What we find so astonishing about the NSX is how ahead of the times Honda was in designing the exterior of the top-model Acura. The look of the NSX is just as relevant today as it was back in 1991--a "Can you believe it?" 15 years ago. If the NSX never existed and a 1991 model rolled out onto the concept car showrooms of today it would be just as attractive as its contemporary competitors. The exotic show-car looks and crisp, race car angles give off an aggressive appearance and an unquestionably fast air about it. What other 15-year-old cars can boast the same? I challenge you to name another 1991 car whose appearance doesn't date itself and can pass for being built in 2006.
Given this soft spot in my heart for the NSX (and a warm spot waiting in my garage if there are any givers out there), we ventured to Las Vegas, Nevada to check out the legendary Factor X Racing NSXes. We've heard much ado about Factor X and its high-horsepower NSXes online so it piqued our interest enough to set up a meeting, or I should more accurately say an ogling session. With how busy the Factor X crew is and how apparently not publicity-driven they are we missed them a couple of times but we finally met up at the SEMA 2005 show.
We had a chance to talk with Mike Angel, a Factor X bigwig. He explained that Factor X Racing specializes in Acura NSX tuning and performance upgrades. Due to the limited production run of the NSX, however, there is not a wide body of literature on modifying NSXes. As such, Factor X built their knowledge and experience from testing products on their own personal vehicles. Aside from this 1993 Sebring silver NSX, Factor X also owns a not-yet-complete 1991 Comptech widebody NSX and a 500-plus rwhp 1993 black NSX. Previously they have owned an additional 1991 and a 1992 model.
In general, Factor X felt the biggest problem of this project build was the exclusivity of the NSX and as a result parts are very expensive or needed to be custom made. In addition, "when we first started doing our R&D on the NSX not much was known about the motor, transmission, etc. Trial and error played a big role in the development," according to Mr. Angel.
The origins of this project vehicle began when it was purchased for $26,000 in California. Factor X was "ecstatic with its balance, braking, [and] build quality. The only gripe we had was its lack of power." The words "NSX" and "lack of power" usually don't belong in the same sentence. While the exterior styling of the NSX exudes an appearance of being as fast as a Ferrari, we must remember that this vehicle is in fact 13 years old. While it was fast by 1993 standards, today it needs a little bolt-on help to keep up with the big boys. Yes, it has reached its Viagra-aided years in the "oomph" department. The speed-addicted guys at Factor X actually said of their stock 1993 model "in today's performance world it is downright embarrassing." So began their "quest to make the NSX on par with newer exotics pushing out much more power."