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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Affordable Supercar Series (ASS)

In today's installment of ASS, we'll look at a car that truly redefined what a supercar should be. It changed how supercars were built, could be driven daily, and was developed by one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. Readers, I present to you the Acura NSX.

Let's get the numbers out of the way. The NSX was released in 1990 with a 3.0 liter V6 that produced 270 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. This engine was then replaced in 1997 with a 3.2 liter V6. Performance figures were upped to 290 horsepower and 224 lb-ft. Depending on the source, the NSX could do a zero to sixty sprint in the low to mid 5 second range. On the skidpad the NSX held on for .95g. These were all phenomenal numbers for the early 90s.

So what about all those other claims that I previously made? The NSX was the first production car to be made with an all aluminum chassis. This was done when Ferrari was still producing its 348 with a pressed steel chassis.

As if challenging Ferrari weren't enough, the car was wrung out by one of the premier F1 pilots of the time. Ayrton Senna helped develop the car by running laps on the famed Nurburgring. Senna won three championships in four years. Can't argue with those credentials.

Speaking of F1, the mighty McLaren F1 is heavily influenced by the NSX. Gordon Murray was a huge believer in making a car light to enhance all aspects of performance. "The NSX's ride quality and handling would become our new design target" for the McLaren F1.

In addition to all these giant killing aspects, it was a pussy cat on the street. It could be driven everyday. It isn't uncommon to see these cars with over 100K miles on the clock. With that kind of mileage, a NSX can be had for under twenty grand. Give me a lower mileage car with the fixed headlights and I'd drive it forever. It is a Honda, after all.

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