Detroit, MI – At first, we (by “we” I mean the journalists on hand at NAIAS ’13) were all thinking the same thing; “oh goody. Yet another prototype of the Acura NSX.”
We were at the Acura stand at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, and just to the left of the mains stage that featured the MDX concept (albeit one that looks a lot like the current car, so I doubt it’s that “conceptual” at all) was a low, wedge-shaped object draped in a silk sheet, as is the norm at these types of events.
So we knew what it was, and when the sheet was pulled off, it turned out we were right, but only partially; this was unlike any NSX concept seen before. It somehow looked a little tauter, a little darker, a little more sinister and perhaps most importantly, altogether more road-ready than anything we’d seen before. The black paint job helps here, as do the new wing mirrors and how little details are emerging; there’s what could be an actual grille out back and out front, the wheels look much more production-ready and the “Jewel Eye” headlamps are that much more feasible now that the new production-ready RLX flagship is going to use them.
The real news, however, on the Acura stand at NAIAS ’13 is that they finally let us look inside the car, which is a first.
The interior is still firmly in the prototype stage—I’d be surprised if those carbon door-pulls make production—but regardless of all that, it is smashing. The red Alcantara and leather bucket seats, the flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and five-inch navigation screen are all great touches.
The highlight, however, is the gear selector, which looks little like anything I’ve seen before. The way the “drive” button is angled upwards and flanked by a “sport button”, the way “park” is pushed to the front of the console and almost out of sight, because this is a car you’ll want to drive, not park, and the way it’s all fished in a great aluminum housing are all gorgeous features.
Not to mention the swathes of carbon that cover the centre console, dash and doors—very racy stuff.
It’s really starting to come into focus, this car; once some of the powertrain elements are shown (there will be three motors—an electric unit on each axle, plus a mid-mounted petrol V6), we will have a complete picture of the next generation of one of the world’s most underrated supecrcars.