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 cheaperWithout 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)
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
It will be cheaper to maintain in the long runEven 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
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.