What NSX Production Models Are There?
NSX Coupe, 1991-2005
The original body style. The coupe body has been “custom order only” since 1996, and was NOT available in 1995 in the US (the year the -T was introduced).
The European spec NSXs have some extra features, such as front fog lights. Models for other countries may also have rear fog lights, adjustable headlights, and head light washers. Most of these features are activated via buttons in the coin tray area added to those models.
The NSX-T has a “targa” style roof, except Porsche owns the trademark on the word “targa” so Acura just calls it a “-T”. The NSX-T has reinforcement in the cowl, A-pillar, rocker, and rear firewall. The NSX-T also has different suspension rates than the coupe. At low rates of wheel travel, T front rebound and compression rates are 7% softer. At higher rates, T rebound is 21% softer, compression is 32% softer. At high rates, T rebound is 15% softer, compression is 21% softer. Rear suspension varies similarly, while the T’s (hollow) anti-roll bars are smaller and have less wall thickness Note: You can’t order the T with the Coupe suspension. There are also three interior styling differences in the -T vs. the coupe: 1) A roof release on each side. 2) No middle sun visor 3) Interior light is behind instead of at the front of the ceiling.
* Information specific to the 1997 can be found at 1997 NSX
NA1 NSX-R, 1993-1995
Available only in Japan, the NSX-R is essentially a stripped down NSX with a stiffer suspension for track use. Weight is 265lbs less than a regular NSX coupe and the ride is stiff enough that most people consider it stiffer than you would want for the street even though Honda said it was to be a compromise between street and track. Sold for 9.8 million yen. NSX-R
NSX Type-S 1997-1999 & 02+ and Type-S Zero, 1997-1999
Type-S: Japan Only. Luxury/Sporty model; a more refined Type-R. Titanium Shift Knob (like Formula-1), MOMO steering wheel, BBS lightweight aluminum wheels, Recaro full bucket seat, mesh design engine cover (like Type-R), same colored roof as body, 45kg lighter than regular model, harder suspension.
Type-S Zero: Japan Only. Racing prepped car. No air conditioning or audio wiring. Harder suspension than normal but softer than the Type-R. Carbon-fiber Recaro seats. Another 50kg lighter than the Type-S. Type-S
Alex Zanardi Signature Edition, 1999
A limited edition of 50 Zanardi NSXs, basically a variant of the Japanese Type-S, was introduced for 1999 exclusively for the US market. They are to be allocated to dealerships based on the dealer’s history of NSX sales over the last three years; some dealers will not receive any. The Zanardi is about 54 lbs lighter than a ’97 coupe with power steering – the 149 lb weight reduction in the press material is vs. a -T which is about 95 lbs heavier than a coupe. This makes it heavier than either a Type S (99 lbs. lighter than a ’97 coupe with power steering) and far heavier than a Type-S Zero which is over 211 lbs. lighter than a ’97 coupe with power steering. Zanardi
2002 NSX Cosmetic Redesign
Based on a toned down version of the new NSX Type-R prototype listed above, the NSX received the first real cosmetic redesign since its introduction over a decade ago. The new design carries the new nose, fixed-position headlights, tail, exhaust and wheels from the new -R prototype but loses the boy-racer carbon fiber hood and wing in favor of the traditional look for both those parts. This redesign applies to all production models of the NSX (coupe, -T, and Type-S). 2002 Redesign
What Are The Same-Model Differences Between Countries?
US vs. Japan
The car can be highly customized “from the factory” in Japan. Many more colors (interior and exterior) are available, as well as more options (such as built-in navigation systems). There are also some cosmetic differences such as the placement of side marker lights and the color of some light covers.
1998 Japanese color selection chart
Obviously, the Japanese cars are also right-hand drive while US cars are left-hand drive.
The Japanese car market goes by calendar year, not “model” year as in the US. So in Japan the first year for the car was 1990, while in the US the NSXs sold in 1990 were considered model year 1991.
US vs. Canada
US and CDN version both have metric and English markings on the speedometer. The US versions have English markings in bold white with metric in a smaller darker font, the CDN versions are reversed. Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are standard on CDN cars as noted.
Regarding warranty coverage you are on your own. I’d patronize one dealer and try and strike up a good relationship so if something goes wrong you have a history of doing business with them before you ask for a favour. Dealers I’ve used in OH and GA have been very kind but they are under no obligation to honor the Acura Canada warranty.
It’s incorrect to think that because the car is from Canada, it will have unique problems. The Canadian emissions certification will also qualify for all 50 states. When I brought mine into the United States there was no need for re-certification or testing. All Hondas have the speedometer calibrated in both metric and imperial units.
One reason for buying a Canadian car is the uniqueness of it. No need for go-fast parts when you have a speedo that goes to 300!! And you don’t need to explain that ‘kmh’ means ‘kanadian miles per hour. 😉 Many folks like the DRLs, which mimic the look of the car as it is sold in Japan. One concern might be the climate control which reads out in Centigrade and there is no way to change this back to Fahrenheit without purchasing a new head unit for the system.
In 1991, CDN cars also came with a special bolt for securing a child safety seat in the passenger’s seat and a leather case for the owner’s handbook and dealer information. The US cars include the tether attachment point for a child restraint system which uses a top tether.The tether bracket and bolt are available from the dealer, possibly at extra charge – the tether attachment point is located on the panel behind the passenger’s seat back. Apparently, with the Canadian cars, the bolt comes with the car. I don’t know about the bracket but I would expect that that would be included as well.
US vs. Europe
- European market NSX models have a more complete trunk tool kit than the US cars, which adds a tow hook turnbuckle and additional wrench parts.
- The center console in European NSX models is black. It does not have the gray metallic-look surface used in the US models.
- Headlight washers and fog lights are available on European NSX models.
- Unlike US cars, which deleted them for the 1995 model year, European NSX models retained the original oval exhaust tips.
- European market NSX models have different side market lights, which are smaller and behind the wheel well as compared to US cars.
- Europe cars have a rear fog light located at where one of the US reverse lights belong
- The tail lights on European NSX have two bulbs on each side like in the US, but only the outer ones illuminate when the headlights are activated.
- European NSX rear bumpers have a cutout to the right that is used to access a rear tow hook.
- European NSX models for years 1991-1992 utilize the US gearset in the 5-speed transmission. However, 1993-1996 European 5-speed cars use the Japanese “short” gearset.