Spotting Generations of the NSX

Photo by Jonathan Meas

Depending on your definition of useable, a full hand of fingers may not be required to complete a list of useable super cars. One model that should be on everyone’s list is the Acura NSX. The NSX was near perfection right out of the box in 1991 (chassis code NA1) and few major changes were made through its production run up until 2005.

The engine displacement was bumped from 3.0 to 3.2 liters in 1997 and with that came a transmission upgrade, replacing the 5-speed with a precise 6-speed. Then in 2002 (chassis code NA2) the NSX received a face-lift that replaced the popular 80’s style pop-up headlights with modern projectors. The chassis remained much the same and the face-lift components were easily fitted to older models. Face-lifted NA2 model enhancements included new side skirts, rear bumper, tail lights and larger wheels.

Next time you see what appears to be an NA2 NSX, look closely. If it has a 5-speed or no removable roof, chances are you’re looking at an early model NA1.


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