Acura’s NSX sports car comes roaring back to life in time for the Tokyo Motor Show

It’s no secret, Acura has taken a huge amount of time to introduce a successor to the NSX supercar. After developing, and scrapping, a V-10-based project some years back, Acura then introduced concept after concept across the auto show circuit. Promises and deadlines were made, then broken. Frankly, we were wondering if the NSX would ever bear a successor.

The styling really works, especially when you see the NSX in person. In April, however, Acura delivered on the promise. An NSX with a twin-turbo V-6, and a trick three-mode hybrid powertrain, would come to market in about a year’s time. We were stoked. Having recently spent time with a prime example of the original, naturally aspirated NSX, it was clear that this NSX would be an entirely different beast. We were curious about the choice of a hybrid engine but, overall, the return of the NSX signaled that Acura was again committed to performance cars.

We consider it fortunate that our first opportunity to let the NSX loose came about at Honda’s Tochigi proving ground, where an open track, the promise of two long laps, and a relatively friendly top-speed-limiter allowed us to get a taste of the NSX’s performance.

We departed pit lane in Quiet mode, which engages the hybrid system to maximize EV mode, in addition to lowering the overall noise from the engine bay. A development engineer riding alongside encouraged trying out the different drive modes, which escalate from Quiet up to Sport, Sport Plus, and Track. Admittedly, although we were on a track, we were advised to keep the dial out of Track, in deference to slower cars running the circuit at the same time.

It was hard to imagine how Acura would follow up the rousing, decade-long performance of the original NSX. Making the new one a straight-line acceleration monster was not assumed part of the plan.