2022 Acura NSX Type S: Goodbye – Test Drive

2022 Acura NSX Type S: Goodbye – Test Drive

meAcura NSX The second generation is a great car that is just starting to get its fair share. And that’s a shame! Indeed, when Acura finally seems to have given it the “punch” it missed, the manufacturer removed it from the lineup. So he bids us a glorious farewell before he departs.

A more explosive design

All NSXs for the 2022 model year are Type S. So it’s a very limited edition with only 350 sold in total, of which only 15 are in Canada.

Acura took the opportunity to make some cosmetic changes, including a completely different front end than the regular NSX with its more exposed bumper and its distinctive effects such as a large diffuser under the rear bumper. A subtle Type S badge on its sides identifies it as a special edition.

I personally like what Acura has done with this model. When it was introduced in 2016, I criticized the NSX for being understated and hated its chrome lip. Acura has corrected everything with a new grille. Painted in Indy yellow, my copy caught the eye with its elegance. His presence on the road is not understood.

True to form, the NSX is very expensive. This is a fully customizable design where options and kits cost an arm and a leg. My copy sold for $225,495, plus a $3,295 handling charge.

The interior is improved, but still disappointing

Among the improvements made, I see a cabin that is better equipped than before, especially with the presence of better materials, such as Alcantara on the dashboard. It’s a little better.

Acura hasn’t fixed the woeful multimedia system, however, which still doesn’t include an actual volume down button, nor a mock cup holder that functions more as a decorative feature. The NSX still suffers from the storage space issue. The trunk, located behind the engine compartment, is not very deep, and the front compartment does not provide any space to carry anything. Even the glove box is useless.

All that being said, the finer points of this interior remain quite clear. The overall build quality is exemplary. It is easy to climb even if it is very low. And once it is installed in the cockpit, we notice the seats of exceptional comfort. The driving position is perfect considering its sporty appeal.

Steering handling is spotty, and the look made me feel like I was behind the wheel of a Honda Accord instead of a $200,000-plus flagship bug. The narrow A-pillars, combined with the short hood, give us the feeling of sitting in the nose of the car and seeing everything well ahead, a feeling completely taken from the old NSX.

Still more versatile and powerful

The NSX has a motorization that still combines a heat engine mounted on the rear of the racing car and no less than 3 electric motors, including 2 mounted on the front axle. So it is a four-wheeled vehicle.

For the Type S, Acura draws inspiration from its involvement in GT3 class racing. So it receives the same turbocharger as the race car. These blow at 111 kilopascals (16.1 pounds per square inch) compared to 104.8 kilopascals (15.2 pounds per square inch) in the standard NSX. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gets new injectors and turbocharging coolers that the automaker says are 15 percent more efficient. All of this adds 20 horsepower and 36 lb-ft to the hot engine.

Acura then did a complete reprogramming of the software that manages the hybrid system to extract more power from the 1.3 kilowatt-hour battery. All of this translates into combined power that increases from 573 to 600 horsepower and torque that jumps from 476 to 492 lb-ft.

Finally, according to Acura, the perfect tuning of the 9-speed dual-clutch transmission and the programming of the start system allows the NSX to complete the 0-60 mph sprint in just 2.7 seconds.

Do it with absolute comfort

The fact that it is possible to drive in electric mode for a short time with the NSX is one of its best features. It is not only discreet and silent in this situation, but it is also quite exemplary in terms of gentleness and comfort.

In its Comfort mode, it slips between electric and fuel without you even knowing, which makes it as easy to handle on a daily basis as the TLX. Its flexible treads are smooth, absorbing road imperfections smoothly. I still believe this is the best car in the entire automotive industry.

Obviously, a racing car like this can be enjoyed on a closed circuit, in Track mode, where it will unleash all its riders. Alas, I only had access to public roads. I was still in Texas where beautiful stretches of asphalt awaited me under the hot Texas sun. So I settled for Sport + mode.

Thumbing up the front of a long straight that stretches for miles, the mighty V6 roars instantly behind my ears. This is where I notice that Acura has taken the time to adjust its sound to make it more clear at full power. The acceleration is absolutely amazing, to the point where the front axle starts to feel very light, as if the car was about to fly.

Despite this strange feeling, I still feel a kind of control in the direction thanks to the two electric motors that make sure to manage everything in front of me. The NSX is the bomb. The speed of its mechanics, combined with the precision of the gear selector on the steering wheel, would allow me to reach insane speeds in a fraction of a second. I’m calm because I’m on a public road.

Adrenaline pumping through my veins at 200 miles per hour, I apply hard pressure to the brake pedal. This communicates electronically to the caliper to bite the carbon fiber discs. The effect is special considering its digital nature, but it is very effective. In a split second, I feel all the blood from my head rush to my face. But what a performance!

On the other hand, I try to get around by playing with the accelerator pedal, but the half-electric, half-mechanical SH-AWD system refuses. It holds the car in either direction, making the car too low for my taste. So I’m waiting. But as soon as I pass the peak, I fall and feel that I have entered the next layer. If this NSX does not make it possible to become one with the machine like its ancestor, it is of exceptional technical efficiency, which allows even an inexperienced driver to become an expert with little effort.

One imagines that Acura rightly wanted to preserve the easy-to-endurance nature of the everyday bolide by modifying it that way. Purists who want to try it on a closed circuit may however be disappointed by its refusal to disengage the rear axle. But in everyday life, this level of motor skills has its place.

A future classic?

It is obvious that for the same price, there are cars that are faster in a straight line and, even, more agile in turns. I am thinking among others of the Porsche 911 Turbo or the Audi R8.

However, like its predecessor, the Acura NSX turns out to be a very misunderstood supercar, which explains its poor sales figures. But like the old one, everything suggests that it will be desirable when it is no longer sold, because sports cars from Honda and Acura have this strange habit of suddenly increasing in popularity when they disappear from the market.

meAcura NSX-Type S Will it be as classic as its predecessor? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, he makes sure that we remember him before he leaves.

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