Acura NSX Type S: The Design Story

Creating a supercar like the Acura NSX Type S is a lengthy undertaking. Bugatti didn’t just start the clock on the workday and pump out the Chiron, fully fleshed by the time everyone checked out. Creating any car takes a lot of design iteration, testing, and experimentation before a final product can be presented to the public.

The process is even more involved when it comes to taking an existing car and enhancing it so that it doesn’t ruin what it already was while also making it different from how it started. The process is something that nearly every automotive product team has experienced, but very few are privy to.

With the new NSX Type S announcement, Acura decided to pull the curtain back a bit to reveal some of the internal questions they answered and some of the goals they set out for themselves during the NSX Type S’ development.

The Acura NSX is a good but boring car

Acura NSX in Long Beach Blue Pearl paint photographed driving on the Grand Prix of Long Beach race track. Featured in Acura NSX Type S story
Acura NSX in Long Beach Blue Pearl | Acura

The current Acura NSX had a long road (no pun intended) before it arrived at what we see available today. In the early days of the NSX concept, Acura (Honda in Japan) originally planned to give the NSX a V10 engine derived directly from their motorsports efforts. Fans were excited, if not confused, that the Japanese company would produce something so extreme.

Later on, due to an economic downturn, Honda changed their mind and would opt for a V8 engine instead. Acura revealed that a twin-turbo V6 engine with electric motors would be the official powertrain. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for JDM fans looking forward to the return of the NSX.

When the car finally arrived in 2016, the reaction was mixed. The NSX’s design did little to harken back to the previous generation. The choice to go with a turbocharged engine made the NSX quiet and reserved. The NSX has performance worthy of the name on the road and the track, but the whole package did not inspire some buyers. As a result, the sales of the Acura NSX haven’t been great.

Acura NSX Type S brings much-needed excitement

Acura NSX Type S on a race track photographed at speed turning towards the view of the camera. It has a large angular front air dam and red brake calipers.
Acura NSX Type S | Acura

This generation of the Acura NSX is on its way out. The supercar landscape is changing, and we speculate that the NSX hasn’t met Acura’s expectations. Generally speaking, these conditions are unfavorable, but they are a perfect storm for enthusiasts. When a performance model is reaching the end of its run, that generally means that a brand’s internal engineering teams are given more freedom to do some of the things they weren’t allowed to do during the initial development phase. Specifically when it comes to performance.

The Acura NSX Type S is a portrait of what would have been presented in 2016 if the brand gave the production team a little more breathing room. The 600 horsepower 2022 Acura NSX Type S has a much more aggressive aerodynamic package and hard-edged motorsport-inspired styling.

Acura NSX Type S development story

In a new video, the team behind the Acura NSX Type S explains the story of the car’s development and what they wanted to achieve before this generation of the NSX takes a bow.

There are some interesting tidbits to take away from the short film, including the fact that there seems to have been significant emphasis on ensuring the driver can hear the raw engine much more clearly, which was a common criticism with the base NSX.

The video also hints that the next NSX may rely even more on electrification or perhaps be a 100% EV supercar.

Only 350 NSX Type S supercars will be produced, so they will likely all be gone by the time you read this. However, it is interesting to see how Acura arrived at this beastly variant of their halo car before this generation goes away.

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