SAN FRANCISCO -- When the 2017 Acura NSX sports car finally goes on sale next spring, it will mark the end of a long, strange trip for Honda's second-generation halo car. And it comes not a moment too soon for the brand.
The successor to the revered original NSX -- produced from 1990 to 2005 -- was conceived in 2006. It was shown as a V-10 concept in 2007, killed during the recession, then resurrected in 2011.
Finally, at the 2012 Detroit auto show, Acura revealed a concept version of the production car we see now. Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld plugged it in a Super Bowl ad. Yet even that version was modified, pushing the car's launch back by more than a year, to spring 2016.
After such a long, tortuous journey -- and a January 2015 unveiling that was overshadowed by Ford's 600-plus-hp GT -- is Acura worried that people's interest has waned, especially since the debut in 2012?
"I don't think so," Jon Ikeda, Acura's general manager, told Automotive News during the press launch for the 2017 model here. "Three-and-a-half years is not long in car years, though I know it seems long for some people. [The debut] may have seemed early then but we were so excited with what we had, and we really wanted to share it."
What Acura has is a new all-wheel-drive hybrid sports car. Using three electric motors and a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6, the 2017 NSX has 573 hp, 476 pounds-feet of torque and a curb weight of 3,803 pounds and will do 0 to 60 mph in just more than three seconds.
Final pricing hasn't been announced, though it will start in the mid-$150,000s. Acura expects to sell about 800 a year once production at its Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, is running at full tilt.