Honda NSX vs Acura NSX – What’s The Difference?

If you are wondering what the difference between the Honda NSX and Acura NSX is, you’ve come to the right place. We are going to give you a quick rundown of the two brands and the difference between their NSX models.

In short, Acura is a luxury version of Honda. It is used to re-badge upscale models that American Honda thought would be harder to sell if they had the Honda badge on them.

Originally, Acura was a North American brand and was only available in North America and in Hong Kong. However, over the years that has changed and Acura badged cars are available in more locations across the globe.

When it comes to the difference between the Honda NSX and Acura NSX we need to break it down into the two different generations.

Let’s look at the first generation NSX first.

Honda NSX vs Acura NSX Generation 1 

When comparing the difference between the first generation Honda NSX and Acura NSX there really isn’t much difference. Both cars were manufactured at Honda’s Takanezawa plant in Tochigi, Japan from 1990 – 2004, and at the Suzuka R&D plant from 2004 – 2005. The only differences are as follows:

  • Badge
  • Slight re-mapping of the ECU
  • Acura models were left-hand drive from the factory.

Honda NSX vs Acura NSX Generation 2 

On the surface the difference between the Honda and Acura versions of the second generation NSX are much the same as the first gen. However, if we look a bit closer there are a few more differences. The differences are as follows: 

  • Badge
  • Japanese NSX models emit a specific beeping sound when put in reverse (not to be confused with a reverse sensor sound). This is due to a specific Japanese regulation.
  • Honda models feature a different bonnet/hood hinge that pops out to push the bonnet upwards in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. This is to comply with padestrian safety rules in both Japan and Europe.
  • Acura models have different airbag and restraint systems. In the United States, airbags must be designed to accommodate unbelted occupants. This is very different to regulations in other parts of the world.
  • Acura models have amber indicator glass whereas Honda models have clear. This is due to regulations in the United States. Some promotional Honda models have amber glass as they were simply re-badged Acura models (for example, the one used in the Tokyo Motor Show).
  • Acura models are left-hand drive.

Overall, there is not much difference between the Acura and Honda versions of both generations of the NSX.

At the most basic level, the difference between the Honda NSX vs Acura NSX is the badge – both cars are practically the same, but badged differently. 

If you would like to know more about the NSX make sure you check out our article on the “Complete History of the Honda NSX Generation 1” and watch the video below. You might also like to read our Honda/Acura NSX buyer’s guide for more information on how to source and purchase one of these rapidly-appreciating Japanese classic cars. 


  • Ben

    From his early days playing the original Gran Turismo and with his Hot Wheels car set, Ben has had a long interest in all things automotive. His first foray into the world of automotive journalism was way back in 2009 and since then he has only grown more interested in the industry. Ben also runs and heads up the video production side of Garage Dreams, focusing on small informative documentaries about some of the world's most legendary cars.

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