MARYSVILLE – Known by its vehicle identification number as VIN 001, the first production model of the next-generation 2017 Acura New Sports eXperience (NSX) supercar rolled off the assembly line Tuesday at the state-of-the-art Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville to a crowd of Honda of America Manufacturing associates and officials, state and local officials, and Rick Hendrick – the man who paid $1.2 million at auction to own the historic automobile.
“Today marks the realization of a big dream here at the PMC and the culmination of more than 30 years of manufacturing experience and expertise here in Ohio,” said Clement D’Souza, engineering large project leader for the Acura NSX. “Our world-class team of expert technicians, through their passion, has realized major innovations in the design and manufacturing of a next-generation Acura supercar that truly delivers incredible precision-crafted performance.”
Dubbed Honda’s luxury brand, Acura produced the first-generation NSX for 15 years in Japan from 1990 until production was halted in 2005.
After global design and development teams located in Japan and the U.S. (Ohio and California) spent years preparing for the rollout of the next-generation Acura NSX, the company announced in March it was beginning serial production on the 2017 model – the most expensive supercar (high-performance sports car) being produced in the United States – at the PMC, a 184,000-square-foot, $70 million manufacturing facility specifically designed to produce the new supercar in Marysville at 25000 Honda Parkway.
A company news release states, “The PMC was designed to blend human craftsmanship and advanced technologies to assure superior build quality and precision-crafted performance.”
The 2017 Acura NSX can lay claim to being the only supercar designed, developed and manufactured in the U.S. as it’s entirely constructed in-house at the PMC using domestic and globally-sourced parts.
As for the NSX’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, it’s hand-assembled in Ohio at Honda’s largest engine plant located in Anna.
“This is a proud day for Ohio and the people who live here,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said minutes before the first serial produced next-generation NSX model rolled off the production line. “There are no limits on what we can achieve right here in the state of Ohio.”
The new NSX, which starts out at a base price of $156,000, features a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, a rear direct drive electric motor and. according to a company news release, “a first-of-its-kind sport hybrid super handling all-wheel drive power unit.”
The first thing Hendrick said Tuesday after driving his Valencia red pearl-colored supercar off the production line and onto a rotating stage set up to showcase the vehicle was: “It’s Christmas. I remember Christmas when I was 10 years old and this is pretty close.”
No stranger to the automotive world, Hendrick is chairman of the Hendrick Automotive Group based in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as the owner of Hendrick Motorsports, a NASCAR team consisting of four drivers, two of whom are arguably the biggest in the sport – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson.
Hendrick won the right to custom-order the first serial production model of the Acura NSX supercar (high-performance sports car) by placing the winning bid of $1.2 million during a Barrett-Jackson car auction in January. The Honda Motor Co., which owns the Acura brand, donated all the auction proceeds to two charities – the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation based in North Carolina and Georgia-based Camp Southern Ground.
“I always try to get the number ones (first serial production), and I probably have about 40 number ones,” said Hendrick, adding he wouldn’t be where he is today without the Honda and Acura dealerships that help make up part of his automotive group. “This is a halo piece that is going to help us in the Acura division. It’s going to draw customers into our stores that we would never see.
“You (directed to Honda officials and associates in attendance) have built one of the finest automobiles that I’ve seen in my life.”
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331, Ext. 1774, or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.