From Acura press: Honda Research and Development engineers have long held the dream of producing a world class sports car. With the decision to create the Acura Division, an appropriate channel became available for the distribution of an automobile of this caliber.
This automobile would become both a rolling showcase for the firm's technical prowess, and also establish the "performance/luxury" image the Acura Division needed to achieve if it were going to be recognized as a leader in that market segment.
The car that was to become the Acura NSX was envisioned as being not merely a competitor for the exotics and near-exotics already on the market, but a groundbreaking vehicle that would provide the emotional and visceral excitement which is part and parcel of driving an exotic car, and embody the unique Honda spirit.
To understand the how and why Honda even considered building a car like the NSX, it's first necessary to understand the spirit and the high level of car enthusiasm that suffuses every aspect of Honda's worldwide organization. Historically, Honda has always been a "racing" company. From its initial interest in motorcycle racing in the '60s , to its current dominance in Formula One, Honda has always taken racing as a serious endeavor.
And its involvement with motorsports was never an afterthought or promoted on an occasional basis as an adjunct to the latest marketing strategy. It was an integral part of Soichiro Honda's philosophy, a philosophy that was nurtured and encouraged and placed at the core of Honda's approach to building cars. As a result, the enthusiast ethic, the idea that cars, no matter what their market niche, should be amply endowed with a large dose of driving fun, is part of everyone's job description. It comes with the territory.
The Honda spirit and mindset, while multi-faceted, can be encapsulated as "an intense emotional involvement with cars." As Honda sees it, driving isn't merely a method of achieving a destination. It should alsobe a recreational activity that frees the mind, excites the senses and provides a means for relaxation. Part of that excitement is the result of a human-oriented approach to car building, an approach which recognizes that all a car's priorities should be devoted toward entertaining and satisfying the driver. Whether it involves the shape of a shifter knob or the shape of the torque curve, it has to make sense to the driver and make his time behind the wheel both intriguing and pleasing. That approach further recognizes that it takes much more than raw horsepower or high lateral acceleration numbers to satisfy a dedicated, knowledgeable sports car owner. What that type of driver demands above all is balanced performance.
Stated simply, the intention in creating the Acura NSX was to produce a handbuilt, exotic, mid-engine sports car that would establish entirely new levels of performance, refinement, driveability and reliability.In essence, the NSX is intended to represent an entirely new definition of the exotic sports car.