Certain marques come to mind immediately when the term “thoroughbred automobile” is used. Other automobiles fulfill that promise selectively. The Acura NSX is one of those automobiles – an early F1-inspired supercar. The car was first shown as a 1984 concept, conceived by Honda with Pininfarina as a mid-engine 2.0-liter V6 sports car known as the HP-X (Honda Pininfarina Xperimental). By the time the completed automobile was first shown to the public in 1989 as the NSX (New Sports Xperimental), the exterior design had shed its Italian influence for a sleek aerodynamic, if somewhat understated, body shaped around racing-type technology Honda had successfully evolved over twenty-five years of racing and three consecutive Formula 1 World Championships by 1989. Three more World Championships in the next three years would bring the total to six from 1986 to 1991 – the same year the NSX reached the marketplace as a 1991 model. Final development work on the chassis and was aided by 3-time McLaren-Honda F1 champion Ayrton Senna between 1989-1991.
The NSX Series I that came onto the market in 1991 was a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat coupe with a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter VTEC V-6 driving through a four-speed manual or automatic transmission. Power was rated at 252 hp (although other sources cited 270 hp). A top speed of 160 mph was claimed for the NSX. The NSX was named the best sports car in the world by a surprising number of publications, and it is understood that McLaren designer Gordon Murray created the McLaren F1 sports car around similar principles. A removable targa-style roof was added as an option in 1995 as the NSX-T. The NSX-T Series II was introduced in 2002 and remained in production until 2005 with the removable roof as the only body style then available. Other revisions to the Series II included an upgrade to a 3.2-liter engine and a six-speed manual transmission, together with a number of carbon fiber body panels designed to reduce weight. Top speed increased to 165 mph, while a number of styling and aerodynamic enhancements gave the twelve-year old design a more contemporary, aggressive look. Most notable among these enhancements were the lighter, fixed position headlamps on top of the front fenders replacing the original pop-up lights.
This 2003 Acura NSX-T Series II looks and drives as it came out of the box, and has only been driven 26,000 miles from new. The car benefits from Series II upgrades including the targa-top, 3.2-liter engine, six-speed manual transmission, styling and aerodynamic enhancements and carbon fiber panels. The visual appeal of this very well maintained, original car is stunning. The panels are dead straight. The front spoiler is very good, with no cracks, and the black paint is gorgeous, together with the interior that virtually looks like a new car. The dashboard, steering wheel, shifter and upper door panels are covered with hand stitched black leather. The articulated seats, perforated seat inserts, lower door panels and sills are covered in high quality tan leather, showing only slight wear and creasing on the side bolsters of the seats. An Acura Bose sound system was factory installed as original equipment. The alloy wheels are mounted with Bridgestone Potenza radials still showing plenty of tread, with only minor scratches on the edges of the right and left rear wheels. Included with the car are the original books in the original pouch, car cover, clean CARFAX, and two sets of keys. The recent introduction of the new 2017 NSX hypercar is likely to bring renewed interest to these early NSXs. This is an opportunity to own, drive and enjoy an original NSX-T that is as close as possible to a new car.