Alex Zanardi Signature Edition NSX

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.

It should be noted that a Zanardi is only 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.

NOTE: There is a misprint in some of the Acura promotional material for the Zanardi Edition which states that the Final Drive Ratio is 4.6. This is incorrect. The final drive ratio is the same as the regular NSXs (4.062).

*There are technically 53 Zanardi edition cars. Badge 00 was given to Alex Zanardi himself. There is an unbadged unofficial 51. And there is an early prototype.

Press Release

Acura Debuts Alex Zanardi Edition NSX

Miami, FL, Nov. 8. — Acura unveiled its most exclusive, best handling and quickest model ever at the Miami International Auto Show. The 1999 Alex Zanardi Edition NSX takes Acura’s all-aluminum sports car to new levels of exclusiveness with a signature series model that comes with a number of distinctive features, including revised suspension and dedicated interior and exterior styling cues.

Available only as a hard-top coupe, the signature series NSX takes its name from two-time CART open-wheel racing championship driver, Alex Zanardi. Only fifty copies of this limited edition model will be hand built — each identified by a numbered, brushed aluminum, signature plaque engraved with Alex Zanardi’s signature and located on the rear firewall between the driver and passenger seat head rests identifying the vehicle as one of only fifty to be hand built at the company’s Takanazawa plant in Tochigi, Japan. Zanardi himself will take delivery of the first one when it goes on sale in March, 1999.

The Alex Zanardi Edition coupe features a lower overall heft than the standard NSX through a number of weight reducing measures. A racetrack-tuned suspension, lightweight BBS alloy wheels, titanium shift knob and signature series plaque are a few of the key elements that set this model apart. Total vehicle weight is reduced 149 pounds compared to the NSX-T, through the use of a fixed hard-top roof, lighter rear spoiler, single pane rear glass, lightweight BBS alloy wheels, a lighter battery, and a manual rack-and-pinion steering system in place of the electric power steering. Other features available only on the Alex Zanardi Edition NSX include a red-stitched interior trim with suede-like seating surfaces and aluminum-mesh intake covers.

Additional exclusive features include a new titanium-finished center console and door inserts, and perforated suede-like seating surfaces. An exclusive Formula Red exterior color completes the package.
The Alex Zanardi Edition is equipped with the NSX’s 3.2-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, VTEC V-6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 224 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled to a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission. The Alex Zanardi Edition takes performance up a notch, though, thanks to the improved power-to-weight ratio. It also boasts a racetrack- tuned suspension system and manual rack-and-pinion steering for increased steering precision and handling control.
The front and rear shock rebound rates have been increased by 99 percent and 31 percent, respectively, along with compression rates that have been increased by 72 percent and 50 percent. Front and rear springs are 103 percent and 32 percent stiffer, respectively, along with firmer bushings — yielding front and rear roll centers that are lower by 0.6 inches in front and 0.3 inches at the rear. A lower overall vehicle height and center of gravity also contribute to improved cornering.

  • Production: 50 units — each with a numbered Alex Zanardi signature plaque
  • 149 pound weight reduction from NSX-T
  • Front & rear shock absorber rebound rates increased 99% and 31%, respectively
  • Front & rear shock absorber compression rates increased 72% and 50%, respectively
  • Front & rear spring rates increased by 103% and 32%, respectively
  • Stiffer, larger diameter rear stabilizer bar with thicker tube wall Alex Zanardi Edition: 0.75 inch diameter, 0.11 inch wall thickness NSX-T: 0.68 inch diameter, 0.09 inch wall thickness
  • Overall height reduced by 0.4 inch
  • Front roll center height reduced by 0.6 inch
  • Rear roll center height reduced by 0.3 in
Zanardi Performance Modifications Weight difference ( lb )
Manual rack-and-pinion steering (Electric Power Steering deleted) – 32
Firmer, racetrack-tuned suspension + 0.9
Lightweight BBS alloy wheels – 8.8
Lightweight rear spoiler – 3.7
Lightweight battery – 6.8
Single partition glass – 4.2
Fixed hard-top roof – 95
New wheel center cap
Titanium shift knob + 0.4
Aluminum mesh intake covers + 0.2
Zanardi signature plaque
Body-colored roof panel
New Formula Red Exterior
Perforated seat surfaces with red stitching
Red-stitched steering wheel
Red-stitched door lining
Titanium look center console
and instrument meter panel
Titanium look door panel
Total weight reduction 149




Press Photo

Alex Zanardi and the Zanardi NSX NSX

Press Kit

At the auto show


Zanardi VIN/Plaque Numbers

All US NSX Zanardi Edition VIN numbers are in the format JH4NA212*XT000xxx where * is the check digit and xxx is the serial number.

Zanardi edition plaque #00 was a press car, serial number 127
Zanardi edition plaque #01 is the car delivered to Alex Zanardi with European VIN
Zanardi edition plaque #02-#16 are serial numbers 128-142 (in order)
Serial #143 was not a US car and not a Zanardi
Zanardi edition plaque #17-50 are serial numbers 144-177 (in order)