Acura NSX is Honda's top of the model line

January 10, 1991|By Janet Braunstein | Janet Braunstein,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Honda's hot new 1991 model will be little more than a dream for most buyers; the Acura NSX is a sports car few can afford.

The NSX carries a $60,000 price tag, but sellers are demanding and getting up to $130,000 for the all-aluminum, mid-engine coupe.

The NSX traces its roots to Honda's highly successful Formula One racing effort, supplying engines to the McLaren team.

The needle on the tachometer goes all the way to 8,000 rpm before the NSX's 270-horsepower, 3.0-liter multivalve engine revs into the red zone.

But from the beginning, Honda engineers aimed to make it an easy-to-handle sports car that anyone could drive, unlike most quirky racing-related sports cars. To that end, NSX comes with a traction-control system, anti-lock brakes and air bag.

Despite the NSX's power and performance, Honda also managed to avoid a gas-guzzler penalty.

Honda's 1991 lineup:

CRX: CRX HF $9,145; 1.5-liter 62-hp four-cylinder engine; 49 mpg city, 52 mpg. highway.

CRX $9,410; 1.5-liter 92-hp 16-valve four-cylinder; 32 mpg city, 36 mpg highway.

CRX SI $11,130; 1.6-liter 108-hp 16-valve four-cylinder engine; 28 mpg city, 33 mpg highway.

CIVIC: 3-door hatchback $6,895; 1.5-liter 70-hp 16-valve four-cylinder engine; 33 mpg city, 37 mpg highway.

DX hatchback $8,745, sedan $9,490; LX sedan $10,500; 2WD wagon $10,325; all with 1.5-liter 92-hp 16-valve engine; 31 mpg city, 35 mpg highway.

SI hatchback $10,295, EX sedan $11,195; 1.6-liter 108-hp 16-valve engine; 28 mpg city, 32 mpg highway. 4WD wagon $12,410; 24 mpg city, 26 highway.

ACCORD: DX 2-door coupe $12,345, sedan $12,545; LX coupe $14,895, sedan $15,095; 2.2-liter 125-hp 16-valve four-cylinder engine; 24 city, 29 highway.

EX coupe $16,595, sedan $16,795; 2.2-liter 130-hp engine; 24 mpg city, 29 mpg highway.

SE sedan $19,545; 2.2-liter 140-hp engine; mileage N/A.

PRELUDE: 2.0 Si $14,945; 2.0-liter 135-hp 16-valve four-cylinder engine; 23 mpg city, 27 mpg highway.

Si $17,165; Si 4WS $18,450; Si ALB $18,700; 2.05-liter 140-hp engine; 22 mpg city, 26 highway.

ACURA INTEGRA: RS 3-door sedan $11,950, 4-door $12,850; LS 3-door $13,825, 4-door $14,545; GS 3-door $15,925, 4-door $16,450: all with 1.8-liter 130-hp 16-valve four-cylinder engine; 24 mpg city, 28 mpg highway.

ACURA NSX: Mid-engine sports car $60,000; 3.0-liter 270-hp 24-valve V6 engine; 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.

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