Hooniverse Asks- Which Detroit Debut Do You Find More Exciting; The new Ford GT or the new Acura NSX?

Two particular cars debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this week, each a continuation of a hallowed marque, and each sporting perhaps the best that their respective parent company has to offer. Both are also both similar in layout, but while one arrived after what seemed like an interminable gestation, the other was a surprise introduction that, frankly, knocked everybody’s socks off.
I’m speaking of course about the 2016 Acura NSX and the 2016 Ford GT, both of which sport V6 engines placed mid-ships, and which represent a halo car for each brand. The NSX has been teased in concept form and as a Nordschleife-lapping camo wearer for the past, oh I don’t know, 5 years? The Ford on the other hand comes out of the blue, not just out of the blue oval.
These are cars that are in many ways similar, but from brands that couldn’t be more different. Ford seems to have dialed in the American enthusiast zeitgeist, and the GT tops a range of sporting wares that include the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, every romper stomper Mustang on the dealer lots right now, and the off road mad-maxican truck, the Raptor. Acura on the other hand has eschewed anything even resembling a sporting ride for the better part of a decade. How the NSX – as good as it potentially may be – fits in that Honda-plus brand’s model lineup is anybody’s guess. Still, there are a lot of folks who love the old NSX and genuflect towards a new model just out of respect.
What about you, do you get all hot and bothered over the angular lines and hybrid drivetrain technologies of the Acura? Or, are you far more smitten with the new top dog Ford? I know where my interests – and allegiances lie – but I’m not telling. Not until you all let us know which one of these – if any – most floats your boat.
Images: Digital Trends, Dupont Registry

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  1. $kaycog Avatar

    After long consideration, I choose the Ford GT.

    1. Vavon Avatar

      I thought you would have picked the Honda…

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Ms. Predictable. 😉

    2. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      Where is muthalovin for a counterpoint?

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        I'm sure he'll make an appearance.

  2. Prince Halibrand Avatar
    Prince Halibrand

    No contest. The new GT is the old GT kicked up a couple of notches, the new NSX is the old NSX watered down.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      And you know it's watered down how, exactly? I haven't read a single drive review of either car yet.

      1. Prince Halibrand Avatar
        Prince Halibrand

        NO matter how fast it ends up being, Honda is sinking face down in corporate bullshit. Compared to the original NSX, the shape is way too boring and conventional, and the hybrid drivetrain is just another futile attempt to appease the eco-nazis. (Hey Honda, didn't the CRZ teach you that "politically correct performance car" is a total fucking oxymoron?) And why slap an ugly fake grille on a mid-engine car…Oh yeah, we need corporate design consistency!!! Their designers must lick the boots of their "market strategists" over lords. GTFO and let your engineers build a real supercar, you pussies.

        1. Kiefmo Avatar

          <img src="http://recastchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/chill-pill.jpg&quot; width="200px">
          So… what's your take on the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918, and McLaren P1? All use hybrid technology to be faster without being as piggy about fuel consumption. It isn't eco-nazi appeasement (that's an argument for another time), it's the good ol' march of progress. We've been able to make 1000+hp engines for many, many decades. The hybrid supercar isn't JUST about power, it's about fine control of that power, such that it's actually usable by mortal people who don't have the title of "F1 Driver".
          Is the NSX on the level of the Euro exotics? Nope, but it runs in the same vein, and will cost a fraction of what they do.

          1. Sean Avatar

            No one is arguing that the new NSX isn't a very forward looking car, but does guarantee its success, or even a good reception? If you judge the two cars on their authentic representation of their respective names, as many here do, the NSX is kind of a mess. While the old car was all about light precise input and (mid 90s) hondaness the new NSX competes more directly with the likes of the i8, not the 458 as the idealized 2016 (2017? 2018? 2081?) NSX should. As for your first point, the NSX is to the p1 as a 3000gt or MR2 turbo is to a Ferrari 355, or 360, or whichever Ferrari those lesser cars were traced from. It is a (literally) cheap imitation, a muddled copy of the NSX we all love. Furthermore, Based merely on the work of ford and Honda (or acura as it may be) the GT should be about 10x as good as the NSX. The new Ford GT, and all PRODUCTION GT40 derivatives have been amazing cars, and this one seems very true to the concept the original was built on. As you said, none of these cars has been tested by the press but if fords current performance lineup are any indicator the GT will be miraculous. The NSX on the other hand seems to be much more Duke Nukem than Halo (car).

          2. Kiefmo Avatar

            I understand your misgivings, but Honda has had this one in the oven for far too long to deliver it half-baked. When you take the better part of a decade to deliver a car, it better be good. And that's what I'm banking on.
            Again, time and testing will tell whether the NSX can hang with performance cars costing many times as much, so I'm comfortable in my opinion until proven otherwise.

        2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
          PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

          Have a cuppa and let's chill a bit.
          There's a lot in your post that is a bit off, not that it's wrong, just that it's not right.
          1. The hybrid systems in the LaFerrari, 918, P1 and a few others would like to talk to you about performance. You see the electric motors make really meaty torques and that pairs really well with high-strung performance motors. So actually this is a really good idea on Honda's part.
          2. Ban the word Nazi from your vocabulary unless you are talking about actual ones. It just makes you look worse than a downvoter.
          3. There's a lot of hate in your post overall. Let's pare that down a bit. You make some decent points about the weird grille that are totally lost because I am already tiring of your sophomoric assault on my eyes and virtual ears reading this.
          4. I'm a car hippie in a sense so I am going to be the "Kumbaya guy" here and say I'm not a fan of the hate you are dishing out. It's 4 degrees too far. Chill out man, you're wrecking my buzz.

          1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
            PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

            Second time this week for an "As Good as it Gets" reference. Can Hooniversians make it three? Tune in to tomorrow's exciting adventure in "Posts from random car lovers!"

  3. quattrovalvole Avatar

    The GT. As much as I love Honda, the NSX has been dangled in front of us for so long.

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    "Exciting" is a pretty perfect choice of word. The surprise nature of the Ford presentation should make this a sure winner. Pretty impressive that Ford managed this apart from some unconfirmed rumours. Even smuggy TTAC were wrong, judging the GT rumours to be false.
    The GT is also an awesome halo car. "Desirable" would be the next word to dwell with, and I'm having a hard time to let the rich, short-cocked bachelor Sjalabais from the opposite universe decide. The NSX is incredibly appealing, and I'd certainly choose it over the R8, which is its most obvious competitor in my mind. But against the GT…don't know…can I do a Winnie the Pooh, "yes, both please?".

  5. Dave UK Avatar
    Dave UK

    Definitely, no contest. F O R D every time. The only downside is that I shall never be able to afford one.

  6. JayP2112 Avatar

    ecoboost is available in every Ford car and would be exciting to see that "technology" used to win LeMans.

  7. Kiefmo Avatar

    Exciting? No contest, the Ford GT. It was a complete surprise to most of us, and it looks amazing. In the Acura camp, absolutely every non-subterranean-dwelling car fan knew the NSX would be announced in production form, and that it would probably look mostly like the barely-evolving concept we've seen for years.
    Now, the corollary question — Which would I want, and which will I seek out on the used market in 20 years when their price depreciates into the realm of attainable by the likes of me? NSX, no contest. I'm an unashamed Honda fanboy, for one — I love that it is sporting similar powertrain tech to what we're seeing in the most elite supercars at a fraction of the price, and with (hopefully) Honda-esque reliability and long-term durability backing it up. Anyone wondering whether it will handle worth a damn has probably just never driven a Honda and thinks that every autojourno is a liar. Nearly every model out-handles its direct competitors. Honda can tune a chassis, and with the finer powertrain control that comes with the front wheels being driven independently, it will be brilliant. Honda didn't spend a decade refining this car to release a steaming pile of poo on the market.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Hi, late to the discussion today, but that's probably good because you and several others have caused me to hold off on my initial, knee-jerk response of "GT all the way." You bring up a very important point; we need to separate the machine from the sales tactics. Ford definitely handled the debut of the GT to maximum effect, and I also think the GT is the more avant-garde, visually arresting design. But as you pointed out, which one will be the more satisfying choice once they're under streetlights rather than studio lights is a question nobody can answer yet.
      So, Tanshanomi abstains…courteously.

  8. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    I'll replay my takeaway from the NAIAS:
    "5. NSX, wait too long and then Ford upstages you. I get that the NSX is an amazing piece of machinery, but I just can't be excited for it anymore. I have looked at that design for 5 years now. They're going to bring it to market (finally) and a new R8 will come out and destroy it in all practical terms."
    So I'm in the camp that was tired of the NSX story before it became a production piece in the same way I tired of the LFA, the Camaro and myriad other sports cars that took 35 years to get to market.
    If nothing else, it proves that you wait until you are lock-step in your concept-to-production changes before you start parading a concept and making a Superbowl commercial about it, or having it star in an Ironman film.
    It's a shame. I love, absolutely love the O.G. NSX. I also love the Ford GT. I don't like this NSX as much as the original, maybe partly because of how long we have been dragged along for it, but I think I may like this GT better than the '05 GT.
    Well the new GT harnesses modern innovations not just raw strength and brilliant suspension designs in the way the last GT did. It has those, but it shows a sort of Future look by Ford instead of just a reintroduction of a bright spot in their past. I want this GT to not only be a glance back at the trophies of the past, but a forward push for the company that makes the engineers and designers emboldened to make world-beating cars.
    Go Ford!

    1. Charlie Avatar

      The NSX convertible placement in Iron Man is no different than the Audi RSQ in I, Robot, which came out 3 years before the R8.

      1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
        PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

        Except that no one saw I, Robot. I, Kid.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          The whole thing bothers me a bit though. We have all complained about cars that have deviated too far drom their original, often very cool concepts. Now Honda does what the internet commentariat wants: They build a gorgeous concept car, and judging by who's doing this, I expect it to go right.
          But…who's complaining? All. The. Internet.
          It's like a cute rabbit trying to appease a hungry lion. You will be eaten.

          1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
            PotbellyJoe ★★★★★
          2. Sjalabais Avatar

            That is perfect!

  9. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    The Acura is a much cleaner and more cohesive design, but the GT is the more exciting debut by far. The NSX is nice, but we've seen it already. Oh sure, this time it's real(?), but it's already familiar, thanks to a years long lead up of incrementally changed concepts.
    The most noteworthy aspect of it all is how well Ford kept the GT a secret leading up to its unveiling. In today's information age, and knowing how many people must have been involved, that is no small feat.

  10. muthalovin Avatar

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/c7NJRa2.gif"&gt;
    DD the Honderp: Weekend the Ferd. Everyone's happy!

  11. Devin Avatar

    I like big buttresses and I cannot lie.
    So Ford.

  12. geistkoenig Avatar

    As far as presentation goes, the the GT's intro rivals any of Steve Jobs's "one more thing"s for pure massive impact and delight. Even judging from just the Twitter feed, it was a monumental event. Can only imagine what it was like to be in the audience.
    The NSX was more about whether they'd bothered to restyle it (no) and was kind of "okay, it's finally here" until they started talking about the changes underneath – interesting, but not the slap-in-the-face-by-angels of the Ford.
    That day belonged to Ford.

  13. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

    I think the Ford is more exciting due to the reasons previously stated, and the fact that a Ford supercar resonates more than an Acura supercar with the public. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are people out there rooting for Acura. Every brand has their fanbase. Ford's is just bigger and more passionate.

  14. Alff Avatar

    Ford, on the relative strengths of its exterior design (I actually dislike the Acura's styling) and powertrain.

  15. salguod Avatar

    It might be helpful if you used the pic of the production NSX, rather than an earlier show car:
    <img src="https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/mhD8aaeMUqvVs9eSX4oX3SiPPBk=/1020×0/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2925724/new-acura-nsx–0016.0.jpg&quot; width=600>
    Ford definitely made the bigger splash, and the car is surely the superior performer, but I like the NSX better. There's too much going on for me with the GT – flares, scoops, wings and shapes everywhere. I'm not a fan of the way the doors narrow into the tunnels in the tail. Novel, yes, but it makes the sides of the cockpit odd, to me. Most views of the car look out of perspective to me as a result.
    Yes, I get that I'm in the extreme minority here. The GT is no doubt an impressive machine, but I like the NSX better.

    1. Wildcat_445 Avatar

      I'll decrease our minority ratio. 😉 I have to go with the NSX also
      The actual presentations don't mean much to me, and given I don't care one bit for anything Ford does (long, painful story), I can't compare these flashy debuts to each other. But to me, a surprise flashy debut, or a more low-key debut, do not make one car or company any better than the other. I like to compare the cars not as better/worse, but….different. No real need to take sides.

  16. Biker Joe Avatar
    Biker Joe

    I think it's incredibly important that BOTH of these manufacturers are producing halo cars, packed with invoation, performance, and style. These cars must pave the way forward!

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Spoilered minivans to everyone!
      (And, yes, I agree firmly.)

      1. Wildcat_445 Avatar

        Spoiler all the things!!

    2. Wildcat_445 Avatar

      Agreed. That is pretty much the role of cars like these, along with a brand's flagship models. To use one example, Acura has used the RL/RLX flagship as the platform for the latest tech, much of it filtering down to all Honda vehicles eventually. Or like features we'd find on a Cadillac (or on the sporty side, a Corvette) showing up in other GM products a few years down the road. Neither of these supercars will sell in any large numbers, but I feel that's beside the point. If either of these has technology that makes its way into the everyday cars that *we* buy, it's all for the good.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        The RL/RLX is what used to be called the Legend, back when anyone still cared about Acura?
        semi-serious: Acura made 2 giant mistakes: 1) The Beak, 2) getting rid of recognizable (even hallowed) names like Legend, Integra etc. and replaced them with alphanumeric nonsense (see also Cadillac, Lincoln).

  17. Andrew_theS2KBore Avatar

    I won't rehash my arguments against the GT's styling here; suffice to say I don't care for it. I have no real feelings about the NSX one way or the other- it's a nice, albeit generic shape.
    In terms of which one I anticipate enjoying driving more… that's tricky too. I like the relative compactness of the NSX, but I dislike the added weight of the hybrid system and remain unconvinced that split gas/electric drive on two different axles will ever feel entirely natural (on a track, which is all I really care about. Please bear this bias in mind). The GT, on the other hand, is vast, and although the power will be immense, I worry that the boost levels required to extract 600bhp from 3.5 liters will make throttle response unpredictable. Combine that with the size (and, commensurately, weight) and I suspect that if you turn the TCS/DSC/ETC off, the driving experience will be less like an F40 and more like a hovercraft.
    I worry that the 458 Speciale may be the last new supercar that I find genuinely desirable.

  18. dukeisduke Avatar

    The GT is crazy, but I like it. The NSX reminds me of the Mazda Furai.
    Will Clarkson buy one of the GTs?

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      He will. He loves Fords. The whole GT thing was over an aftermarket alarm system that screwed the car. You can bet Ford will make sure his new GT has all that sorted.

    2. salguod Avatar

      I can't tell, is the Mazda Furai resemblance good or bad for you? I'm having a hard time imagining it as a bad thing.

  19. nanoop Avatar

    Ask me in 20+ years.
    The coward in me will then pick the car with the more active owner base and cheaper spares, so probaby Ford.

  20. Preludacris Avatar

    I'm a big fan of Honda's past enthusiast offerings, so I find the NSX exciting in the "it's about time they make a fun car" sense.
    The GT is more exciting in every objective sense, except for perhaps the tech to price ratio.

    1. Preludacris Avatar

      As a side note, I am so relieved that none of the NSX concept wheels made it to production! This is way cooler.
      <img src="http://image.motortrend.ca/f/85568852+w640/2016-Acura-NSX-wheels-02.jpg&quot; width="400">

    2. Wildcat_445 Avatar

      >> I'm a big fan of Honda's past enthusiast offerings, so I find the NSX exciting in the "it's about time they make a fun car" sense. <<
      I haven't driven many Hondas, but the most fun I had test driving was the little Del Sol. If I'd still been single at the time, I may have been tempted. I didn't dare drive the S2000; even just sitting in one made me had a serious case of convertible lust. 😉

  21. CJinSD Avatar

    I would like the NSX if they had used the 508 hp naturally aspirated 3.4 liter V8 from the HSV10 and coupled it with a manual transmission.
    The Ford is interesting, but I wouldn't want to have to wash it! Too bad it doesn't have the GT350's flat plane naturally aspirated engine.

  22. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Yes, thank you. But the buttresses on the GT suggest that it may have more to prove. So, I await the pudding.

  23. wisc47 Avatar

    Can I go with neither? I'm going with neither.
    <img src="http://speedcarz.com/wp-content/gallery/alfa-romeo-4c-spider/Alfa-Romeo-4C-Spider-2.jpg&quot; width="600">
    This is the one that I really like.

    1. Alff Avatar

      That's the one that I may someday own … in that color.

      1. wisc47 Avatar

        I'm with you there. I'm not a huge fan of yellow cars but this works. The GT and NSX are nice and all, and they're definitely great feats of engineering, but neither of them give me that "I want that" feeling; this does, though.

  24. Green_PEAs Avatar

    I just wanted to say that I'm beyond bored with the future-phobic luddites who complain about hybrid performance systems.

    1. Alff Avatar


    2. Kiefmo Avatar

      Having once been among them, wondering why we can't focus our technological prowess on materials science to make cars ever lighter to push the performance higher, I can empathize with them.
      My remaining reservation, as a DIYer, is how much of a pain in the ass a car like the NSX will be to work on in 20 years when I pick one up for the price of a V6 Accord.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        I think it's because the idea of addressing the IC engine's inherent inefficiency by making it haul around a secondary drive system and a big ol' pack of batteries is, on the surface, counter intuitive. But many technically viable solutions don't make sense to laymen. That's why engineers have to go to school to become engineers.

        1. Alff Avatar

          ….and increasingly why mechanics have to go to school to learn which parts to replace.

  25. Mr Smee Avatar
    Mr Smee

    They had to out the 'beak' on this? It just lacks the elegance and purposefulness of the original. It looks more MR2 than NSX.

    1. salguod Avatar

      The image up top is an earlier show car. Look for the production car image in my comment above. A fair bit less beak.

  26. Jonathan Avatar

    The NSX reinvented the super car back in its original iteration as it showed that any exotic could be reliable. That the ownership experience could be all about enjoyment…
    All the exotics including Ferrari and Lamborghini are at a much higher level of reliable usage because of the original NSX and for that we should be grateful.
    That said the ford GT shown at Detroit blows the NSX out of the water from a desirability standpoint. I've never been a ford guy. Never really lusted after the first gen ford GT. Thought it was very cool….but the retro design just put me off enough to not go nuts over it.
    The new ford GT reverses that. I find the ford GT even more desirable or list worthy as a Ferrari 458 Italia…
    Truly a stunning design …
    That kind of ours the very nice Acura NSX on the trailer…