The NSX that never came to fruition was a V-10-powered, front-engine, very expensive supercar of a different feather. The NSX Concept we see today is something that, while still high-tech and innovative, is far more production-ready and likely to see relatively widespread sales, as Acura intends to build this NSX for sale sometime in the next three years.
Powered by a direct-injection VTEC V-6 engine paired with a Sport Hybrid drive system that uses a pair of electric motors at the front combined with a Bilateral Torque Adjustable Control System and a dual-clutch gearbox-mounted electric motor, the NSX's mid-engine, SH-AWD all-wheel-drive layout is borderline supercar territory in specification, not far off Porsche's 918 Spyder. In fact, Acura is calling the NSX Concept a supercar, though in modern parlance, it's likely a few hundred horsepower short of the appellation.
Acura hasn't revealed the car's weight, power, or other specifications, but does says that "While most super cars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favorable power-to-weight ratio. Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency."
Though the original NSX (which also used a mid-mounted V-6) was a potent performer upon its release in 1990, the Nissan 370Z, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and many other affordable mid-range sports cars of the last few years offer similar or better performance for much less expense--and without the supercar aspirations. The new NSX will have to be a significant upgrade, which means more power than the original, less weight, or both.
Acura's power-to-weight statement bodes well for the NSX being a lightweight, road-hugging special, but at the same time, packaging a V-6 engine with an all-wheel-drive hybrid drivetrain is likely to weigh well in excess of 3,000 pounds--perhaps as much as 3,600 or more. Given that Chevy's Corvette Z06 and ZR1 both weigh in at the middle of that range and pack 505-638 horsepower, and the Italian and German exotics add exclusivity and extreme high tech to the mix, defining the NSX as a "supercar" may be a bit of a stretch.
But we don't care. The NSX is finally coming back, and it looks great.