2019 Acura NSX Performance Review: Did Acura Make the New Sports Experience Even Better?

2019 Acura NSX
[Photos: Acura]


The 2019 Acura NSX packs a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that comprises a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine mated to a 9-speed, paddle shifted dual clutch transmission and two rear-mounted electric motors. That generates instant engine torque response, and also functions as a generator to constantly maintain the hybrid batteries’ charge state as well as consistently supporting driver initiated demands. The transmission is purpose built, with the clutch and differential placed side-by-side in a common housing. The total motive force delivered by the combined systems is 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque.

All of this is based on a space frame chassis composed primarily of aluminum. The 2019 Acura NSX is more rigid throughout. The rear hub is 6 percent more rigid, the rear stabilizer bar is 19 percent stiffer, while the front stabilizer bar is 26 more rigid than before. Like the space frame, Acura also used a mix of lightweight materials for the body. That includes hydro-formed aluminum for the outer door skins, aluminum on the hood and roof and composite twin fuel tanks.

The NSX’s suspension consists of an all-aluminum double wishbone arrangement with double lower control arms up front and an independent multilink setup in the rear. Active dampers are at all four corners, with two adjustable settings that vary with different drive modes in an Adaptive Damper System. The 2019 Acura NSX rolls on staggered new Continental SportContact 6 tires that feature stiffer sidewalls and a softer, stickier compound for better grip and stability.


The exterior design of the 2019 Acura NSX is a harmonious blend of sharp angles and voluptuous curves. It’s also a case study in function dictating form, with total airflow management a key element in delivering the level of aerodynamics required for effective and efficient thermal management of its hybrid system. To provide sufficient cooling, there are ten heat exchangers positioned in the front grille area, side “flying C-pillar” air intakes, as well as throughout the engine compartment. Getting air out is just as important as getting the air in, and there are outlets positioned in the upper rear quarter sail panels, beneath the rear spoiler lip and in the lower rear fascia in the form of a large horizontal grille flanked by two large vents.

As with the outside, the interior exhibits the same attention to detail and functionality as the exterior styling. Interior designer Jonathon Norman pointed out that controls and switchgear are optimally placed for intuitive use. The leather sport seats with Alcantara inserts are perfectly contoured and formed to provide excellent support for both boulevard cruising and race track exercises. The steering wheel shape and size feels just right.

2019 Acura NSX


Forward visibility is outstanding thanks to the super thin A-pillar design. That said, the rear side view is somewhat limited by the large flying C-pillar. Depending on your height, the visors may not be useful either. Getting in and out is much easier than with most other supercars. There’s plenty of headroom for those up to 6’5”, even with a helmet on, which can pose some difficulty when entering and exiting the vehicle.

To experience the NSX’s performance capabilities, there was the opportunity to
get behind the wheel at the Transportation Research Center. The research center comprises a 4,500-acre complex of various road courses, including a 7.5-mile high-speed oval test track. During the media drive program, journalists had the opportunity to pilot the 2019 Acura NSX in both real-world driving scenarios, as well as high-speed race track laps and launch control demonstrations.

2019 Acura NSX


The 2019 Acura NSX is wickedly fast, thanks to its hybrid system managing 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. It’s also smooth while managing to do everything that a supercar should. It is a poster car for Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance philosophy.

The NSX expands the range of available driving experiences with its Integrated Dynamics System. The left two positions are Quiet and Sport, while the right two positions are Sport + and Track. Sport + provided the most enjoyment for challenging twisty roads, with the Track setting optimizing the car’s outright performance capabilities. The individual settings also deliver a wide range of tunable sound levels. There’s actually a 25 decibel range between Quiet and Track modes.

Even placing the nine-speed transmission in automatic mode, it is possible to dive further into a turn at full speed before braking. It’s also possible to apply heavy throttle even before exiting the turn. When you overdo it in a corner, you can feel the car twitch. However, it immediately recovers thanks to the SH-AWD system. Braking is phenomenal with the six-piston Brembo calipers clamping onto 14.5-inch front ceramic rotors. There was no indication of fade after hard use. Handling is awesome and forget about shuffling hands about on the wheel. You can conquer turns simply by turning with hands in a fixed position.

The ride quality is forgiving, with Magnetorheological dampers at each corner. Railroad track crossings and bumps in the road are barely noticeable.

The Launch control is the smoothest I’ve encountered to date, with no complicated process or settings to fiddle with. There’s no sensation of strain on the running gear. In fact, you can repeat the process over and over again with no ill effects.

2019 Acura NSX


The Acura team has positively nailed it with the 2019 Acura NSX. Even at the fully-loaded price nearing the $200,000 mark, it’s a bargain against some of its supercar competition. NSX production is based on an as-ordered basis. So if you’re anxious want one, order early. The enhanced 2019 Acura NSX truly delivers a full-on thrilling experience. Audi, Ferrari and Porsche beware.

Check out how the Acura NSX performs on snow in our review below!


On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $157,500
Price as Tested:
Engine: 3.5-liter (3,493 cc) twin-turbocharged V6 w/ twin permanent magnet electric motors
Drivetrain (Layout): Mid-engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: Engine: 500 hp @ 6,500-7,500 rpm

Total System Power: 573 hp

Torque: 406 lb-ft @ 2,000-6,000 rpm

Total system torque: 476 lb-ft

Transmission: 9-speed dual clutch transmission
Top speed: 191 mph (Acura approx.)
Suspension: Front: Aluminum Double-wishbone, double lower control arm and Active Gen III MR coilover Magnetorheological dampers.

Rear: Aluminum Multi-link with Active Gen III MR coilover Magnetorheological dampers.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with Brembo aluminum mono block calipers and iron rotors
Tires: Front: Continental SportContact 6 P245/35 ZR19 93Y

Rear: Continental SportContact 6 P305/30 ZR20 103Y

Fuel capacity: 15.6 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 21 City / 22 Highway mpg


Wheelbase: 103.5 inches
Length: 176.0 inches
Width: 87.3 inches – with mirrors
Height: 54.3 inches
Turning Circle: 39.7 feet
Curb Weight: 3,878 pounds