In a neat bit of fan service for those who’ve ordered Acura’s new NSX halo car, the company will make a short film that reflects the way the car’s been configured. Those films are on their way to future owners as you read this. In addition, they’ll get a 1:18 scale custom model of their own car, reflecting every appearance option inside and out. That’s neat.
So neat, in fact, that we decided to commission our own video. We got together and configured a car in the lovely Nouvelle Blue Pearl, and sent our build over to Acura. They put together a video that’s mostly representative of what an owner would see. You can see our build plate (hint: it says “Autoblog – Precision Crafted By Performance Manufacturing Center” on it), and that’s “our” car on the dyno starting about 22 seconds in. If you want to check out someone else’s film, you can compare our build to Jay Leno’s.
The reason Acura can do this is that there simply aren’t that many available configurations for the NSX. This is at the root of one of the main criticisms some of our editors have about the car. An NSX starts at darn close to $160,000, and there are eight paint options (not too bad), four interior color options, and three seating options.
All well and good, but compare that to the 16 paint and 12 interior color/material choices in a 911 Turbo, for example, choosing a similarly high-performance car at a similar price range. And there’s a further wrinkle: Porsche will paint your car to match a sample you provide, so in reality the ability for an owner to make the car uniquely theirs is infinite, if you don’t mind paying for it. See also the BMW Individual program, or McLaren’s MSO one-offs. We’re not just talking about the MSO Defined options, but the MSO Bespoke program itself, which will basically do anything you want to the car as long as it’s road legal and your check doesn’t bounce. We’ve been to MSO, and they’re not kidding: they’ll build anything.
So yes, these custom videos are nice fan service, and they’ll certainly jazz up the buyers who’ve already ordered one of these dynamically impressive cars. It’s a move that builds loyalty, and certainly doesn’t have much of a drawback. But for us, already a bit sensitive to Acura’s conservative option list for the NSX, it serves to highlight the gap between Acura and the more established brands in catering to well-off customers’ desire for bespoke range-topping creations.
It could be that Acura’s attracting a different sort of customer, one that’s fine selecting from only eight exterior colors and wouldn’t spend an extra dime on color-keying it to a prized possession. Maybe that’s why they’re buying NSXs instead of McLaren 570Ss. It seems that if Acura wanted to listen, their prospective buyers might have something different to say. We humbly suggest they start having that conversation with potential customers before falling further behind the pack.