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Full Version: Porsche 993 vs Acura NSX
Dieselstation Car Forums > Parking Lot > Compare & Contrast
so.. which would you rather have? They both have relatively the same hp, both are great handlers, and both are "cheap" now.

NSX for sure.
Tough call, but I'd rock the NSX as well.
I'm too much of a 911 fan. I've heard too many people say that the NSX is too sedate and overrated over the years, while the 993 still has tons of old-school 911 charm while being a modern sports car (still the '69+ 89.4 inch wheelbase, still the original roofline and interior layout, still air-cooled, still built like old school porsches that last forever...)
I'm with Clark.

As much as I love the NSX, I have heard that they are not great to drive.

The 993 is representative of the last of the old-school 911s, built without the input of bean counters.
Not Great to Drive? are you kidding? The NSX is one of the best handling cars of all time. Hell.. even the McLaren F1 used the NSX as the benchmark. Hell.. Aryton Senna was the test driver for it and was instrumental in it's development.
I've always had a huge crush on the NSX. The 993 just seems common and bland in comparison.
I'd riden in a NSX of my family friend "uncle" on several occasions. W/out driving it I can certainly say handling wasnt a fault of it in any fashion, all around not super impressive, but it seemed unmatchable when you're inside it.
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Sep 16 2010, 03:17 AM) *
As much as I love the NSX, I have heard that they are not great to drive.

WHO said that? I've actually driven one, and it's epic. Unfortunately, I haven't driven a 993 yet.
Maybe it was a cruel internet rumour, but I read (can't remember where) that you never really feel like you're sitting in an NSX, you feel like you're sitting on top of it.

Never driven one, let alone sat in one, but that is what I heard. I could be 100% mistaken.
I've always loved the look of the NSX and I'd love to drive one but it's very low on the list of cars that I want to own. The 993 is near the top while the NSX is near the bottom. In between would be Enzo Ferrari's, F355's, McLaren F1, etc.

The NSX is just kind of... boring... these days at least. There is something so much more exciting about driving the last air cooled Porsche instead of a really crazy Acura/Honda. Besides, which do you think would impress people more when you say "I drive a .............."
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Sep 17 2010, 05:37 AM) *
Maybe it was a cruel internet rumour, but I read (can't remember where) that you never really feel like you're sitting in an NSX, you feel like you're sitting on top of it.

I've heard that a lot about the S2000, never the NSX.
QUOTE(moe @ Sep 18 2010, 04:27 AM) *
I've heard that a lot about the S2000, never the NSX.

I've never felt that way, I always felt like the car was attached to me.... The NSX is also an amazing car to drive, underpowered for the platform, maybe, but nowhere near boring. It outhandled my cousin's 997 Carrera S on the twisties.
QUOTE(nismo @ Sep 18 2010, 02:11 AM) *
It outhandled my cousin's 997 Carrera S on the twisties.

I don't believe it for a minute. 911s need to be driven differently than most sports cars to get the most out of them due to their extreme rearward weight NSX was a match for a contemporary 911, perhaps a little superior in its early years; a 997 C2S is miles more capable.
Why can't I have both?
QUOTE(moe @ Sep 16 2010, 08:15 AM) *
WHO said that? I've actually driven one, and it's epic. Unfortunately, I haven't driven a 993 yet.

Well, I've driven both.

This was my report about my NSX test drive 5 years ago, when I was considering selling my Opel Speedster (VVX220 in the UK) and 300ZX Twin Turbo to get one car to do both rτles. Turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of my life:

My NSX test drive ( or ode to a Speedster) LONG POST!!!:

Seeing an NSX "in the flesh" again for the first time in a while, I was struck mainly by the length-to-width proportions. It does seem inordinately long. That disturbs the aesthete in me, though the tail does not seem as "heavy" as it appears in some pics, as the car is low (117cm, compared to 911 at 129.5cm, VX at 111cm). On the other hand, the technophile in me appreciates that, though it may be big, it has an innovative, lightweight and extremely rigid aluminium monocoque construction.

Opening the wide door gives easy cockpit access and it is more welcoming than most of the critical reports paint it as. Switch the engine on and it runs smoothly and unobtrusively. The salesman moves the 9114S and Maserati 4200 which are blocking us while I look the inside over. The seat is electrically adjustable, but despite its luxury allusions and price, it does not have adjustable width side bolsters or adjustable lumbar support or seat heating (all of which are featured on my ZX). The stereo cassette player is a bit disappointing – you would have thought a Japanese top car would be oozing with bells and whistles. The view forward is very good, the low, deep screen offering a commanding, Range Rover like impression. To the rear, the panoramic screen over the engine means that there are no flying buttresses or C pillars to impede the view. It is not possible to see low down, but nevertheless thumbs_up.gif Furthermore, manouvering is quite simple as the back of the car's extremity is clearly delineated by the prominent spoiler. Well, suppose it's OK so far. No remote release to the fairly generous, easy acccess boot – have to push a button on the tail. Try to open the front compartment – pops up but release catch neither easy to see or find with the fingers – salesman has trouble too sad.gif . A look inside reveals a "spacesaver" spare wheel and myriad jumble of piping with no additional storage space. (Always have to compare mid-engined cars with my first ever new car, an X1/9 – saw a comment recently which said the design was pure genius – I concur). Try opening the engine cover – the knob twists and a little brass-coloured retaining clip falls down onto the carpet blink.gif . Try opening the remote fuel release – unlocks but fails to pop open, requiring finger nails at the rim of the flap sad.gif This is not the Japanese perfection that I am used to from my ZX sad.gif

Salesman say he'll run it up the road first to "check all systems". Off we go. The engine note remains discrete as we motor through little hamlets. I don't feel comfortable in the passenger seat, but it is not due to the driver's ability. I feel that I am sat "on a hill" on the seat and not at all enveloped by it. Certainly far inferior to VX or ZX. It is really bordering on unacceptable sad.gif The ride also seems very lumpy, it has not got that "Lotus touch" – my second big disappointment – was Ayrton not bothered about such details? unsure.gif sad.gif

Well, they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so give me the spoon! We swap seats and the car is fully warmed-up now smile.gif The steering is unremarkable – it does the job without drawing any attention to itself. The ride from the driver's seat is still lumpy, as if the shockers were sticking or something. We take it on some fast open roads combining straight sections with sweeping, diving, off-camber bends to ask everything of the chassis. The salesman had barely touched 5,000 rpm by the time he'd finished, but now I could let the horses loose. We are approaching tractor lumbering along in front with an oncoming car coming off the wide corner in the distance. Drop it to second and the car hurls itself passed our farmyard friend with a glorious, sweet yet feral sound as the V6 wakes up to do some work – nice! cool.gif I only took it to about 6,000, as I didn't want to frighten my passenger, though the rev limit is more like 8,000. Down the road a piece, we turn round and the salesman says he's only just noticed that the rev limit is at 7,500 rolleyes.gif and will I please do him the favour of making sure we reach that! thumbs_up.gif thumbs_up.gif laugh.gif

Time for some serious driving now. Travelling at a very "respectable" pace, we dispatch the odd vehicle that we encounter effortlessly, taking it through the gears up to 7,500 to the approving comments of my passenger. This motor is gorgeous. Having got the feel of the car, it is time to try out the balance, pushing it through the offcamber curves. The Honda remains poised and would be adjustable on the throttle in the corners on track I'm sure, but there's no way I'm going to reach its high speed limits on a dry public road.

Trundling through traffic lights, junctions, etc. all the controls are balanced and require low input – the NSX is easy to drive.

So, back to the garage and time to talk. I am disappointed that the car has not enchanted me with the mix of engineering perfection, build quality and dynamics that I had been expecting. The boss of the garage sees that my plan is to get the go-kart VX dynamics combined with luxury and power and says the NSX is a perfect solution.
Well, sorry but it isn't. The dynamics are not as good as the VX and the luxury, power and build quality don't match the ZX. I'm not prepared to compromise that much that I give these two cars up for a mix that does neither job as well. BUT, that doesn't mean that the NSX is not a good car. If you have to only have one car and you want it to be quite good in both roles, then the NSX is not a bad choice.

Wander through halls of F355s, F360s, Lambos, etc. – the salesman is trying to tempt me laugh.gif The guy who traded in the NSX got a Ferrari. I had to really control myself not to be seduced into selling all my cars a few years back when I bought the ZX here and a british racing green DB7 with biscuit hide was calling to me, "Buy me, buy ME, buy ME!!! . Couldn't allow myself a test drive in that one biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif

Got back in my Speedster, noticing how squat and planted it feels – feeling that I am ensconced between the wheels, low in the car, the little Momo wheel perfectly fitting my grasp and chattering effervescently to me about what is going on. thumbs_up.gif Stop by a little road into a forest to answer a call of nature and, on my return, am struck by the graceful image of my car glinting in the sunlight. A car that boldly says, "I'm just for the pleasure of driving – do you need more?". thumbs_up.gif

On my way home, the traffic clears as I head alone over a small alpine pass with plenty of fast curves and diving switchbacks. I let it off the leash and whip it through the gears, the scalpel-sharp steering scything the road and the gear lever snick-snacking home like a riflebolt. Man and machine as one, I play the the curves letting the front begin to slip then pushing harder to loosen the rear and balancing the little car on the throttle. Hurling down towards downhill corners, I heave on the anchors and feel the tyres squirming and fighting at the limits of their grip. The light weight allowing me to throw the car around the bends with abandon. The evening light falls almost horizontally across the road, bathing the distant lake between me and the sinking sun in a shimmering light. Another magical and memorable drive. This car is sooooooo good at making me feel good.

If only I could get a nice 300bhp V6 in it, it would be perfect...

So, what do I do now if I want more power? It is madness to throw ten grand at the car to make it into something GM never wanted it to be, but I've not found an alternative yet. I do so want to take on the VXTs on the straights (but no way I want that heavy iron 2.0 litre lump in the back of my car).

Think I'll wait and see what power the Elise S3 has – though the news of the adjustable harness bar for the VX is one more part of the jigsaw puzzle that has now fallen into place... I fear I might yet succomb to the supercharger afterall despite the insanity of the costs. Though, if I wait a (good) few years, and visit this car oasis again, they might have a used Gallardo and I fear that , if I test drive one, then I'll have to buy. Oh, well. Nobody said we had to be sane, did they? laugh.gif

Shortly after, I happened to destroy the Speedster and got the Exige Cup Bemani instead, keeping the ZX. Then added the Smart Roadster-Coupι, sold both the Exige and the ZX and got the DB7 V12 Vantage. Quickly sold that and got the 997 4S.

I've driven a 993 Turbo too – did several laps around the Hockenheim GP course and it left me completely unmoved.

So, I'd have to say that I don't want either!

I recently took my 997 4S on a nearly 2k miles trans-Europe weekend dash and it coped perfectly – and I still felt perfectly fresh and comfortable at the end of the journey. As for the way I can put it into sport mode and catapult – no, explode – out of a roundabout with its massive grunt, unbelievable grip and phenomenal traction – it is just fantastic. I'm now hoping to replace it with a PDK Targa 4S when prices have dropped some more to enhance the driving experience further.
^ The boldness but simplicity with which you dispel common fanboyisms is unparalleled.
It doesnt match the build quality of your ZX? I hated being inside a 300ZX.

Great post, tho.
The ZX was still rock solid and all working fine at over 160k km when I sold it last year. The NSX I tried had done a mere 40K km and bits were falling off – even though it had far less kit.

The all-ways adjustable seat in the ZX was far better than that in the NSX, so a really well-located driving position was possible. Not so in the NSX – but don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad – but I expected more. Much more.
They don't call the NSX the NSSex for nothing.
There's high potential for the NSX as there is for the Porsche but when it comes to looks on the street, more head will turn for the NSX.
Porsche's are dime a dozen and with all the 9xx series, you can't tell them apart from one another much less tell what year they were made.
As much of a Porsche fan as I am I voted the NSX.
I still want one. smile.gif
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