Why is Honda NSX So Expensive?

The Honda NSX is expensive due to its cost of production, high demand, innovative technology (with 4 different drive modes), appealing designs, and positive customer appreciation.

The Honda NSX, also known in North America as the Acura NSX, is a premium supercar from the stables of Japanese automakers Honda. For a brand with a reputation for affordable cars, the Honda NSX is an outlier. 

When compared to its direct rivals, the Honda NSX prices are more. In the case of the Honda NSX compared to the Porsche 911, the NSX costs a princely $157500 while the 911’s price is set a $97,400. The price difference is mind-boggling; why is this so? Why is the Honda NSX Expensive?

There are various reasons why the NSX is so expensive and several reasons why an NSX is a good buy despite its price.

Brief History of the Honda NSX

Honda sold the first batch of the Honda NSX in Japan in 1990. The plan was to do something unusual— create a supercar that could rival the European carmakers. For a long time, the public thought this was not possible. No one thought Honda could create a car to rival Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Lamborghini, and the other makers of fast cars.

Honda was designed to bring out the big guns right from the design stage. Pininfarina, the famous design studio that created some of the best Ferrari, was picked to design the NSX. Honda also co-opted legendary Formula 1 driver Aryton Senna to develop the engine with them.

The result was an elegant design, with a superior machine and light bodyweight. Honda came up with NSX, an acronym for New Sports Car Experimental, for their new car. The first-generation NSX lasted from 1990 to 2015.

In 2002, NSX had a new version to the first generation. There was a change in the engine (3.2l engine to 3.0l engine), the power (290hp to 272hp), and slight design tweaks (popup lights to exposed lights). The first fifteen years saw a total of eighteen thousand, six hundred and eight-five units of the NSX sold.

There was a hiatus in production until 2016, when the Honda NSX made a second-generation model. This newer model is a two-seater like its predecessor, but unlike the first generation, the new NSX is an all-wheel drive.

Now that we are done with a history of the NSX, let’s see a few reasons why the NSX is so expensive.

Reasons for The High Cost of Honda NSX

New Technology

As at the time of the NSX’s first release, its technology was beyond its competitors. The vehicle had a Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) transmission, a new technology from Honda at the time. 

An example is the four driving modes found in the newer versions. Its infotainment hub found a large touch screen, is one the improved technology on the NSX. 

These modes are what sets the NSX apart from other supercars; you could take it out for a drive or use it to tear up the tracks. These modes are:

  • Quiet
  • Sport
  • Sport Plus
  • Track

The drive modes are different from other technological safety features like advanced collision warning, lane-keep assist, among many. The plan from the onset was not just to produce a racing car but to produce a racing car you could enjoy driving on the streets.

Honda NSX’s technology ensured that this concept became a reality. This reality also leads to an increase in the price because with so many technological and safety features,s it is only logical for a price increase.

Vehicle Aesthetics 

Honda NSX isn’t about power only. It also incorporates beauty and control with power. From the early days in the Pininfarina, NSX has strived and succeeded in aesthetic beauty. From its exterior design to the aluminum body in the early days to its interior and lush seats. NSX’s designs always had its customers’ comfort in mind.

A glance at the new NSX shows you not a supercar but a high-performance vehicle for those with taste. Its interior has comfortable bucket seats, leather, and control knobs that blend to give an appearance of class.

It is a fact that the aesthetics of the original Honda NSX was the inspiration behind the design of several Formula 1 cars and McLaren’s first road car, the F1. Its design gave drivers better visibility compared to its competitors, and its popup light was an innovation and a hit.

This is also one reason why the best Ford Thunderbirds did so well for its time as well.

Customer Reviews and Satisfaction

Customer and critic reviews make or mar any product, cars not excluded. In the automobile industry, where a new model is expected on the market every year, resting on the previous year’s success could be a recipe for disaster. 

The appraisal of the Honda NSX plays a crucial role in its price evaluation.  Honda NSX became expensive because people have consistently said good things about the car. Bad reviews affect prices negatively.

More importantly, the favorable comments outweighed the negative statements. For instance, Gordon Murray, a famous Formula 1 car designer, said the Honda NSX frame tested better than other supercars.

Reviews make or break a product. Most of the reviews about the Honda NSX include;

  • The computer-controlled suspension keeps the driver at ease
  • The three electric motors in the engine enhances performance.
  • The titanium connecting rods enables the car to react quickly to instructions.

Though the Honda NSX encloses a complex system, it navigates easily. The modern setup of the Honda NSX exists in the category of extravagance. Luxury goods have a high price value.

The Honda NSX is the go-to car for convenience and amenity.  It presents a lavishly furnished package with the necessary niceties and components to accommodate either purpose. Specialized features of the NSX model fund its expensiveness.

Cost of Production

The cost of producing a supercar is enormous. It takes a lot of capital to design, develop, and test something a great as the NSX. A car that combines wealth, brainpower, and workforce will cost a lot. Take the years that go into research and development to build its powerful hybrid engine, its lubricants, or its automatic transmission.

For the first Honda NSX, over three hundred people worked on the car in one way or another. The cost of producing a standard sedan like the Honda Accord doesn’t compare to the cost of building a luxury supercar, where every part must be of the highest quality, and the margin of error is nonexistent.

Imagine its interior, the infotainment system, the comfortable leather seats, and the four driving modes. It took a lot of man and brainpower to turn these concepts into reality. The product line for the NSX can’t be modified for other brands. For example, the production line for a Honda Civic can be modified to produce a Honda Accord. You can’t do that with the Honda NSX.

All these factors drive up the cost of production, which in turn drives up the final price of the car.

This is very similar to why the Nissan GTR is so expensive.

The Engine and Transmission

The 2021 Honda NSX has a twin-turbocharged 3.5l V6 engine alongside three electric motors combined to give 573hp and 476lbft of torque. The result is a top speed of 191mph and an acceleration from 0 to 60 in just 2.9 seconds. None of its competitors come close to the NSX in this regard.

Honda NSX combines this powerful engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive that gives the car superior power, superb handling, and a smooth drive.

Though, many other cars have close capabilities since they are sports car like or even muscle car like—

  1. Cheap Dodge Chargers
  2. Cheap Corvettes
  3. Expensive BMW M8s

Demand for Vehicle

Honda NSX has a cult following. Ever since the first release of the Honda NSXs, they are still in high demand. Simple market laws mean that the more the vehicle is in demand, the higher its prices will go.

It is almost the same with the newer models. Positive reviews of the second generation from 2016 or a feeling of nostalgia of owning a first-generation NSX has driven demand for the vehicles. The increase in demand for a limited number of cars ensures that the price goes up.

Honda NSX has always been in the top bracket in the list of supercars in demand year after year; Competing favorably with cars like Porsche Cayman, Chevrolet Corvette, or the Audi R8. This reason leads people to believe there is something about the car that makes it worth having, leading to increase demand. The increased demand ultimately leads to the increased prices.


Honda NSX is a marvel, a Japanese supercar that gave the European powerhouses a run for their money. From the moment of its conception to the first car produced, this symbol of luxury, power, and safety has always been the trailblazer in the supercar category.

It might cost more than others, but its superior engine, attention to detail, superior technology, craftsmanship, smooth handling. There is also the lure of owning a car that was initially co-designed by an F1 legend and one of the greatest drivers ever, Ayrton Senna. These reasons are more than enough to justify this price tag.

It might be more expensive, but which other car can drive smoothly on the streets and still compete favorably in the tracks?

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