2020 Acura NSX in Indy Yellow Pearl: Your Everyday Supercar



Experienced by Kimatni. D Rawlins, Photos by Garvin St. Villier

Konichiwa ladies and gents and welcome to the 2020 New Sports eXperience, the second-generation Acura NSX. Re-introduced in 2016, the current model year flexes in this flamboyant Indy Yellow Pearl, which pops when galloping by. But that is not often as the Japanese supercar seems to be spotted in patterns that are far and few between unless at a meetup such as the annual NSX Club of America gathering that took place in the DC area last October. Yet, that shouldn’t discount the fact that the NSX’s styling is impeccable, and its performance attributes are remarkable.

To say the least, it was gratifying piloting the Automotive Rhythms 2020 NSX in Indy Pearl Yellow, a throwback to the Spa Yellow of the first generation. If you see this hue on the streets, then know that that owner has blessed him or herself with a 2020 edition. The other enticing color is Thermal Orange Pearl. Production of the NSX is build-to-order; if you placed a request today, the vehicle’s completion would take place in November.

Indeed, the NSX is your everyday supercar. I say that because it’s simple to operate, can be quieted in EV mode, and is devoid of eccentric doors that require the contorting of the body to enter and exit. Maneuvering in-and-out of this sportscar came with ease since the cockpit is spacious enough for my 6′ athletic build. Albeit, it’s still a supercar and sits low as expected when you fall into the durable semi-Aniline full leather power sports seats.

Revealed over 25 years ago, the original NSX would become the world’s first all-aluminum fabricated exotic car. Now, Acura’s “man-machine synergy” technique has led us to the reimagined NSX with a space frame also engineered from aluminum, as well as ultra-high-strength steel, and features interior and exterior carbon fiber sports packages (including a carbon-fiber engine cover) a carbon-fiber roof ($6,000), carbon-fiber rear decklid spoiler ($3,000), and carbon-ceramic rotors ($10,600) that pair with silver Brembo calipers.

Hitting 60 mph from a standstill in 2.9 seconds while engaged in Launch Mode Control, the NSX is powered by a hand-assembled, twin-turbocharged, mid‑mounted V6 engine, three electric motors, and Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). A 9-speed dual-clutch transmission with fast-reacting butterfly paddle shifters matches with the 3.5-liter. In total, the Japanese roadrunner puts out 573-horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. Top speed equals 191 mph.

Achieving 21 city MPG and 22 highway MPG, the Acura’s fuel usage is quite efficient. With the amount of driving from Maryland to Virginia covered in four days, I  would probably visit the pump at least two additional times with a non-hybrid or V8/V10 supercar.

So, here’s a thrilling story. I was cruising on date night with my wife to pick up some grub. A rider on what looked to be a 1000 Japanese sportbike was taunting me on Toll Road 200. Misa thought it was cute and told me to go for it. Thus, I looked at him in my rearview after just a few seconds of enjoyment in Sport+ mode. Afterward, I slowed down immediately as he blew by, most likely in dismay.  This instantaneous torque manifests from the electric Twin Motor Unit (TMU) that powers the front wheels independently and the rear Direct Drive electric motor that boosts the mid-mounted V6 with immediate torque as well to create glorifying acceleration.

“From the beginning, Acura has always been about performance,” said Acura NSX Global Development Leader Ted Klaus. “Not only speed or power, but elegantly designed and engineered products that stir the soul and harness innovative technology on a foundation of industry-leading quality and reliability.”

Overall handling performance is titillating and challenges the driver to explore the vehicle’s limitations on every drive. I’ve operated supercars from Lamborghini to Aston Martin, and the NSX feels the most unified with the road and somehow understood my intentions. Staggered Continental SportContact 6 high-performance tires (305/30ZR20 rear and 245/35ZR19 front) are grippy and help the Acura stick like glue at high speeds. Moreso, it dynamically eats corners as I discovered on the winding roads of Great Falls, VA, en route to Katie’s Cars and Coffee. But I would like to see an aggressive offset, especially in the rear. SH-AWD truly elevates the NSX’s ability to steer sharply from higher speeds. The TMU actively and independently powers the front left and right Signature Y-Spoke wheels with increased acceleration and continuously varying torque (positive and negative). They correspondingly produce regenerative braking from the vehicle’s stopping power. The aggregated system forms one of the most advanced active AWDs units in the automotive sector, competing neck and neck with Audi’s quattro AWD and BMWs xDrive AWD.

Inside the cockpit, you will become inspired. The NSX creates a comfortable environment featuring a black Alcantara headliner, carbon-fiber enhanced steering wheel (manually adjusted), metal-plated trim including the grab handles, a metal/rubber dead pedal, and black interior door handles. However, the multimedia center is rudimentary (similar to Honda vehicles), and the ELS Studio Premium Audio is just ok.

The vehicle functions through the Electronic Gear Selector and mannerism can be amended by the rotary dial’s Dynamic Mode setting, which works in unison with the Integrated Dynamics System. I was able to choose between “Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track mode.” Each can change the NSX’s behavior dramatically, including a wide range of ride firmness. For example, selecting “Quiet” sets the supercar into an all-electric operation and produces what I call the Honda Hybrid Hiss. And of course, “Track” will provide the fastest upshifting, and allow the driver to engage Launch Mode Control.

The NSX is stunning and takes the cake over the McLaren 570S, which has a cheesy smirk in place of the sinister styling of the NSX. The striking front fascia leads with Acura Jewel Eye LED headlights and the hood vents add more intensity, letting onlookers know of its power-breathing capabilities. Furthermore, enthusiasts will discover aerodynamic enhancements around the B-pillar and by way of the carbon-fiber rear diffuser.  But pack lightly on day trips since there is not much trunk storage in the NSX.

The very first production NSX with VIN 001 auctioned for a cool $1.2 million in 2016, and was subsequently donated to charity. Currently, the MSRP including a $1,995 destination charge starts at $159,300 for the 2020 Acura NSX, while my vehicle (production number #02270) totaled $197,995. This price includes the mentioned above $3,800 Carbon Fiber Interior Sport Package and the $12,600 Carbon Fiber Exterior Sport Package.

Keep in mind the expressive NSX is manufactured in Ohio, not Japan. Either or, it still identifies as your everyday supercar.


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