NSX at 30

TGR Staff

Acura this week marks 30 years since the shot heard 'round the automotive world -- the 1989 global debut of the first-generation Acura NSX. The first mid-engined exotic without European pedigree, NSX was a low slung, super light, high-revving machine sporting the world's first all-aluminum monocoque, titanium connecting rods, a VTEC™ valvetrain and levels of quality and daily driving comfort unheard of in sports cars of the time.


Introduced as the NS-X Concept, the precursor to the production NSX, Acura chose the Chicago Auto Show for the global debut, at a press conference held at the Drake Hotel on February 9, 1989. In celebrating this milestone event, Acura returns to the Chicago Auto Show, hosting a panel discussion to reflect on the car's origins, its impact on the automotive landscape, and the role the next-generation NSX is playing in the renaissance of Acura today.

Joining the panel discussion are Jon Ikeda, Vice President and General Manager of Acura, whose 28-year career at Acura was catalyzed by the launch of NSX, and Csaba Csere, former editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine, who attended the 1989 reveal and was among the first journalists to drive both the original and second-generation NSX.


Released in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show, Acura has published a new video featuring throwback footage of a first model year (1991) production NSX, and a current (2019) NSX, along with never before seen images from the original NS-X Concept reveal.

Since its debut, NSX has made an indelible impression on the exotic and supercar world. Its all-aluminum construction and 270-horsepower VTEC V6 were as exotic as anything available at the time, but its conventionally comfortable and ergonomic cockpit and gentle road manners ran sharply counter to contemporary European exotics.

"Before NSX, it was always assumed that supercar performance came at the price of a comfortable interior and everyday drivability," said Jon Ikeda. "NSX shattered those notions, and raised the bar on every other exotic and supercar maker, with the effects still felt today. NSX was a huge inspiration and one of the major reasons I was drawn to join Acura nearly 30 years ago."


Like its predecessor, today's second-generation NSX incorporates groundbreaking technology. The Acura NSX is the only supercar made in America and the only one utilizing electric motors to enhance every element of dynamic performance, seamlessly combining three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ with a bespoke twin-turbocharged, mid-mounted V6 engine to deliver an unparalleled range of driving experiences, from all-electric Quiet mode to the ultimate at-the-limit capability of Track mode.

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