Both are performance coupes, but there are some major differences between one another.
After pitting the original NSX against a new Civic Type R a month ago, the British folks over at Carwow have taken the latest and greatest NSX to duel Mercedes-AMG’s Beast of the Green Hell, the GT R. While they’re both performance cars in coupe shape, that’s pretty much where the similarities end as there are some huge differences worth noting.
For starters, the very green AMG is rear-wheel drive whereas the NSX has an all-paw arrangement allowing it to better channel power to the wheels in a drag race. Then there’s the powertrain, a conventional biturbo 4.0-liter V8 in the GT R compared to an intricate biturbo 3.5-liter V6 working together with three electric motors. Affalterbach’s weapon has 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) on tap while the hybrid Acura/Honda supercar offers a lower combined output of 573 hp and 476 lb-ft (645 Nm).
At first you’d be tempted to say the NSX doesn’t stand a chance in a drag race because of its considerably lower torque, but the quick response of the electric motors certainly makes up for that. It’s evident in the start of the drag race, with the NSX taking the lead immediately while making the GT R seem very slow off the line. The AMG catches up a little bit, but eventually has to admit defeat: the NSX ran the standing quarter mile in 10.8 seconds or a half a second quicker than its adversary.
It was a different story in the rolling race from 50 mph (80 kph) in third gear where the difference between RWD and AWD was less important. Still, the Acura managed pull ahead for a brief moment thanks to its electric punch, but ultimately it had to settle for second place after the V8 inside the GT R demonstrated its capabilities during hard acceleration.
The decider was a brake test conducted at 70 mph (112 kph) during which aside from the type of brakes (both were rocking carbon ceramic brakes), weight played an important role. The GT R had the clear advantage, tipping the scales at 3,594 pounds (1,630 kilograms) while the NSX had to carry an extra 209 lbs (95 kg). The Mercedes came to a full stop in a slightly shorter distance, thus winning the round and taking the overall win.