The Acura NSX was Japan’s offering when it came to competing directly with the elite sports cars of the time, which included the Ferrari 348, Porsche 911, and Chevrolet Corvette. The NSX, short for New Sportscar eXperimental, was manufactured using a body and suspension made of aluminum and was powered by a mid-engine, transversely mounted, naturally aspirated 3.0L V-6 engine that produced 270 hp, with the latter 3.2L model making 290 hp. The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive platform proved a lethal combination; the NSX offered excellent engine response and exceptional handling both on and off the track. With the high-end used car market becoming more affordable within the past few years, we seized the opportunity to Power Page a ’97 NSX with only 30K miles on the odometer.
With an MSRP of $60,000 in the ’90s (which rose to between $84,000 and $88,000 by the time the ’00 models hit the market), sales of the NSX were lackluster as Acura manufactured no more than 3,000 cars per year in the U.S. After 15 years of production, Acura had sold only 8,900 NSXs; compare that to the ’95 Honda Civic, which sold three times as many in a single year alone.
Our NSX was given an oil change, spark plug check/replacement, and OEM intake filter replacement before being strapped onto the dyno. Bald tires were replaced with a fresh set of Falken RT-615Ks, (215/40-17 front, 275/25-18 rear) with plans to road race this machine after our Power Page modifications are complete. In stock trim, the NSX delivered 241.2 hp and 196.1 lb-ft of torque.
CT Engineering Panel Filter
Filter, license plate frame, stickers
8mm socket, ratchet, extension, screwdriver, pliers
CT Engineering’s high-flow panel filter uses a reusable two-stage foam element that is a direct replacement for the NSX’s air filter, helping to improve filtration and power. The CT Engineering panel filter is 50-state emissions legal and can be washed, reoiled, and reused many times over with CT Engineering’s Uni filter service kit, helping you save money by not having to buy replacement filters.
Installing the panel filter required loosening the factory inlet pipe to remove the upper half of the OEM intake box. Due to the oily nature of the CT Engineering filter, we suggest wearing a pair of latex gloves or keeping a shop rag handy to keep the oil from transferring from your hands onto the engine bay when reassembling the box.
The new panel filter delivered a peak gain of 3.8 hp and 3.2 lb-ft of torque over the baseline run, with both horsepower and torque gains throughout the entire powerband. The largest gains were recorded in the midrange with a gain of 5 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque from 4,300 rpm to 5,000 rpm. From 6,500 rpm to 7,000 rpm, the NSX gained 7 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque over our baseline run.
Fujitsubo Super Ti Exhaust
Exhaust, piping, brackets
10-, 12-, 14- and 17mm sockets, 10-, 12-, 14-, and 17mm open-end wrenches, ratchet, extension, crescent wrench, and WD-40
Fujitsubo individually hand crafts their Super Ti exhaust system from full titanium. Featuring larger diameter 60.5mm mandrel-bent piping, and a high-flow muffler, the Ti delivers optimum horsepower throughout the rpm range with an emphasis on high-rpm power with greatly reduced weight. If you’re looking for a loud, annoying exhaust system, the Super Ti isn’t for you. Compared to the OEM exhaust, the Super Ti displays a throatier, deeper tone, but only emits 71dB at idle (factory 64dB) and is one dB louder than stock at 3,000 rpm, which you can be appreciative of if ever tailed by cops.
Due to the significant weight and bulkiness of the factory exhaust, we suggest asking for assistance to help speed up the removal and installation process.
Not only does the exhaust help increase horsepower, its titanium construction means it weighs a mere 23.4 pounds, a weight savings of 24.8 pounds off the stock 48.2-pound exhaust, helping to reduce overall weight and benefit all aspects of vehicle performance, including acceleration, braking, and handling. With the newly installed exhaust in place, the NSX delivered an increase in top-end power with gains as much as 11 hp and 8 lb-ft of torque from 6,600 rpm to redline.