Acura NSX Alex Zanardi Edition

From Acura press:  Acura unveiled its most exclusive, best handling and quickest model ever at the Miami International Auto Show. The 1999 Alex Zanardi Edition NSX takes Acura's all-aluminum sports car to new levels of exclusiveness with a signature series model that comes with a number of distinctive features, including revised suspension and dedicated interior and exterior styling cues.

Available only as a hard-top coupe, the signature series NSX takes its name from two-time CART open-wheel racing championship driver, Alex Zanardi. Only fifty copies of this limited edition model will be hand built — each identified by a numbered, brushed aluminum, signature plaque engraved with Alex Zanardi's signature and located on the rear firewall between the driver and passenger seat head rests identifying the vehicle as one of only fifty to be hand built at the company's Takanazawa plant in Tochigi, Japan. Zanardi himself will take delivery of the first one when it goes on sale in March, 1999.

The Alex Zanardi Edition coupe features a lower overall heft than the standard NSX through a number of weight reducing measures. A racetrack-tuned suspension, lightweight BBS alloy wheels, titanium shift knob and signature series plaque are a few of the key elements that set this model apart.

Total vehicle weight is reduced 149 pounds compared to the NSX-T, through the use of a fixed hard-top roof, lighter rear spoiler, single pane rear glass, lightweight BBS alloy wheels, a lighter battery, and a manual rack-and-pinion steering system in place of the electric power steering. Other features available only on the Alex Zanardi Edition NSX include a red-stitched interior trim with suede-like seating surfaces and aluminum-mesh intake covers.

Additional exclusive features include a new titanium-finished center console and door inserts, and perforated suede-like seating surfaces. An exclusive Formula Red exterior color completes the package.

The Alex Zanardi Edition is equipped with the NSX's 3.2-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, VTEC V-6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 224 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled to a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission. The Alex Zanardi Edition takes performance up a notch, though, thanks to the improved power-to-weight ratio. It also boasts a racetrack- tuned suspension system and manual rack-and-pinion steering for increased steering precision and handling control.

The front and rear shock rebound rates have been increased by 99 percent and 31 percent, respectively, along with compression rates that have been increased by 72 percent and 50 percent. Front and rear springs are 103 percent and 32 percent stiffer, respectively, along with firmer bushings — yielding front and rear roll centers that are lower by 0.6 inches in front and 0.3 inches at the rear. A lower overall vehicle height and center of gravity also contribute to improved cornering.

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