Now that we’ve had some time to fully pore over the photographs and examine the stat sheets, we can compare the two highlights of the North American International Auto Show.
Both the Ford GT and Acura NSX are reincarnations of storied supercars. However, the respective companies took different avenues with the redesigns.
Let’s start with the obvious: the looks. While the Ford is certainly modern and advanced, there is still some resemblance to the original GT40. The NSX on the other hand, looks nothing like its namesake.
The Ford GT’s wide front end and headlights pay homage to the classic GT40. As you move further back, the tight, two-seat cabin morphs into something much more modern.
Thanks to its inboard pushrod suspension, the rear fenders of the GT are separate from the main body. Flying buttresses connect them to the canopy.
The rear wing is an active aerodynamic element and has multiple positions and acts like an air brake. Thankfully, its carbon fiber monocoque and healthy dose of aluminum in its chassis means there is not a lot of weight to stop.
Compared to the original NSX, the new model will be 5.1 inches wider and have an 11-inch longer wheelbase. It boasts a space-frame structure featuring aluminum, high-strength steel, and “other advanced materials” – and the floor is carbon fiber.
Skinny LED headlights sit either side of a thin chrome accent, which is meant to reflect Acura’s grille treatment of its mass-market cars. Sharp, angular lines characterize the intakes.
Moving along the side, your eye is immediately drawn to the large air intakes behind the doors. You may also notice the large wheels, 19’s upfront and 20’s at the back, with their thin smear of rubber.
At the back, a band of LED lights span the width of the NSX. Below that, gaping air extractors echo the style of the front. Lower diffuser vanes bracket centre exhausts.
Climbing into the cabin of the NSX, you are greeted by exposed aluminum structural components, and black and red stitched leather. A large TFT instrument cluster sits behind the sculpted steering wheel.
The original NSX was praised for its ergonomics and easy everyday use. The new NSX has simple climate controls and an infotainment screen that could have come out of a Civic. While sounding basic, Acura made sure they look great along with the rest of the interior.
In the other corner, the Ford GT’s interior is much more business-like. If the cabin looked small from the outside, the narrow centre stack illustrates just how cozy you will be with you passenger.
The digital gauge cluster is supported by a central colour touchscreen, which will run Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system.
The steering wheel is very racy and features many toggle switches, but the most striking elements are the door-mounted HVAC vents. There is no way to describe the rectangular vents other than they look fantastic.
Ford stepped away from the original formula in the engine compartment, but not too far. Instead of a supercharged V8, the GT will have a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6. Ford promises it will produce more than 600 hp. It will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
There is no indication at this point that it will have any hybrid components or any other complicated electric-boost systems – just pure, old-fashioned horsepower going straight to the rear wheels.
The NSX, however, is a different animal all together. A twin-turbocharged V6 will do the heavy lifting, but it will be supported by three electric motors. One is sandwiched between the engine and the nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the other two each turn a front wheel.
Acura hasn’t revealed the displacement of the V6, but they have confirmed that the NSX will have more than 550 hp.
Acura uses the complicated powertrain as the centerpiece of its new Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The NSX uses front-axle torque vectoring to help with turn-in, and there is a launch mode for quicker starts.
Neither Acura nor Ford announced prices, but expect them both to be in the $150,000 ballpark. The NSX will be a 2016 model, while the GT will be a 2017 running alongside a 2016 Lemans program.
Which of these new supercars do you like best: The blue-blooded Ford GT or the high-tech Acura NSX?