Acura’s NSX is a subtle supercar. Sure, its hybridized powertrain puts down 573 horsepower, and the low, angular body looks properly exotic. Yet, as was the 1990 original, today’s NSX is everyday usable, with a roomy cabin and civilized around-town behavior-assets that round off its hard-edged appearance and zoomy mechanicals. So, it’s appropriate that two years into the current NSX’s production run, Acura is giving its halo vehicle a few (mostly) subtle updates.
Two of the NSX’s revisions aren’t terribly low-key, and both have to do with paint colors. A new Thermal Orange Pearl paint option is no less orange than a setting sun and nearly as likely to sear your retinas. Acura says that the hue harks to the tangerine liveries that have adorned its racing cars for 30 years. Dig it? Buyers can also opt for orange-painted brake calipers, provided they first spring for the optional carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Those who settle for the standard iron rotors can now select red calipers as an option.
Previously, Acura trimmed the nose of the NSX with a silver mustache, but the update brings matching body-color trim to a new gloss-black grille, replacing a matte finish. Shiny black also adorns the intakes and rear bumper trimmings. This change is effectively dulled somewhat on lightly colored ’19 NSXs, where the grille’s garnish still registers as silver-adjacent, but it really pops on models with darker paint. The car’s optional exterior carbon-fiber trim package also adopts a glossy finish. As if that’s not enough color-palette minutiae, Acura now offers the optional full-leather seats in red and the standard leather-and-microsuede upholstery in Indigo Blue, both as alternatives to black.
The chassis, already our favorite aspect of the NSX, receives minor adjustments for even greater athleticism. Acura stiffened the anti-roll bars by 26 percent in front and 19 percent in the rear, while the rear toe-control link bushings are 21-percent stiffer. The suspension works with a new standard tire for 2019, Continental’s SportContact 6 tires in place of last year’s ContiSportContact 5P rubber. (The hard-core, track-focused Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tire is still available for 2019 as a dealer-installed option; no word on whether the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 also remains a dealer option.) Although we’ll have to wait until we can test a 2019 NSX ourselves to measure any uptick in grip and feel out the handling responses, Acura claims the enhanced chassis setup is good for a two-second reduction in the NSX’s lap times around Japan’s Suzuka circuit.
If this sounds appealing, wait-there’s more! Acura will charge $159,300 to start, a $1500 increase over the 2018 model’s price. Yet this revised NSX boasts far more standard equipment, which Acura says cost $4700 last year, including previously optional four-way power sport seats (“lightweight” manual seats are still a no-cost alternative), navigation, an ELS Studio audio system, parking sensors, and aluminum pedals. The 2019 NSX arrives in dealerships in October.