In February of 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show, the Acura NSX made its global debut. The Japanese stunner got tongues wagging and was the buzz of the floor. It was also an immediate media darling, with its unique styling and unparalleled driving dynamics claims. This week, three decades later, in honor of the NSX’s appearance at the 2019 show, Acura dropped a tribute video with a lot of throwback footage and it’s pretty great.
The minute-and-a-half video starts with footage from the first presentation of the NSX. Front and center is the futuristic-looking model, surrounded by bedazzled evening gowns, poofy ’80s hairstyles, and bemused mustachioed men. Then, with the backing of some solid 1980s music, we’re treated to footage of the NSX doing wet skidpad work before it barrels down a generic desert highway, where it’s then joined by the modern NSX variant.
The best snippet is the short sequence of Italian loafers in the footwell, deftly heel-toeing the pedals. That’s in homage to Ayrton Senna, the three-time Formula 1 champion who worked as a development driver for the original NSX, famously wheeling a test mule NSX in his penny loafers flawlessly.
While the chyron claims of yesteryear may seem rudimentary by today’s standards, “traction control,” “razor-sharp handling,” and “precise braking” were big advancements back in 1989, and boasts that not a ton of cars could accurately make. There was a mountain of advanced technology in the NSX that made it revolutionary, including an all-aluminum monocoque, a mid-mounted VTEC V-6 (good for 270 hp), and even titanium connecting rods. Plus, you could drive the NSX every day, which wasn’t something you could do with European supercar competitors of the time.