Acura NSX Type S Sets Lap Record at GP of Long Beach
The Acura NSX Type S hasn’t even started getting delivered to customers yet and it is already making history. That is a pretty impressive feat for such a new supercar. The lap record also goes a long way in helping to dispel the standard NSX’s somewhat mundane reputation.
Don’t get us wrong. We know that the current Acura NSX is a great car when it comes to performance. However, its quiet exhaust note and somewhat understated looks leave a bit more to be desired. That is likely why the Acura NSX Type S is such a welcomed addition to the NSX lineup.
Acura NSX Type S sets lap record at Grand Prix of Long Beach
Last weekend (September 24th through 26th) the Acura Grand Prix took over Long Beach, California. The event marked the second running of the race with Acura as the title sponsor. The Japanese luxury brand actually started its sponsorship of the Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2019. However, the 2020 race had to be canceled due to the global pandemic. The race returned this year and Acura used the Grand Prix as a prime opportunity to show off what the NSX Type S can do in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Acura enlisted two-time and defending IMSA prototype champion Ricky Taylor, to pilot a brand new NSX Type S around the two-mile street circuit which weaves its way through downtown Long Beach. Since the course uses actual city streets, the boundaries of the circuit are set by concrete barriers on each side and some sections of the track are relatively narrow. Those factors make Long Beach one of the most difficult stops on the Indy Car series calendar.
Despite the challenging layout, Ricky Taylor enjoyed his hot lap in the driver’s seat of the NSX Type S.
“Long Beach is such a fun track, but definitely challenging with so little margin for error,” said Ricky Taylor after the record-setting run. “Thankfully, the new Acura NSX Type S is not only crazy fast, it’s also remarkably easy to control at the limit. It’s a very special car and perfectly suited for a track like this.”
A 2019 Acura NSX previously held the production car lap record with a time of 1:35.663. Armed with the Acura NSX Type S Ricky Taylor was able to smash that record with a lap time of 1:32:784 which is almost three seconds faster than a standard Acura NSX.
For reference, Indy Cars generally lap the street course in about 1:08 seconds give or take a few tenths.
This is why the NSX Type S is special
When the current generation NSX was originally revealed in 2016, the reaction was mixed. Driving reviews lauded the NSX’s power and sharp handling. On the other hand, some critics thought the NSX’s design lacked passion and lacked any design DNA linking the current model to the original NSX from the 90s. Also, due to its turbocharged engine augmented with electric motors, the NSX is a bit too quiet for some people’s tastes.
With the second-generation NSX on the way out, Acura gave their engineers some breathing room to create the much more aggressive NSX Type S. The NSX Type S gets a boost in power over the standard model and a re-tuned exhaust which allows the driver to finally hear the engine much better. The aero is reworked as well to improve airflow to important components and increase downforce slightly.
The Acura NSX Type S is such an impressive package that the first allotment of 350 cars sold out in minutes.
Acura may produce more if the demand is strong enough but for now, anyone who didn’t get it will have to settle for driving it virtually in Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport.