Daytona's high banks are the ideal place to exploit the claimed 191-mph top speed of Acura's $171,495 NSX Type S. Its boosted 3.5-liter V-6 now produces 520 horsepower, a 20-hp bump courtesy of twin turbochargers shared with the NSX GT3 Evo race car. They deliver up to 16.1 psi of boost (0.9 more than previously available), and more fuel is squirted into the cylinders. Additional thrust comes from three electric motors—two that drive the front axle and a third sandwiched between the engine and the nine-speed dual-clutch automatic. Each component of the hybrid powertrain has received software changes, and the amount of usable energy from the roughly 1.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack has been increased. With all the gadgets working in concert, the Type S has a combined output of 600 horsepower and 492 pound-feet, gains of 27 and 16, respectively. We expect the sprint to 60 mph to take 2.7 seconds.
Our relaxed lead-follow lap around Daytona's iconic road course didn't allow for maximum speed. But the long straight exiting Speedway Turn 4 provides time to appreciate the NSX for what we've always loved about it—comfortable seats that'll accommodate all body types, an airy cabin, and superb visibility as we take in Daytona under the night lights. Diving down off the tri-oval into the Turn 1 braking zone, the brake-by-wire system doesn't exhibit any of the weird springy and spongey tendencies that too often plague hybrid systems. The pedal stays firm as the optional 15.0-inch front and 14.2-inch carbon-ceramic rotors do their thing.
To complement the newfound power, Acura engineers recalibrated the software of the dual-clutch automatic. Commands from the large shift paddles are now delivered to the transmission 50 percent quicker, and under hard braking the downshifts are more aggressive. Pull on the downshift paddle for 0.6 second, and the gearbox automatically shifts to the lowest possible gear.
Aesthetically, the new Type S has more curb appeal. A revised front fascia with exposed carbon fiber not only makes the Type S more distinctive but also provides more cooling to the heat exchangers tucked behind it and improves the airflow to the rear-mounted intercoolers. Out back, a GT3-inspired carbon-fiber diffuser improves the airflow underneath the car, and a carbon-fiber spoiler graces the edge of the decklid.
If you haven't ordered your Type S already, you're too late. All 300 destined for North America (of the 350 that will be sold globally) have been spoken for. Now we wait for the sun to rise on the third-generation coupe. Hopefully it won't take another 12 years.