1991 Acura NSX

Acura NSX 1991 review: The 1991 Acura NSX features VVIS (Variable-Volume Intake System) which is a magnesium plenum below the intake chamber which opens 6 butterfly valves above 4800 rpm. This allows for a larger air passage to the engine at higher rpm”s. The “91 NSX also features VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control). A normal cam lobe is accompanied by a second and more aggressive cam lobe that turns on at around 5800 rpm that keeps the valves open wider and longer. The automatic version of the “91 NSX only had 252 bhp.

Honda’s luxury division basically broke the sports-car rules with the NSX. For a high performance “exotic,” the NSX is extremely refined, reliable, and at least modestly practical. Acura’s sports car offers a unique combination of race-car engineering, performance, and looks, along with its pragmatic virtues. Not only is this 2-seater extremely fast, but it’s also smooth, surprisingly quiet, and easier to drive than most high-performance cars. Despite smallish engines, acceleration rivals that of the V8 Corvette and the late-’90s Porsche 911. Our tests bore out Acura’s performance claim, with 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.8 seconds. Even economy is impressive. A late-model 6-speed NSX averaged a relatively frugal 22 mpg. Sure, some folks might crave more raw power, but an NSX offers most of the rewards of a true exotic with almost none of the usual drawbacks–except for its high price. The well-behaved automatic transmission is only slightly less rewarding than the 5- or 6-speed stick. Handling ranks among the world’s best. Steering is precise, though heavy for parking if not equipped with power assist. Cornering is flat and stable, braking short and true, noise levels acceptable. The ride is firm, but supple enough for such a high level of performance. Standard traction control enhances wet-road safety, but can be switched off when not needed. On the down side, the low nose demands some caution around dips, parking-lot barriers, and certain speed bumps. Despite road-hugging styling and a midengine layout, an NSX affords easier entry/exit than most sports cars, including the Corvette, plus the best visibility of any exotic automobile. Over-the-shoulder views are poor, however, and the top of the dashboard reflects in the windshield. Strong sunlight can wash out the electronic climate and audio displays, too. There’s enough cockpit space for husky 6-footers, and the dashboard is as user friendly as a Legend’s. Seating is low-slung but comfortable. Luggage space is sparse.

Value for the Money

Although early models were selling new for as much as $100,000 (or even higher), demand eased after a year or two, sending transaction prices below MSRP. Secondhand too, an NSX is a lot more expensive than a Corvette or a Porsche 911, yet it lacks the pedigree of similarly priced Ferraris. Still, it’s almost worth that high dollar figure because of its blend of refinement, performance, and appealing ergonomics.

price    $60 000 USD
engine    All Aluminum V6
position    Transverse Mid-Engine
valvetrain    DOHC 4-Valves / Cyl
fuel feed    Honda PGM-F1 Electronic Injection
displacement    2977 cc / 181.7 cu in
bore    90.0 mm / 3.54 in
stroke    78.0 mm / 3.07 in
compression    10.2:1
power    201.3 kw / 270 bhp @ 7100 rpm
specific output    90.7 bhp per litre
bhp/weight    199.41 bhp per tonne
torque    284.7 nm / 210.0 ft lbs @ 5300 rpm
redline    8000 rpm
body / frame    Unit Aluminum
driven wheels    Mid Engine / RWD
front tires    F 225/50ZR-15
rear tires    R 225/50ZR-16
front brakes    Vented Discs w/ABS, Vacuum Assist
f brake size    282 mm / 11.1 in
rear brakes    Vented Discs w/ABS, Vacuum Assist
r brake size    282 mm / 11.1 in
front wheels    F 38.1 x 16.5 cm / 15 x 6.5 in
rear wheels    R 40.6 x 20.3 cm / 16 x 8 in
steering    Rack & Pinion
f suspension    A-Arms w/Coil Springs, Tube Shocks, Anti Roll Bar
r suspension    A-Arms w/Coil Springs, Tube Shocks, Anti Roll Bar
weight    1354 kg / 2985 lbs
wheelbase    2530 mm / 99.6 in
front track    1509 mm / 59.4 in
rear track    1529 mm / 60.2 in
length    4404 mm / 173.4 in
width    1811 mm / 71.3 in
height    1171 mm / 46.1 in
transmission    5-Speed Manual
gear ratios    3.07:1, 1.73:1, 1.23:1, 0.97:1, 0.77:1, :1
final drive    4.06:1
top speed    270.4 kph / 168.0 mph
0 – 60 mph    5.6 seconds
0 – 100 mph    14.1 seconds
drag    0.32 Cd

Scribbled on June 27th 2008 in Acura, Acura NSX
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