The unique 1991 Acura NSX in Vietnam of Mr. Dang Le Nguyen Vu recently appeared on a street in District 5 (HCMC). The original car is green, but has a silver decal to match the owner’s car collection. This car once attracted attention in 2018 after being “refreshed” by a private garage in a wide-body style, replacing multi-spoke Lenso wheels and ARK Performance exhaust system. The rear spoiler is made of carbon fiber.
The 1991 Acura NSX used a “frog eye” headlight style. The headlight cluster has the typical beauty of many supercars and sports cars of the 20th century. This type of headlight also helps optimize aerodynamics when not in use.
“The Acura NSX has a timeless beauty. It stands out in an increasingly complex automotive world. Anyone who loves cars will easily recognize this car and admire it, but not the average person on the road. “, commented Chris Perkins, editor of Road & Track magazine.
This car imported from the US should be called Acura NSX, while other markets are Honda NSX. Launched in 1989, the story of the Acura NSX begins long before that. The Japanese automaker first showed its intention to build a mid-engine sports car when it introduced the HP-X concept at the Turin Motor Show (Italy) 1984. The concept model designed by studio Pininfarina with a roof special and mid-mounted V6.
In the mid-1980s, economic boom, Japan became the second largest economy in the world. Domestic car manufacturers “strongly” invest a large amount of money to research and develop advanced car models. Toyota launched the Lexus LS 400 to compete with Mercedes-Benz. Mazda launches the Miata. Nissan has the Skyline GT-R R32. During this period, Japanese auto brands played a game-changing role in the global four-wheeler industry.
At that time, Honda was also on a strong development momentum. The company has only been making cars for more than 20 years, but sales are very strong thanks to its focus on quality and fuel economy.
With confidence and ambition, Honda entered the luxury segment with Acura, an all-new luxury car brand launched in North America in 1986. At the same time, Honda’s engines continued to resonate in the league. Formula One racing. The Japanese automaker wants to capitalize on its racing success, and a thoroughbred sports car is essential for Acura to impress the world. NSX is the model of choice.
The company invested $140 million in this project, half of which was to develop the car and half to build the assembly plant. Acura NSX converged the most quintessential Honda at that time. Steel was deemed too heavy, so engineers replaced it with aluminum, making the Acura NSX the world’s first commercial vehicle to use a monolithic aluminum chassis. This concept is inspired by the Shinkansen bullet train – made from lightweight metal.
The Acura NSX chassis is a work of art. “The car is far ahead of other sports cars in striking a balance between comfort and excitement, something all automakers face,” said Gordon Murray, McLaren F1 designer.
When the Acura NSX debuted, Murray was impressed with this model and chose this as the standard to develop the legendary McLaren F1. Mr. Gordon Murray has tried many famous sports cars and supercars from Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini as reference for the new model, but the Acura NSX has surpassed them all.
The naturally aspirated 3.0L V6 engine block, codenamed C30A, on the Acura NSX is a jewel, a technical masterpiece of aluminum, titanium and forged steel. This engine produces 270 hp and 285 Nm of torque. The engine integrates VTEC electronic variable valve timing technology, titanium piston rod and crankshaft, forged pistons and the ability to rotate at 8,000 rpm.
At the request of Mr. Tadashi Kume, president of Honda at that time, engineers redesigned the V6 engine to match the VTEC electronic variable valve timing technology. A supercomputer was used to design the all-aluminum suspension. Traction control and ABS are standard equipment.
Originally, the car was named “NS-X”. From the point of view of the engineering team in Japan, “NS-X” stands for “New”, “Sportcar” and “X” (the mathematical symbol for a value). The Honda team in the US also chose “NS-X” from the list of possible names, but with a different interpretation as “New Sport eXperimental”. Combined with gathering comments from the public, Honda decided to remove the hyphen, and NSX became the official name for the first Honda/Acura supercar.
The cockpit gives a clear view even though this is a low-ground sports car. Even Chris Perkins, editor of Road & Track magazine, even thinks that it is appropriate to call this “cockpit”, because the Japanese automaker was inspired by the dome of the F-16 fighter jet. . Dang Le Nguyen Vu’s car uses a 6-speed manual transmission, while automatic transmission cars will have an electronic power steering system (Acura NSX is the first model with this equipment).
Honda/Acura has launched a number of variants of the NSX, such as NSX-R, NSX-T, an upgraded version of the engine… But basically, from 1991 to 2005, the model did not change much. change.
Despite its short lifespan, the Acura NSX’s presence is not in vain. The Japanese automaker invented a sports car that could be driven every day, raising the bar for sports cars and commercial supercars at the time, and creating the concept of “good driving” that doesn’t mean anything. as “perishable and less durable”.
Even after more than 30 years, the early Acura NSX cars are still sought after by car enthusiasts around the globe, although the market is not short of new options.