Acura is saying goodbye to its halo NSX supercar with a special Type S model for 2022. The higher-performance hybrid will be the only trim level available for this final model year, and production will be capped at just 350 units.
What separates the Type S from the “normal” NSX? More than additional power, though the Type S does get that, too. Acura has strapped new turbochargers to the hand-built, 3.5-liter V6, plucked from the GT3 Evo race car. Boost pressure is up to 16.1 psi, versus 15.2 psi in the standard model. High-flow fuel injectors and more efficient intercoolers are also part of the package. All told, the gas portion of the drivetrain now produces 520 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 20 and 37, respectively.
Honda has also tweaked the electrified bits. The power unit now has 20 percent more battery capacity, and 10 percent greater output. This translates to more performance and an extended EV-only range, though Honda doesn’t say by how much for the latter. The gear ratio for the front electric motors is now 20 percent lower, which Acura says increases off-the-line torque. Combined system output is 600 hp and 492 lb-ft.
The nine-speed dual-clutch transmission has come in for improvements, namely a new Rapid Downshift Mode. Active in Sport and Sport+ modes, Rapid Downshift will select the lowest possible gear for the current speed when the driver holds the downshift paddle for 0.6 seconds. Acura says shift times are up to 50 percent quicker in these modes, as well. Meanwhile, in Track mode, the rev threshold for downshifts has been increased by 1,500 rpm, so drivers can rattle them off even earlier before entering a corner.
Tweaked drive modes showcase improved turn-in, a flatter cornering stance, and what Acura calls a “more integrated engine note,” depending on which is selected.
Other performance-oriented improvements include new, specially-developed Pirelli P-Zero tires. While they’re the same 245/35ZR19 front and 305/30ZR20 rear sizes as the regular model, they mount on new split-five spoke wheels with an increased negative offset. This means a wider track front and rear, and combined, these changes give the Type S a 6-percent improvement in lateral grip.
Keen-eyed enthusiasts should be able to pick out the Type S on the road, thanks to a redesigned, pointier front bumper, replete with larger air intakes and a lift-reducing carbon fiber lip spoiler. The roof is made out of the weave too, as are the side sills, rear spoiler, and diffuser. The head- and taillights are tinted as well. A new Gotham Gray matte paint color is one of 10 options, and 70 of the 350 models will feature it. Those wanting even more carbon fiber (and performance) will want to opt for the Lightweight Package (a steal, at just $13,000). It swaps in carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber engine cover, and various CF bits inside the Type S, shaving 57.8 pounds (26.2 kg).
Speaking of the inside, buyers have a choice of Alcantara-and-leather or full-leather seats. There’s an Alcantara headliner, and the requisite smattering of Type S logos. A numbered plaque sits on the engine cowling.
As mentioned, Acura will build just 350 of the 2022 NSX Type S. Of those, 300 will head to the US, where pricing starts from $171,495 including destination. 15 will land in Canada, with the opening bid set at $224,795 CAD. As farewells go, this looks like a special one.
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