Five Reasons Why a Chevrolet Corvette C8 Is a Better Choice Than an Acura NSX

At first glance, the high-tech, hybrid-powered AWD Acura NSX has a lot going for it, especially when compared to the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. However, once we delve into the details, it’s easy to see why the latter is a better choice.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 12 photos
Photo: Chevrolet
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It’s impossible to convince Honda/Acura fans that similar cars built by other brands could be just as good or even better than their beloved NSX. The same can be said about hardcore Corvette enthusiasts.

For those who don’t fit in either category and simply want to buy a great mid-engine sports car without spending Ferrari money, these two models should definitely make their list. If it ultimately comes down to choosing one of them, I think that the Stingray is the better buy, and here are five reasons to back that up.

It’s A LOT cheaper

Without additional fees and taxes, the NSX has a whopping starting price of almost $160,000. Add a few optional features, and you get close to $200,000, which is Ferrari or Lamborghini territory.

On the other hand, the C8 starts around $60,000 for the coupe and $69,000 for the convertible. If you go for the top 3LT trim and add virtually all of the extras available, including the Z51 package, you won’t go over $120,000.

It’s only 0.2 seconds slower from 0 to 60 mph (0-96 kph)

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Photo: Chevrolet
The NSX comes with an advanced hybrid powertrain that combines a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with three electric motors for a total of 573 hp. That’s enough for a 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) time of 2.7 seconds.

With a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 mounted behind the driver for the first time in the model's history, the base Corvette makes 490 hp and sprints to 60 mph (96 kph) in about 3.3 seconds. With the $6,000 Z51 package that comes with a dual-mode performance exhaust and an eLSD among other goodies, power increases by 5 ponies, and the time improves to 2.9 seconds.

On paper, the Acura is quicker but only by two-tenths of a second which is negligible when you consider the price. Moreover, the top speed stands around 190 mph (305 kph) for both cars.

It’s not that far off in terms of fuel economy

Acura NSX
Photo: Acura
The weight of the hybrid powertrain is the main reason why the Japanese sports car isn’t even quicker, but that should make it more fuel-efficient. Still, with a rating of 21 mpg (11.2 liters per 100 km) combined, it’s not much more efficient than the Stingray, which is capable of 19 mpg (12.4 liters per 100 km) combined.

It will be cheaper to maintain in the long run

Even with the Japanese carmaker’s notorious reliability, a hybrid powertrain with a twin-turbo engine is far more complex than a naturally aspirated one. When the warranty expires and parts fail, owners will have to pay more for that complexity. The small lithium-ion battery will eventually need to be replaced, and turbochargers don’t last a lifetime either.

It comes as a coupe with a removable top or as a convertible

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Photo: Chevrolet
Unlike the NSX, which is only available as a hardtop, the Corvette coupe comes with a removable roof that can be tucked away in the back. There’s also a convertible option that features an electronically foldable roof. That may not be a performance-enhancing feature, but it will undoubtedly improve the driving experience.

Since I mentioned the driving experience, fans of the brand will argue that the Acura handles better. It comes with Honda’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive, and it should, right? Well, I haven’t driven either car, so I won’t disagree. That said, I’m sure that the difference is not impressive enough to merit more than twice the money. Furthermore, someone with $160,000 to spend could get a fully equipped Corvette, upgrade the heck out of it, and turn it into a track monster.

I think the NSX is an amazing sports car but one that is just too expensive for what it has to offer, especially when you compare it to the C8. The sales figures also reflect that: Chevy sold 21,626 units in 2020 while Acura only managed to sell 128, according to Carsalesbase.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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