If you’re on the market for a new sports car, there are plenty of options available now. In addition to having high-powered hybrid engines, these cars have futuristic designs that really make them stand out. Two of the coolest cars we’ve seen are the Acura NSX and BMW i8, and MotorTrend helped contextualize just how cool they are.
Admittedly, these two vehicles aren’t very practical for the average consumer. However, they’re both still tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than models like the Tesla Roadster. Even with all their fancy features, is either the Acura NSX or BMW i8 worth the price?
The Acura NSX
This sports car only comes with one engine, but that’s hardly a disappointment considering its power. The Acura NSX has a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 paired with three electric motors, making 573 hp. This is definitely one of the fastest sports cars you can buy, with a 0-60 mph time of under 3 seconds.
The Acura NSX comes with standard all-wheel-drive, plus four selectable drive modes to enhance its performance. Predictably, it’s also very fun to drive, especially on the track. The electric motors provide drivers with plenty of torque, accurate steering, and absolutely no body roll. The Super Handling system also provides drivers with an excellent amount of grip.
The ride is smooth and comfortable thanks to its top-notch suspension. Riders will also appreciate the plush leather seats that come with standard heating. However, the interior design of the Acura NSX is noticeably plain compared to other sports cars. The infotainment setup also feels like it should have been upgraded a couple of years ago.
While it responds quickly to user inputs, the system requires a steep learning curve and can’t be controlled with any physical buttons. Still, at least it provides standard smartphone integration and an assortment of safety features.
The BMW i8
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This car has two body styles – a soft-top convertible and a coupe. The interior of the BMW i8 looks more unique than the NSX, plus it comes with more standard comforts. It also has some particularly luxurious options like laser-powered high beams perforated leather seats. However, like the NSX, it suffers from a dated infotainment setup.
If you want to use Apple CarPlay inside the BMW i8, you’ll need to pay for a subscription. Android Auto may have been made available on some BMW models, but the i8 isn’t one of them. Under the hood, the BMW i8 is a little more impressive.
It’s powered by a 1.5-liter turbo-three engine paired with a battery pack and two electric motors. It’s capable of a combined 369 hp and reaches 0-60 mph in around 4 seconds. That’s slower than a lot of sports cars, and its handling could some refinement. In MotorTrend’s comparison test, the ride felt too firm and there’s little steering feedback.
However, one strength the BMW i8 has is good gas mileage. Both body styles get 27 mpg combined city/highway, plus 22 miles of all-electric driving range. By comparison, the Acura NSX only scores 21 mpg combined city/highway.
Fine additions to any garage
Both the BMW i8 and Acura NSX are highly regarded in the automotive world, particularly by collectors. Rap star Ludacris has one of each in his collection and Robert Downey Jr. even owns a rare NSX concept car.
Even with their movie star appeal, both cars aren’t perfect with their gas-guzzling tendencies and tiny cargo holds. However, when it comes down to performance and aesthetics, few models are as relatively affordable.
The Acura NSX retails for around $157,000, while the BMW i8 costs nearly $148,500. Considering how much each has to offer, we don’t think anyone would regret buying either vehicle.