

Yes

No

CarPlay (Android Auto for 2019)

No

Voice activation

Opt

Yes

Yes

Yes

Opt

Yes

4G LTE Wi-Fi

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Siri Eyes Free

Compatibility

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

SMS text / email function

Yes

No

Yes

No

Opt

No

Navigation

Opt

Yes

Yes

Yes

Opt

Yes

Audio speakers (total)

9

11

7

4

4

6

HD radio

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No



At $189,900 the NSX is right on par with the Audi R8 despite its sophisticated hybrid powerplant and resultant performance advantages, while all of its true two-seat exotic competitors are priced tens of thousands, or in the case of the Ferrari 488 GTB, more than a hundred thousand higher. 

Part of the NSX value equation is its standard feature set, which includes LED headlamps with automatic high beam assist, proximity-sensing access with pushbutton ignition, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, a configurable TFT colour gauge cluster, a separate infotainment display with a standard multi-angle parking camera, available navigation, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, Siri Eyes Free, SMS text and email-reading capability, dual-zone auto climate control, nine-speaker ELS audio, HD radio, powered and heated seats with available memory, Milano perforated leather and suede-like Alcantara-trimmed upholstery with an optional semi-aniline full leather interior and an available Alcantara roofliner, plus more. Go ahead and browse through the chart above to see everything the NSX comes with that's either not available or optional with its pricier rivals, all of which makes it one of the easiest to live with in the supercar class. 


 

The strongest warranty in the segment 


 

Acura NSX

BMW i8

Audi R8 Coupé V10 5.2 FSI quattro S tronic

McLaren 540C Coupe

Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2

Ferrari 488 GTB

Maximum passengers

2

4 (2+2)

2

2

2

2

Dimensions (mm)

Length: 4,470; Width: 1,940 (2,217 with mirrors); Height: 1,214; Wheelbase: 2,629

Length: 4,689; Width: 1,942; Height: 1,298; Wheelbase: 2,800

Length: 4,426; Width: 1,940; Height: 1,240; Wheelbase: 2,650

Length: 4,530; Width: 2,095; Height: 1,202; Wheelbase: 2,670

Length: 4,459; Width: 1,924; Height: 1,165; Wheelbase: 2,620

Length: 4,568; Width: 1,952; Height: 1,213; Wheelbase: 2,650

Track (f/r)

1,656 / 1,617 mm

1,644 / 1,576

1,638 / 1,599

1,656 / 1,583 mm

1,668 / 1,620

1,679 / 1,647

Cargo space (litres)

110

154

112

150 (Opt 570GT: 370; 720S: 360)

100

230

Basic warranty (years/km)

4 / 80,000

4 / 80,000

4 / 80,000

3 / unlimited

3 / unlimited

3 / unlimited

Powertrain warranty (years/km)

5 / 100,000

4 / 80,000

4 / 80,000

3 / unlimited

3 / unlimited

3 / unlimited



Living in the lap of luxury with the ability to get where you're going quicker than with most any other car are important NSX attributes, but knowing this mid-engine exotic is likely to be more reliable than its Italian, British and German competitors doesn't hurt matters either. Acura backs up the NSX further with the longest warranty in the class, featuring four years or 80,000 kilometres of basic coverage, five years or 100,000 km of powertrain protection, and eight years or 160,000 km of emissions and hybrid components coverage, not to mention roadside assistance for four years with unlimited distance limits. 


 

It should now be easy to see that the new Acura NSX is the logical choice when it comes to hyper-fast mid-engine supercars, but then again we all know that emotion plays a big part in any sports car purchase. Therefore, with a new appreciation for the NSX' incredible performance, respect to the environment, luxuriously finished and well stocked cabin, better than average expected dependability and worry-free warranty, it's time you made a personal connection with its dramatically chiseled lines and finely crafted details by visiting Burrard Acura at 730 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver, or calling them at 888-237-4935. 




Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press 
Photo credits: Bentley 
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.