1997 Model Info

Standard Equipment on all models:

Auto A/C; Alarm; Acura – Bose AM/FM Stereo w/Cass; Pwr F&R Anti Lock Disc Brakes; Dual 4 Way Pwr Leather Reclining Bucket Seats; Leather Door Trim Panels; Carpeting; Console; Cruise; RC Fuel Door & Hatch Releases; Pwr Mirrors; Dual Air Bags; Pwr Locks; Pwr Windows; Side Glass Defoggers; Rear Defroster; Tinted Glass; Variable Assist Power Steering; Leather Wrapped Tilt & Telescoping Wheel; Oil Press, Tach, Temp & Volt Gauges; Digital Clock; Trip Odometer; F&R Stabilizer Bars; 16″ & 17″ Forged Alum Alloy Wheels w/P215/45ZR16 Front & P245/40ZR17 Rear High Performance Tires; Headlights On Warning Tone; Variable Intermit Wipers; Pwr Antenna; Dual Exhaust; Traction Control; Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control; Low Fuel Warning; Body Integrated Front & Rear Spoilers; Cellular Telephone Wiring Prep; Engine Oil Cooling.

1997 NSX, 2 door coupe, 3.0L 252HP 24V DOHC V6 VTEC engine

MSRP/Sticker: $84,000.00
Invoice Cost: $72,097.00
USA Destination: $725.00
EPA Mileage: 18 City, 24 Hwy

Add to standard equipment:

4sp Automatic Transmission w/Overdrive

1997 NSX, 2 door coupe, 3.2L 290HP 24V DOHC V6 VTEC engine

MSRP/Sticker: $84,000.00
Invoice Cost: $72,097.00
USA Destination: $725.00
EPA Mileage: 17 City, 24 Hwy

Add to standard equipment:

6sp Manual Transmission w/Overdrive, Limited Slip Differential

1997 NSX-T, 2 door, 3.0L 252HP 24V DOHC V6 VTEC engine

MSRP/Sticker: $88,000.00
Invoice Cost: $75,530.00
USA Destination: $725.00
EPA Mileage: 18 City, 24 Hwy

Add to standard equipment:

4sp Automatic Transmission w/Overdrive; Removable Targa Roof Panel

1997 NSX, 2 doorr, 3.2L 290HP 24V DOHC V6 VTEC engine

MSRP/Sticker: $88,000.00
Invoice Cost: $75,530.00
USA Destination: $725.00
EPA Mileage: 17 City, 24 Hwy

Add to standard equipment:

6sp Manual Transmission w/Overdrive, Limited Slip Differential, Removable Targa Roof Panel

Available Colors


Berlina Black
Formula Red
Grand Prix White
Kaiser Silver Metallic
Monte Carlo Blue Pearl
Spa Yellow Pearl


Camel (NA w/Silver or Yellow Exterior)

Body Engineering

A rigid structure is of paramount importance in a performance car. High rigidity provides a stable platform for proper suspension geometry and alignment, and it makes possible a tight, rattle-free interior. Additionally, central to the goal of performance is a favorable power-to-weight ratio, which has been improved by 30 percent with the new 3.2-liter V-6. As a rule, a very light car can achieve high performance levels with less horsepower. After an intensive research effort, it was determined that the most efficient way to meet the rigidity and weight targets for the NSX was to build the car exclusively of aluminum.

Using a Cray supercomputer, the engineers performed millions of Finite Element Modeling (FEM) and stress analysis calculations. The result of this research and development effort is a chassis that weighs 210 Kg (462 lbs) with doors, hood and deck lids installed–about 40% less than a steel chassis, but with the same rigidity and impact protection. The NSX structure is significantly stiffer than every other competitor currently on the market. Both models, the NSX and the removable-top NSX-T. meet 1997 federal side-impact standards.

To counter the small weight increase of the new 6-speed transmission and larger brakes, key body parts are now made with a newly developed 6000 series aluminum alloy that is up to 50 percent stronger, thus requiring less material to perform effectively. This thinner, lighter-weight new material is used in making the doors, fenders, and front and rear deck lids, among other key parts of the NSX. For example, by using this high-strength alloy, thinner doorskin material netted a 2.2 kg (4.9 lbs.) weight reduction without any sacrifice in strength.

Body Reinforcements

To maintain high rigidity in the body, even with the roof panel of the NSX-T removed, extensive reinforcement measures are employed throughout the body. Required reinforcement include side sill aluminum extrusion design that involves significantly thicker wall sections. Other areas include the base of the B-pillar where it joins the rocker panel, a larger rear bulkhead crossbar, a thicker trunk leading edge panel, a reinforcement web in the rear floor cross member, an additional rib in the center rear bulkhead section, a redesigned and thicker walled rear roof rail section, a redesigned front roof rail section with increased wall thickness, a completely redesigned and thicker upper A-pillar, a redesigned and thicker upper dashboard crossmember, and a redesigned front lower floor section with increased wall thickness.

Removable Top

The removable top is made of aluminum for light weight and durability. The roof panel is body-colored and is easily removed by means of two latches located on the left and right side. Its light 8.5 kg makes it easy to remove and stow away. A dash indicator light alerts the driver if the latches are not properly closed. Once removed, the panel is stored under the rear glass hatch and the hatch can be locked with a key for security. Since the top has its own storage compartment, it doesn’t use any of the available trunk or interior space. In addition, the vehicle security system functions with the top removed as well as in place.

Extruded Aluminum Side Sills

To attain a structure of high rigidity, complex aluminum extrusions were used for the crucial side sills of the unit body. These extrusions, with their carefully braced internal structure, contribute to the extremely high torsional stiffness of the NSX.

Radiused Front Frame Rails

To maximize occupant protection, the front frame rails of the unit body are designed with large-radius curves where they meet the passenger cabin. This design helps to dissipate energy in the event of a collision, spreading out impact loads and diverting them under the passenger cell.

Chassis and Components

Outstanding handling characteristics have been a hallmark of the NSX and NSX-T since their inception. For 1997, key chassis refinements have been made to complement the performance enhancements that have been engineered into the car.

Larger brakes have been added, and the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) has been refined to handle the increased horsepower of the larger engine . The NSX’s revolutionary variable electric power-assisted steering system. In addition, the forged alloy wheels now feature a bright, machined finish for 1997.


The desired goals for the NSX suspension went well beyond the typical goals of high lateral adhesion, transient response and linear response to control input. The engineers wanted a suspension that allowed the driver to easily control the car right to the limit, particularly with the more powerful 3.2-liter V-6 engine.

The basic configuration is similar to that of a Formula One car in that it employs an upper and lower control arm (or double-wishbone) design with a coil-over shock absorber and stabilizer bar front and rear. The rear suspension also has an additional transverse link for greater wheel control. All the suspension arms are made of extremely rigid and durable forged aluminum. The front steering and the rear hub carriers are also made from heat-treated aluminum castings. The springs are straight rate with an extended rubber bump stop mounted on the chassis which acts as a progressive springing element at the limit of wheel travel.

The shock absorbers are nitrogen-filled and feature a unique progressive valve design. The progressive opening of this valve produces a more favorable damping profile, and more precise damping control, than a conventional valve system in which the fluid control orifices are either fully opened or closed.

The front and rear suspension components are mounted on separate aluminum subframes using rubber bushings, designed to reduce vibration yet limit flex and shift of the suspension components relative to the subframes.

The suspension development program was far-ranging and took place at the Tochigi Proving Grounds, the Suzuka circuit, the 179-turn Nurburgring course in Germany, the Honda Proving Center of California (HPCC), and Honda’s newest test track in Takasu, Hokkaido. In addition to the standard evaluations conducted in-house by the suspension engineers, the car was subjected to evaluation by top-rank drivers such as the late, three-time Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna, Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, and Formula One driver Satoru Nakajima.


The NSX is equipped with 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes and dual-piston steel calipers. The diameter of the front and rear discs has increased for 1997: from 282 mm front and rear to 298 mm in the front and 303 mm in the rear. To accommodate the larger discs, new calipers have also been fitted. Combined with new piston sizes, a better braking balance has been achieved. The braking targets were to set new levels of braking performance, and to provide excellent pedal feel, linear braking response and low pedal effort. Splash guards with cutouts aid in air ventilation and enhance fade resistance.

Four-Channel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

The enhanced, 4-channel Anti-Lock Braking System controls each wheel independently with a 16-bit microprocessor. This 4-wheel independent capability allows fine control of the anti-lock function especially when the car is braking on a surface with a split coefficient of friction—for instance, if the left side wheels are on snow, ice or standing water and the right side wheels are on dry pavement.

The basic configuration uses independent parallel hydraulic circuits. In addition to the primary, non-anti-lock braking circuit, the anti-lock system has its own hydraulic reservoir, pump, modulator unit, solenoids and control pistons. If a failure in the anti-lock hydraulic circuit should occur, normal braking force will be fully retained by the primary braking circuit.

Variable Electric Power-Assisted Steering System

This power-assisted steering system was the first of its kind on the American market, and is significantly improved in the areas of inertial feel and steering stability for 1997 due to the refinements in the ECU that controls power assist. The system consists of a rack-and-pinion steering gear with an electric motor installed concentrically around the steering rack. The steering system is a direct design which functions with no assist at higher vehicle speeds. A speed sensor in the electronic control unit determines road speed and, coupled with a new torque sensing system, feeds a signal to the motor. To ensure reliability, the electrical system for this unit features gold-plated connectors. All NSX models feature this electric power-assisted steering system.

Forged Alloy Wheels

To reduce unsprung weight, and provide the highest strength possible, the engineers specified forged-aluminum alloy wheels. To enhance the look of the wheels, they have been machine finished, then clear-coated. The result is a very light wheel with the strength and impact resistance of a much heavier steel wheel. The rear wheels are 8.5 x 17 inches, and the front wheels are 7 x16 inches.


The suspension engineers, working in conjunction with Yokohama Tire Company and Bridgestone Tire Company, sought to produce tires that would not only provide excellent traction and handling, but also allow the driver to “feel” the limits of the tires’ performance.

The resulting uniquely designed tires were remarkable, meeting all the high-performance targets the engineers established early in the program.

The NSX is equipped with wide, low-aspect-ratio tires, front and rear, for more responsive handling and increased cornering capability. The tire sizes are 215/45 ZR16 front and 245/40 ZR17 rear. These tires provide excellent wet-and dry-weather traction, high-speed stability and immediate and predictable reaction to steering input.

1997 Main Cutaway

1997 Engine Cutaway

Engineering Innovation


Aluminum Unit-Body Construction

  • World’s first mass produced all-aluminum body
  • Unit body weighs only 462 lbs — 40% less than steel
  • Incorporates unique high-strength extruded-aluminum side sills
  • Unique heat treatment ensures surface hardness
  • Highly corrosion resistant
  • High torsional and bending rigidity

Cabin-Forward/Long-Tail Design

  • Best-in-class visibility — 312 degrees
  • Significantly improves aerodynamic balance
  • Provides optimum occupant and component layout
  • NSX-T features and easily removable roof panel for open-air driving


VTEC System

  • First application in U.S.
  • Unique Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC)
  • Uses two different cam profiles to improve low-end torque and high-end power
  • Boosts engine performance to more than 90 hp per liter

Variable Volume Induction System

  • Improves power and torque by optimizing air induction at all rpm

Direct Ignition

  • Eliminates distributor
  • Each plug has its own ignition coil, similar to a racing engine
  • Delivers stable high voltage to spark plug

Titanium Connecting Rods

  • World’s first use in a production car
  • Stronger than steel, lightweight — saves 190 grams
  • Reduces reciprocating mass for high-rpm engine operation


  • All-new compact, lightweight, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission
  • Formula One-inspired SportShift system for automatic transmission models allows for fully automatic or manual shift operation

Torque Control Differential and Torque Reactive Differential

  • Unique limited slip differential designs
  • Improves stability in crosswinds


All-Aluminum Suspension

  • Aluminum 4-wheel double-wishbone design
  • Forged-aluminum suspension arms for strength, low unsprung weight
  • Front suspension utilizes unique compliance pivot for ideal suspension geometry and ride quality
  • 44 lbs (20 kg), lighter than steel

Four-Channel Anti-Lock Braking; System (ABS)

  • First use in U.S.
  • Provides more precise independent braking control over each wheel

Traction Control System

  • Enhances performance over wide range of conditions rather than just low friction surfaces
  • System can be shut off manually by driver
  • Drive-by-wire throttle control enhances TCS deceleration stability

Electric Power-Assisted Steering

  • First of its kind on American market
  • Electric variable power-assist uses electric motor rather than hydraulics to reduce steering effort
  • Reduced weight
  • Does not take power away from engine to operate hydraulic pump

Custom-Designed Tires and Wheels

  • Specially developed wheels and tires: Front — 215/45ZR 16 tires, 16 x 7 inch forged alloy wheels; Rear — 245/402R 17 tires, 17 x 8.5 inch forged alloy wheels
  • Unidirectional tires specific to each corner of the car
  • Different compounds used front and rear
  • Lightweight, forged aluminum-alloy wheels reduce unsprung weight by 19.8 lbs (9 kg) over cast wheels

Drive-By-Wire Electronic Throttle System

  • Improves throttle response and acceleration feel
  • Improves performance of automatic cruise control and traction control system


Dual Air Bags, Automatic Seat Belt Tensioners (Supplemental Restraint System)

  • Compact air bag design allows use in small steering wheel space
  • Electrical connectors are gold-plated to enhance conductivity and provide corrosion protection and reliability
  • Automatic seat belt tensioners help to hold occupants in place

Aluminum Seat Frame

  • First for a production car
  • Entire seat frame made of lightweight stamped aluminum
  • Has one-third fewer parts than steel seat
  • Seat rails made from aluminum extrusions

Highly Efficient, Heat-Absorbing Green Glass

  • Helps keep the effects of solar loading on interior temperatures at a minimum in hot weather


Concept and Goals

The objective was to create an interior that was the sports car equivalent of a jet fighter pilot’s helmet. The key elements of this concept were unlimited visibility, a feeling of snugness or intimacy with the interior of the vehicle, and the sense that the cockpit and driver were out in the airstream rather than enclosed and isolated from the environment. To achieve this feeling, the seating space for the driver and passenger was designed to fit snugly at the hips and flow outward and upward to provide ample space for the head and shoulders.

Seating Position and Visibility

A low seating position contributes to a low center of gravity and helps to reduce the frontal area for improved aerodynamics. Ordinarily, a low hip-point would impart to the driver the feeling of being buried in the interior and create a claustrophobic feeling. To avoid this, the body engineers created a very low cowl section which allowed them to lower the height of the dash and instrument panel. The low cowl also enhances forward visibility.

Instrumentation and Controls

In designing the instrument panel, the approach was one of simplicity. Since the primary function of the instruments is to relay information as clearly and quickly as possible, the designers opted for a traditional analog execution. The instrument faces are round with white numerals on a black background. The instrument panel is dominated by the tachometer on the left and the speedometer on the right. To the left of the tach are the smaller water temperature and oil pressure gauges. To the right of the speedometer are the fuel gauge and voltmeter.

All the major controls are clustered around the steering wheel column to make them easy to reach.

Additional features unique to the NSX-T include a dash light alerting the driver in the event the roof panel isn’t fully latched and a locking mechanism for the roof panel storage compartment.

NSX-T Wind Protection

The windshield header of the NSX-T has a special aerodynamic design that directs the airstream up and over the passenger compartment to minimize wind buffeting at speed. It’s also equipped with smaller sun visors to enhance visibility.

New for 1997 is the use of a highly efficient heat-absorbing green glass to help keep the effects of solar loading on
interior temperatures at a minimum in hot weather.

Dual Air Bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) With Automatic Seat Belt Tensioners

The NSX is equipped with driver’s and passenger’s Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags which are intended to supplement the seat belts. In conjunction with these, the NSX features automatic seat belt tensioners which use the same impact sensors as the air bags. The belt tensioners are activated simultaneously with the air bags, causing each belt to retract to help restrain the occupants in the event of a severe frontal collision.

Leather-Trimmed Upholstery

Leather was a natural choice for the seat trim material; it is hand-stitched and hand-fitted to ensure quality craftsmanship and durability. The seat facings, door inserts, steering wheel and shift knob are covered with leather. The choice of a black or a tan leather-trimmed interior is available for all models, regardless of exterior color.

Automatic Climate Control System

A compact Climate Control System has been developed specifically for the NSX. This is a fully automatic system, but the automatic function can be overridden and the system can be used in a fully manual mode. The system uses environmentally friendly R134A refrigerants.

Acura/BOSE Music System

Bose engineers became involved with the NSX sound system at an early stage of interior design. This 4-speaker system was designed and calibrated specifically for the unique acoustics and resonances of the NSX interior and provides the highest quality imaging and spatial dynamics for both the driver and the passenger.

The Acura/Bose Music System speakers are precisely aimed so that the pressure wave of the speaker closest to each occupant does not overpower the pressure wave from the speaker which is farthest away. This produces a balanced sound from each speaker and the net result is true stereo performance.

The AM/FM stereo/cassette features Dolby Noise Reduction and an FM diversity antenna system. The auto preset function will automatically lock on eight strong AM and eight strong FM stations and store them into the preset selector buttons. An optional CD changer is available.

Theft-Deterrent System

A sophisticated alarm system is standard equipment on the NSX. If an unauthorized attempt is made to enter or start the NSX, the horn sounds, the flashers are activated and the starter system is disabled. The system automatically arms 15 seconds after the doors are locked and is disarmed when a door is unlocked with the key. The system will operate even with the removable roof panel off the car.

Security/Immobilizer System

A special, electronically coded key prevents the car from being started, even if a mechanical duplicate of the proper key shape is used. A transponder, built into the key, signals the immobilizer control unit that the key is genuine. If the car is hot-wired, or an unauthorized key is used, it simply will not start. This system is a substantial deterrent to theft. In New Jersey, for example, insurance premiums have been reduced as much as 15% when such a system is used.


The central goal behind the design of the unique NSX assembly plant in Tochigi, Japan, is to produce the highest-quality automotive product in the world.

This plant has no automated conveyor line. Rather, each car is mounted on a dolly and pushed by hand from one workstation to the next. Each team of workers is responsible for the quality of work performed at their station. The car is not passed on to the next area until the team is satisfied that their procedures have achieved the tolerances and goals required in the specifications. Each assembly station, in effect, also functions as an inspection station.

Engine assembly is also done in a unique way to ensure the highest level of assembly quality. Contrary to typical mass production procedures, each NSX engine is assembled by an individual, highly skilled technician from start to finish. This process keeps tolerances to levels that would not be possible in a mass assembly procedure and help assure reliability and durability.


The NSX is painted in a 23-step paint process, including an aircraft-type chromate coating designed for use with aluminum. A waterborne paint for the base coat was developed to achieve a clearer, more vivid color and a smoother surface finish.


The new standard engine on the NSX is an all-aluminum, 90-degree, 3.2-liter (3179 cc), dual-overhead-cam, 4-valve-per-cylinder V-6 which produces 290 horsepower at 7100 rpm and 224 lbs-ft of torque at 5500 rpm. It is mated to an all-new G-speed close-ratio manual transmission. Redline is at 8000 rpm.

The optional electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission comes with an all-aluminum, 90-degree, 3.0-liter (2977 cc), dual-overhead-cam, 4-valve-per-cylinder V-6 which 252 horsepower at 6600 rpm and 210 lbs-ft of torque at 5300 rpm. Redline is at 7500 rpm.

An exclusive electronically controlled Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system optimizes volumetric efficiency at both high and low engine speeds. A unique Variable Volume Induction System changes the configuration of the intake system with varying engine speeds, working with the VTEC system to broaden the torque curve and increase peak power output. The new 3.2-liter engine boasts a new stainless steel exhaust header system to improve engine breathing.

Engine Block, Cylinder Heads, Crankshaft, Pistons

To increase the displacement of the 1997 NSX to 3.2 liters, the bore was increased from 90 to 93 mm.

Despite increases in horsepower and displacement, engine weight was reduced by 2.4 kilograms. To achieve both light weight and durability, the block is made of aluminum alloy. The cylinders on the new 3.2-liter V-6 are now made using an advanced metallurgical technique called Fiber Reinforced Metal (FRM), in which an alumina-carbon fiber is cast into the traditional aluminum alloy for enhanced rigidity. This process not only allows displacement to be increased without increasing bore centers, it also provides outstanding cooling characteristics.

The NSX’s block has cylinder bore surfaces consisting of an 0.5-mm-thick layer with fibers of carbon and alumina (aluminum oxide, or Al2O2) in the aluminum alloy. In production, the cylinder block’s aluminum alloy is poured around cylinder cores composed of these two fibers. The cores absorb the molten aluminum during the casting. After casting, the cylinders are bored to a slightly smaller diameter than the cores, leaving a tough, wear resistant, composite cylinder wall integral with the block but reinforced by the fibers. The process allows larger bores within the same external block dimensions and bore spacing, and makes open-deck block construction possible. In turn, this is appropriate for the new NSX engine’s higher performance level. And with the elimination of iron cylinder liners, the reduction in engine weight by 2.4 kilograms was made possible.

In engines with steel cylinders, conventional aluminum pistons are normally used. Because aluminum-on-aluminum is not a satisfactory combination for durability with a piston sliding in a cylinder, the NSX’s aluminum pistons are given an iron coating. The piston crown has been reshaped to improve heat resistance, and the pin diameter enlarged to cope with the higher output.

The crankshaft on the new NSX engine is a fully counterweighted forged unit made of a special high-strength steel, and increases in pin diameter size by 2 mm to 52 mm to accommodate the increased power output for the 3.2-liter V-6.

The cylinder heads are low-pressure cast aluminum. To increase flow into the combustion chamber, intake valves have been increased by 1 mm to 36 mm. Even though the valve diameter was increased, a unique cup shape was incorporated into the valve head to allow it to maintain the same weight. To further increase flow by creating a gentle radius leading from the port into the combustion chamber, a special 4-angle valve seat machining process is used –.a process typically reserved for racing applications. The head gasket on the 3.2-liter V-6 is now made of stainless steel to ensure a positive seal with the new FRM cylinders. The combustion chamber is a pent-roof design with generous squish area to promote swirl and enhance combustion efficiency. The spark plug is centrally located for optimum flame propagation, and features a platinum tip for improved durability and longer service life.

Titanium Connecting Rods

The connecting rods are made of a specially patented titanium alloy. While titanium rods are common in Formula One and other race engines, this is the first application of titanium in a production car. Compared to a steel connecting rod for the same engine, these titanium rods each weigh 190 grams less and are significantly stronger. To cope with the increase in power, the 3.2-liter engine’s piston pin diameter has been increased by 1 mm (from 22 mm to 23 mm), while the crankshaft pin diameter was increased by 2 mm (from 53 mm to 55 mm).

To accommodate the larger crankpin diameter, the connecting rod bolts were moved 1 mm farther apart and incorporate a new, high-strength design. The rod bolts used are actually stronger, yet 1 mm smaller in diameter and 20 percent lighter than those previously installed.

Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) System

Without question, the Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system is recognized as a breakthrough in engine technology. It convincingly solves the age-old trade-offs between low-end torque and highend power.

The heart of the VTEC system is a unique camshaft and rocker arm system. For each cylinder’s set of two intake (or exhaust) valves, there are three rocker arms and three corresponding lobes on the camshaft. The two outboard lobes each have a profile suited for low- to mid-rpm operation. The third, or center cam lobe has a dramatically different profile designed for longer duration and higher lift. This lobe profile is designed to optimize breathing and horsepower production at high engine speeds. At low engine rpm, the valves are operated by the outboard lobes. During high-speed operation above 5800 rpm, the VTEC computer sends a signal to a spool valve, which in turn delivers engine oil to small pistons in the rocker arms. Oil pressure causes the pistons to slide, locking all three rocker arms together. Once locked, the rocker arms are forced to follow the center cam lobe, increasing top end performance. The crossover from low lift to high lift occurs in 0.1 seconds and is virtually undetectable to the driver.

Variable Volume Induction System

In addition to VTEC, the NSX engine also uses a Variable Volume Induction System. This system uses a separate intake air plenum, located beneath the main intake manifold. This second plenum is separated from the primary manifold by six butterfly valves, which open between 4600 and 4900 rpm and are actuated by manifold vacuum.

When the valves open, the added volume of the secondary plenum creates a higher resonance frequency, which in turn creates a sonic pressure wave. This sonic pressure wave hits each pair of intake valves just as they open, promoting more rapid and complete cylinder filling. This system was designed to work in concert with VTEC to improve both low-end torque and high-rpm power.

Fuel Injection

Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) ensures that each cylinder receives the precise amount of fuel necessary for the present load and speed conditions. This system has been specially tailored to the unique capabilities of the induction and VTEC systems. An air-assist mechanism aids fuel atomization for better combustion at low temperatures. TO provide additional fuel for the new 3.2-liter V-6, the flow rate of the injector has been increased by 15 percent.

Onboard Diagnostic System (OBD-II)

An onboard diagnostic system incorporated into the engine management electronics system records and stores information on transient engine malfunctions. These can be retrieved through the diagnostic port to facilitate maintenance and repair.

Exhaust System

The NSX features a lightweight, highly efficient exhaust system. On the new 3.2-liter V-6, the exhaust manifold has been reconfigured and is now made of stainless steel header pipes rather than a cast-iron manifold for improved performance and lighter weight. Increased flow from this new configuration is a key contributor to the 20 additional horsepower drawn from this new engine.

The catalytic converters displace 1.14 liters and are close to the engine for quick converter light-up and a consequent reduction in emissions but without any sacrifice in power output. The overall weight of the unit has also been minimized by using spherical joints in the exhaust system rather than conventional flexible tubes.

Direct Ignition System

To ensure a hot, stable spark at high rpm operation, the ignition system has a coil mounted atop each spark plug, a design similar to that used in Formula One racing engines.

Manual Transmission

A new, compact, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission is designed to provide impressive durability with short shift throws and quick, precise response. Previously only applied to 2nd gear, dual-cone synchronizers are now used on 1st through 4th gear to reduce shift load from 40 to 50 percent for quicker, smoother shifting. Reverse gear is also equipped with synchromesh. To increase performance while maintaining excellent fuel economy, the five first ratios have been shortened while the new 6th gear is 7 percent higher than 5th gear in the previous NSX. To further increase shift responsiveness, the shift stroke has been reduced by approximately 10 percent. A new reverse lock-out solenoid ensures proper gear selection when shifting into 6th gear.

“Heavy-Duty” Clutch

To handle the high torque and power output of the new 3.2-liter V-6, a new dual-mass flywheel clutch system was developed. The design involves a split flywheel which incorporates a grease-lubricated wide-angle torsion mechanism. Gear rattle is effectively minimized because the system is specially tuned to the NSX drive system. Clutch performance is maximized by a high-performance friction material on the low-inertia mass clutch disc while the relocation of the torsion mechanism to the flywheel side helps retain a light clutch feel.

Sportshift Automatic Transmission

The optional Sportshift automatic transmission allows the driver the option of letting the transmission shift automatically in a conventional manner or selecting each gear manually by means of a fingertip control shift lever on the steering column. Inspired by advanced Formula One transmissions, this dual-mode system was created to give the driver of an automatic the same sporting performance feel of a manual. Unlike other similar systems, this one allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel while selecting a gear. This feature adds to the safety of the vehicle by allowing the driver to concentrate his full attention to the road ahead.

The shift quadrant (PRNDM21) is depicted on the tachometer. SportShift mode is engaged by selecting the M, or manual, position. In M mode, the shift position is illuminated in a window to the right of the shift quadrant. To shift up, the fingertip control lever is moved up, and to shift down, the flipper lever is moved downward. A circuit in the CPU (central processing unit) prevents downshifting that would cause the engine to over-rev.

Additional refinement of the automatic transmission shift programming has resulted in reduced shock when downshifting while decelerating, maximizing the potential of the Traction Control System (TCS) and drive-by-wire throttle system.

The automatic is also equipped with a programmed lockup torque converter to improve fuel economy and reduce slippage. In the SportShift manual mode, lockup is available in second, third and fourth gear during both acceleration and deceleration.

Torque Reactive Differential

The torque reactive limited slip differential minimizes spinning the inside wheel on NSX models equipped with the G-speed manual transmission. This unit uses a multi-plate clutch and helical-type planetary gears. When traveling in a straight line, the amount of slip between the rear wheels is controlled by the force of a preset spring-loaded disc imparting a force on the multi-plate clutch. In a tight corner, however, the force of the spring-loaded disc is overridden by the thrust force of the helical-type planetary gears, thus preventing the inside wheel from spinning and enhancing stability.

Torque Control Differential

The torque control differential employs a multi-plate clutch and planetary gearset to help maintain vehicle stability at speed in crosswinds and when driving over split-friction surface conditions. The unit reacts to the rotational difference between the rear wheels and attempts to maintain the same rate of rotation for both wheels.

If the NSX should be forced off the intended direction in a crosswind, the differential will detect the rotational difference between the two rear wheels and transfer torque to the slower rotating wheel. This has the effect of directing the car back into the desired path. This differential is on automatic transmission-equipped models only.

[BJ]The differential has nothing to do with “crosswinds” -which was an uneducated, irrelevant comment probably made by the marketing department. Crosswinds does not affect the wheel speed differences between right and left. Unless the crosswind forces you to make a 90-degree turn. The NSX LSD uses multiple clutch plates to increase surface area and resist wheel speed differences between the rear wheels. The clutch plates have a set ‘preload’ specified by the factory which is relatively light. Once the preload is surpassed, the inside/unloaded tire with less traction will spin freely. The NSX LSD does not “react” or “detect” anything. It simply has an initial preset limit of resistance of wheel speed differentiation that does improve acceleration out of a corner or when there is uneven grip between the rear tires whether due to cornering, or different levels of grip on two different surfaces.

Traction Control System (TCS)

The goal of the Traction Control System (TCS) is to minimize rear wheelspin on slippery or uneven road conditions. This unique development was created as a high-performance system rather than purely a low-speed, traction-enhancing device. The TCS, whose 1997 enhancements allow for more precise control, uses the wheel-speed sensors of the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and a G-sensor to detect rotational differences between front and rear wheels. If the computer determines the surface is slippery, Central Processing Unit (CPU) signals are sent to decrease the amount of air and/or fuel delivered to the engine. The driver can disengage the TCS via a switch on the instrument panel. Using ABS wheel-speed sensors and working in conjunction with the drive-by-wire throttle system, the TCS engages at impending wheel-slip rather than at the moment of wheel-slip. A logic circuit also controls stability during sudden deceleration on slippery surfaces. For 1997, the system has also been enhanced to further reduce shift shock during manual downshifts with automatic transmission-equipped models.

Drive-By-Wire Throttle

The drive-by-wire throttle system replaces a conventional throttle cable arrangement with an all-electronic system that senses the throttle pedal position and relays that information to a computer. The computer, in turn, performs the actual throttle activation instantaneously. The system works by means of a throttle pedal sensor, a throttle angle sensor, an electronic control unit and a step motor to control throttle opening and provide fail-safe throttle operation. It works in harmony with the TCS to provide a broad range of control. This system also helps to enhance the precision of the cruise control system.

Press Release

Acura’s Exotic NSX Powers Up for 1997 With Larger Engine, 6-Speed Transmission

TORRANCE, Calif. (Jan. 3, 1997) The 1997 Acura NSX represents a significant step forward in performance for one of the most exotic, mid-engine sports cars in the world.

This latest-generation NSX, which was first introduced for the 1991 model year, now offers a larger, more powerful, all-aluminum, 3.2-liter V-6 engine with 6-speed manual transmission, and significant engineering updates to the powertrain, brakes and steering. It now produces 290 horsepower and 224 lbs-ft of torque, increasing the horsepower-to-weight ratio of the aluminum-bodied NSX with 6-speed manual transmission by 7 percent.

The NSX continues its role as a leader in high-performance technology which has been one of its crowning achievements since its introduction,’ said Rich Thomas, Acura’s executive vice president and general manager, noting that the 1997 NSX with manual transmission increased only 4-1/2 pounds in total weight despite many improvements. “This year’s model takes all of its original attributes and raises them to the next level with significantly increased performance.”

The all-aluminum, 3.2-liter, dual-overhead-cam 24-valve, 90-degree V-6 is the new standard engine on the 1997 Acura NSX.

Meanwhile, the optional automatic transmission-equipped NSX, with Formula One racing-inspired SportShift mode, continues to utilize the potent 3.0-liter V-6 that provides 252 horsepower and 210 lbs-ft of torque.

Both powerplants feature the exclusive Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system, a Variable Volume Induction System intake configuration, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and a direct ignition system.

The new 3.2-liter V-6 also features a retuned, free-flowing exhaust system. Other updates for 1997 include:

  • Larger brakes and improved Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) performance
  • New aluminum alloys for lighter, high-rigidity body panels;
  • Refinements to the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system;
  • Adoption of a dual-mass flywheel;
  • Highly efficient, heat-absorbing green window glass;
  • Anti-theft vehicle immobilizer system;
  • Reshaped front spoiler and new machine-finished wheels;
  • Two exciting new colors: Spa Yellow. and Monte Carlo Blue.

Manufacturers suggested retail price is $84,000 for the NSX Coupe and $88,000 for the open-top NSX-T equipped with either a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Like all Acura models, the NSX is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC) program privileges such as free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.


The mid-engine, 2-seater NSX now offers two distinct powerplants. New for 1997 is an all-aluminum 3.2-liter V-6 that produces 290 horsepower and 224 lbs-ft of torque, and features an all-new G-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with Formula One-inspired SportShift mode is optional equipment and comes with an all-aluminum, 3.0-liter V-6 which produces 252 hp and 210 lbs-ft of torque.

Both engines are normally aspirated and are equipped with dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, a Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system, and a Variable Volume Induction System intake configuration. They also offer Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and a direct ignition system that uses an individual coil mounted atop each spark plug instead of a single coil for the entire system.

The chassis features all-aluminum construction for light weight. The 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension also features aluminum alloy control arms and hub carriers front and rear, and aluminum subframes for the front and rear suspension. The braking system has been improved for 1997 and features larger-diameter (by 6-7 percent), ventilated 4-wheel discs front and rear, and an advanced 4-channel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).

The sophisticated Traction Control System (TCS) has been designed to help limit wheelspin and enhance control.


The intention in creating the Acura NSX, which was first introduced for the 1991 model year, was to produce a hand-built, exotic, mid-engine sports car that would establish entirely new levels of prestige, performance, refinement, driveability and reliability. The aluminum-bodied NSX is designed to represent an entirely new definition of the exotic sports car through state-of-the-art, lightweight technology.

As the NSX has evolved during the 1990s, it has been hailed as a technological showcase.

The NSX-T model introduced during the 1995 model year, which features a removable roof panel, created a different level of excitement and broadened the appeal of the NSX. It also succeeded in maintaining the extremely high levels of performance and sophistication established by the NSX coupe. It also included technological achievements such as an optional Formula One-inspired SportShift automatic transmission with a unique column-mounted electronic shifter, a drive-by-wire throttle system, standard variable electric power-assisted steering, a compact and efficient system pioneered in the first-year NSX equipped with the automatic transmission.

For 1997, the NSX/NSX-T takes a giant step forward in performance with several major enhancements — most notable of which is a larger, more powerful 3.2-liter V-6 engine with a new G-speed manual transmission. Significant engineering updates also were made to the powertrain, brakes and steering.

Continuing in its role as a lightweight technology leader, the 1997 NSX increases only 4 1/2 pounds in total weight (plus 9 pounds for the NSX-T) despite many improvements. The new 3.2-liter V-6 engine produces 290 horsepower (20 more than its predecessor) and 224 lbs-ft of torque, increasing the horsepower-to-weight ratio of the G-speed manual-equipped NSX by 7 percent. The SportShift automatic transmission-equipped NSX continues to utilize the potent 3.0-liter V-6 which provides 252 horsepower and 210 lbs-ft of torque.

Changes for 1997 also include:

  • Larger brakes and improved Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) performance;
  • Retuned freer-flowing exhaust system;
  • Application of new aluminum alloys for lighter-weight, high-rigidity body panels;
  • Refinements to the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system;
  • Adoption of a dual-mass flywheel;
  • Highly efficient heat-absorbing green window glass;
  • Anti-theft vehicle immobilizer system;
  • Reshaped front spoiler;
  • New clear-coated wheel finish;
  • Two exciting new colors: Spa Yellow and Monte Carlo Blue.

CONCEPTS AND GOALS In designing the original NSX, light weight was chosen as the core technological path leading to the following attributes:

  • Top-rank performance equal to or greater than existing exotics;
  • Excellent liveability. The NSX had to be as easy to live with as any other Acura;
  • Outstanding handling;
  • A high level of comfort and ergonomic design, and low ambient noise level;
  • Reliability and durability equal to mass-produced automobiles;
  • Extremely high level of fit, finish and materials;
  • Limited production;
  • Excellent climate control system that could keep the occupants comfortable under any weather condition.

The NSX achieved all of these goals and established itself on a level equal to or greater than existing exotic sports cars. Goals for the NSX-T included all the original attributes of the NSX, plus the intangible excitement of open-air motoring. Priorities included:

  • Excellent body rigidity for precise handling;
  • Outstanding levels of noise insulation;
  • Providing a convenient storage compartment for the roof panel;
  • Minimizing wind buffeting at speed;
  • Providing a security system that functions with the top removed.

For 1997, the NSX takes all of these performance goals to the next level, with significantly better:

  • Performance;
  • Braking;
  • Steering.


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