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A few impressions of the 2002 NSX

Joined
4 February 2000
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Location
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I went to the Chicago Auto Show today and saw my first 2002 NSX. It was an Imola Orange Pearl NSX-T. I won't go over the differences from the earlier model (we're all familiar with them by now) but I'll state my impressions of them.

The biggest impression I had is that the new NSX doesn't look all that different from the old NSX. I know some people have said that they think it's really ugly but it's so VERY close to the older version - and it looks even MORE like it in person - that I can't see getting all that worked up over a few changes that really don't affect the look all that much.

Take the rear design as an example. The lower valence is different, yes - it's more intricate and complex - but it's all the way at the bottom. It's hardly noticeable. We're talking about the piece that is tucked away behind and underneath the license plate. If you don't point it out to people, no one will EVER notice it. That little lip on the trailing edge of the trunk lid is TINY - again, unless someone pointed it out, no one would ever notice it. (BTW, it's a thin, separate piece, so it ought to be easy to attach to a '91-01 trunk lid.) The difference in the taillights, again, is hardly noticeable - they're the same taillights except for the orange circular light on each side, and that's not much of a change. And, of course, the chrome emblem in place of the word Acura on the center section. If you described all these changes to anyone but the most rabid NSX enthusiast, they'll just shake their head at anyone who thinks they are significant. Stand fifty feet away and you'll never notice the difference.

Obviously, the differences in the front are more noticeable, due to the different headlight treatment. But again, they're not as dramatic in person as they are in the photos. For example, on the '91-01 NSX, there's a horizontal crosspiece in the main grille/radiator opening in the front air dam, and it's painted body color. In the photos, you can't see one, but in person, it turns out there's still a horizontal crosspiece in the opening - it's just painted black instead of body color, so it's not as noticeable.

One thing I did not like is the new front nose emblem. Instead of the solid emblem (the chrome Acura logo with the silver background), they now have an open emblem, the chrome Acura logo with NO background. This is similar to the logo you find on lesser Acura and Honda cars, and I find it a real step down.

I suspect that the new Bridgestone RE040 tires are similar to the current RE010 tires. They have a similar, conventional tread pattern, not a wild one like some of the generic high-performance tires on the market.

Finally, I noticed from the color chart that the white interior available for the white NSX is actually the same or very similar to the ivory interior available on the '91-93 NSX. I wonder (a) if matching floor mats will be available for each of the new body-matching interior colors, and (b) if this means that ivory floor mats will once again become available from Acura.
 
I agree with this assessment completely. I have seen aftermarket kits that have a more dramatic effect on the cars overall appearance than the subtle 02 changes.

I think it was a good move for Honda though. The pressure from the press forced Honda to make some kind of visual change to get out from under that "waaaaah, this design is 10 years old!" garbage.

The US mags get pissed off if cars don't get an appearance change every 3 years because they run out of things to talk about. Porsche and BMW are exempt from this, however.

The best thing for Honda to change was the headlights since the popups seem to always raise the ire of the "experts" Now the car mags can shut up about the design and focus on the performance again.
 
Originally posted by nsxtasy:

Finally, I noticed from the color chart that the white interior available for the white NSX is actually the same or very similar to the ivory interior available on the '91-93 NSX. I wonder (a) if matching floor mats will be available for each of the new body-matching interior colors, and (b) if this means that ivory floor mats will once again become available from Acura.

It ain't so ........ <vbg> I already tested the customized ivory floor mats on a white/white 2002.
 
Originally posted by nsxtasy:
I went to the Chicago Auto Show today and saw my first 2002 NSX. It was an Imola Orange Pearl NSX-T. I won't go over the differences from the earlier model (we're all familiar with them by now) but I'll state my impressions of them.

The biggest impression I had is that the new NSX doesn't look all that different from the old NSX. I know some people have said that they think it's really ugly but it's so VERY close to the older version - and it looks even MORE like it in person - that I can't see getting all that worked up over a few changes that really don't affect the look all that much.

Take the rear design as an example. The lower valence is different, yes - it's more intricate and complex - but it's all the way at the bottom. It's hardly noticeable. We're talking about the piece that is tucked away behind and underneath the license plate. If you don't point it out to people, no one will EVER notice it. That little lip on the trailing edge of the trunk lid is TINY - again, unless someone pointed it out, no one would ever notice it. (BTW, it's a thin, separate piece, so it ought to be easy to attach to a '91-01 trunk lid.) The difference in the taillights, again, is hardly noticeable - they're the same taillights except for the orange circular light on each side, and that's not much of a change. And, of course, the chrome emblem in place of the word Acura on the center section. If you described all these changes to anyone but the most rabid NSX enthusiast, they'll just shake their head at anyone who thinks they are significant. Stand fifty feet away and you'll never notice the difference.

Obviously, the differences in the front are more noticeable, due to the different headlight treatment. But again, they're not as dramatic in person as they are in the photos. For example, on the '91-01 NSX, there's a horizontal crosspiece in the main grille/radiator opening in the front air dam, and it's painted body color. In the photos, you can't see one, but in person, it turns out there's still a horizontal crosspiece in the opening - it's just painted black instead of body color, so it's not as noticeable.

One thing I did not like is the new front nose emblem. Instead of the solid emblem (the chrome Acura logo with the silver background), they now have an open emblem, the chrome Acura logo with NO background. This is similar to the logo you find on lesser Acura and Honda cars, and I find it a real step down.

I suspect that the new Bridgestone RE040 tires are similar to the current RE010 tires. They have a similar, conventional tread pattern, not a wild one like some of the generic high-performance tires on the market.

Finally, I noticed from the color chart that the white interior available for the white NSX is actually the same or very similar to the ivory interior available on the '91-93 NSX. I wonder (a) if matching floor mats will be available for each of the new body-matching interior colors, and (b) if this means that ivory floor mats will once again become available from Acura.

so your saying the revised rear is not noticable, the front hasnt really changed that much apart from the obivious, the tires are very similar yada yada yada....

BUT wait, that damn emblem is a complete shocker....

*sarcasm*
 
Obviously, the emblem does not change the overall look of the car from the distance. I just don't understand why they changed it.
 
I think the new rear valence makes a big difference on the look of the car from behind. Personally, I love it and would like to make the change someday.
 
While the new one looks a lot like the old one, I think its the trends I see present in the upgrades that make me worry about the all-new model coming. Particularly the busy rear lower meshing combined with the goofy over-sized tail-pipes. The headlights are another disappointment.

The original NSX didn't have much gimmick or novelty in its design...this has helped it stand the test of time. However the new model has design elements that are stylisticly troubled straight out of the box.
 
Originally posted by nsxtasy:
I went to the Chicago Auto Show today and saw my first 2002 NSX. It was an Imola Orange Pearl NSX-T. I won't go over the differences from the earlier model (we're all familiar with them by now) but I'll state my impressions of them.
See some pix of this car here --> http://public.fotki.com/nsx1164/nsx_2002/

This was an Orange / Orange car.

Nice
biggrin.gif
 
BTW, the Imola Orange Pearl looks lighter in person than in the photos.

I thought the orange colored interior looked kind of tacky...

[This message has been edited by nsxtasy (edited 14 February 2002).]
 
I have always liked the imorla orange, but after looking at those pics, I am not so sure anymore. Also, orange leather would not look very good IMO.

I will be heading to the Dallas auto show at the end of the month. Hopefully they will have a couple 2002 NSX's.

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NetViper -= 100% Stock EBP 2000 Civic Si =- Still looking to get an NSX, but at least I can live life at 8,000 RPM!
 
I saw a red 02 at Ron Tonkin Acura in Portland yesterday. I wasn't that impressed with the changes. It seemed to me that Honda was trying to make the NSX look like a 360 Mondena but it just isn't as agressive. BTW they wanted $89k for it and he didn't seem like he wanted to deal.

The sales rep also tried to get me to put money down on the 04 he said that is due out late 03. I said tell me about it and he didn't have any info other than it's going to more power, more agressive looks, etc. Not even the price but wanted my money.
 
I kinda liked the Orange/Orange...

But I think the new headlights would have looked much better if they had been flush with the bodywork, instead of sticking out, a la Celica.
 
Originally posted by ilya:
I think the new rear valence makes a big difference on the look of the car from behind. Personally, I love it and would like to make the change someday.

I agree. Although I can't stand the new front, I do like the new valence treatment quite a bit.
 
But I think the new headlights would have looked much better if they had been flush with the bodywork, instead of sticking out, a la Celica.

Totally agree. Why they couldn't do flush with the hood is beyond me...

The only good thing I can say about the 2002 NSX's front is that I hate it LESS than the Celica. But that's not saying much because I feel that the Celica is one of the ugliest cars on the road (I used to drive Celicas...but wouldn't go near the latest treatment).

I pretty much dislike ALL of the additions to the 2002 NSX. Only the valence treatment and new tips are appealing...and I am glad that Imola Orange is finally being brought Stateside.

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--akira3D
'00 Acura NSX-T (red/black), '97 Honda Civic HX (black), '01 Lexus IS300 (black/black)
"Reality is better than the dream..."

akira3d.com/nsx
 
I don't want to raise any Gorilla Dust-(You know, when you go into the jungle, and the Gorilla is pounding his chest. That's Gorilla Dust coming off.)- but I still say it is alot of small changes whose net sum amounts to an NSLeXus.
 
The 2002's are nice, BUT why are the headlights so high over the hood.

im a novitiate to the nsx world, but im disappointed with the new lights. Have u set in a new 2002, it feels much different!!?!!

i love the cart feel, and the new version seems a little bit off.

just an opinion, but i think acura may have missed the mark with the new nsx. i would buy the new nsx if they made the new version fit the front headlights/hood. i dont think it does.

what does everyone else think????
 
i actually dont mind the lights, but the overall body dont look right, specially with the nose/lip, makes me think its an ugly sister of the 360 modena.

if they wanted to lower the CD, why didnt they just lower the damn car.

can 10kgs of the front really give noticable handlig as stated in that scanned article?
 
Wonder if a kit will be out to convert the 2002 NSX fronts BACK to the old flip lights version? Since everyone likes the rear valence, we can keep that, and at the owners discretion, swap the new fronts back to the old fronts.
 
Originally posted by Redeye:
Wonder if a kit will be out to convert the 2002 NSX fronts BACK to the old flip lights version? Since everyone likes the rear valence, we can keep that, and at the owners discretion, swap the new fronts back to the old fronts.

Doubtful that there will be a kit per se. Of course, anyone can swap anything if they just get all the right parts (or find someone willing to trade). In the case of the lights, it means changing not just the headlight units, but also the front bumper, the hood, and the fenders. That's a lot of major body panels to swap and repaint. And you will need to repaint; even if you're swapping with a same-colored car, the paint virtually never matches between two cars of different vintages. It's also a lot of opportunity for something to get screwed up. I've learned from experience that any time you have any kind of body work done, you risk problems with unmatched paint, finish problems, etc.

So, all in all, it can be done, but the expense and risk involved in doing so is likely to be substantial.
 
Originally posted by nsxtasy:
Why they couldn't do flush with the hood is beyond me...

Not enough height, probably.

You might be right Ken, But then I thought about the 512TR. When they redid the lights on that car (F512M), the were flush. I don't think it is any higher than the NSX. But I could be wrong.

I have decided that I don't like the new lights. I think if they were flush they would look great. It really looks like an after thought (and it is), as compared to a 360 that was designed to have the exposed lights. Even a 300ZX exposed lights look better than these new NSX lights IMO.

Maybe I should wait to make my final decision until I see them in person in 2 weeks.



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NetViper -= 100% Stock EBP 2000 Civic Si =- Still looking to get an NSX, but at least I can live life at 8,000 RPM!
 
I don't think it is any higher than the NSX.

I think you may have misunderstood me. By "height", I didn't mean how high off the ground the lights are. I was referring to the vertical distance from the leading edge of the '91-01 headlight compartment lid to the trailing edge. Because this panel is so horizontal, that's not a lot of vertical room to fit most any kind of headlight into. You would need to do that if it were going to fit flush.
 
Originally posted by nsxtasy:
I don't think it is any higher than the NSX.

I think you may have misunderstood me. By "height",

Ok, I see where you are coming from. You'll have to excuse my brain. Ever since my promotion it hasn't working right
smile.gif




------------------
NetViper -= 100% Stock EBP 2000 Civic Si =- Still looking to get an NSX, but at least I can live life at 8,000 RPM!
 
I saw the red car at Acura of Portland as well. It was parked next to a yellow 2001, and the sales rep let look over both cars with detail.

I got under the two cars and looked at the mounting points for the rear valance. They seemed to be the same on both cars. The braces from the frame to the bumper on the 2002 looked very rough. Splattered welds/not trimmed very well, as if they were made in haste to get the car on the showroom floor.

I really like the rear of the new car. When they are sitting side-by-side the new car looks much more exotic/current.

I will not add to the argument on the front of the car. I did not like the look.

Hejo - we should meet sometime. I work in beaverton.
 
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