Honda NSX bows out in style with 592bhp Acura NSX Type S special edition
The Honda NSX’s days are numbered – just 350 examples of the Type S will be built before the car is axed
Honda (or, rather, its posh sister brand, Acura) brought a car with rather bittersweet connotations to this year’s Monterey Car Week. It launched the new 592bhp NSX Type S, which is the most powerful version of the sports car the company has built to date.
However, the Type S will also be the final version of the second-generation NSX to trundle down the company’s production lines. Once the 350-strong limited production run has been sold, Honda will pull the sports car from its line-up.
To pile on yet more bad news, none of these limited edition Acura NSX models will be sold in the UK. 300 have been reserved for US customers, with the rest going to buyers in central America and Japan. Prices in the States will start from $169,500 (roughly £122,000).
Mechanical upgrades over the standard NSX are extensive. Acura’s engineers have coaxed another 27bhp and 22Nm of torque out of the car’s 3.5-litre V6 hybrid powertrain by adding bigger fuel injectors, more efficient intercoolers and new turbochargers.
Despite the upgrades, performance remains about the same as in the standard NSX. Acura says 0–60mph takes “less than three seconds,” while top speed is identical at 191mph.
The electric side of the NSX’s powertrain has also been tweaked with a more efficient motor controller, which allows a 20 percent higher usable battery capacity and 10 percent greater battery output. The upshot of this is that more power is delivered to the car's three electric motors, which provide better acceleration and a slightly longer EV-only range.
Acura revised the NSX Type S’s nine-speed gearbox, too, with a more aggressive shift map that engages the clutch up to 50 percent faster from the moment the paddle is pressed.
There’s also some new software which allows the driver to skip gears rather than having to shift through each one sequentially. Acura’s “Rapid Downshift” mode automatically selects the lowest gear for the car’s speed – and all the driver needs to do is hold down the paddle.
It isn’t all about straight-line speed, though. Acura combed through the NSX’s running gear, fitting Brembo brakes, new Pirelli P-Zero tyres and forged alloy wheels, which increase the car’s track width at the front and rear.
To control the extra power, Acura recalibrated the settings for the NSX’s adjustable dampers. The firm says the tweaks have improved both the car’s handling and comfort, depending on which profile the owner engages in the car’s drive mode selector.
For more serious drivers, Acura also offers a lightweight package for the NSX Type S, which adds carbon ceramic Brembo brakes, a carbon fibre engine cover and carbon fibre trim for the cabin. The upgrade adds $13,000 (around £9,300) to the car’s starting price and shaves 26.2kg off its kerb weight.
The extra go is backed-up by a little more show – but, as this is Honda, the cosmetic tweaks also serve a practical purpose. The new front splitter and rear diffuser generates more downforce than the standard NSX, while the larger front grille and side intakes were designed to channel more air towards the radiators to keep the engine cool.
There’s also a new carbon fibre spoiler, carbon fibre side skirts and a standard carbon fibre roof, which Acura says has lowered the NSX’s centre of gravity and improved its handling.
Acura has fitted a few purely cosmetic additions, such as gloss black door mirrors, a darkened exhaust tip and tinted front and rear lamp lenses. There’s also “Type S” decals on the rear quarter panels and a numbered plaque for the engine cover.
Inside, buyers get a new Alcantara headliner, an embroidered “Type S” logo on the glove box lid and new “NSX” badges on the head rests. There’s also a choice of new leather upholstery finishes in either Ebony, Orchid and Red.
Are you sad to see the death of the second-generation Honda NSX? Let us know in the comments below…