Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2003 Chevrolet CORVETTE VS 2003 Acura NSX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2003 Chevrolet CORVETTE

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VS

2003 Acura NSX

Safety Comparison

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The NSX cannot safely hold a rear facing infant safety seat, the only safe, legal way to transport babies from birth to one year old. Because the NSX has no rear seats, the only unoccupied seat faces the passenger side airbag, which can injure or kill a baby in a rear facing safety seat. The Corvette’s passenger side airbag has a key switch to disable it.

The Corvette has a standard Active Handling System, which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The Active Handling System then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The NSX doesn’t offer skid prevention.

The Chevrolet Corvette has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Daytime Running Lights decrease the chances of collisions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The NSX doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Corvette and the NSX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, four wheel antilock brakes and traction control.

Warranty Comparison

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The Corvette’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the NSX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 16 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The camshaft in the Corvette’s engine is driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The NSX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt which eventually needs to be replaced. If the NSX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The NSX’s redline is at 7500 to 8000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corvette has a 6000 to 6500 RPM redline.

The Corvette has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The NSX doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corvette first among premium sports cars in initial quality. The NSX isn’t in the top three.

Engine Comparison

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The Corvette has more powerful engines than the NSX:

Horsepower

Torque

Corvette automatic 5.7 V8

350 HP

360 lbs.-ft.

Corvette 6 speed 5.7 V8

350 HP

375 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 5.7 V8

405 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

NSX automatic 3.0 DOHC V6

252 HP

210 lbs.-ft.

NSX 3.2 DOHC V6

290 HP

224 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Popular Mechanics the Chevrolet Corvette is faster than the NSX (manual transmissions tested):

Corvette LS1

Corvette Z06

NSX

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

4.6 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

13 sec

13 sec

13.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108.9 MPH

110.5 MPH

107.7 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Corvette is faster than the NSX (automatics tested):

Corvette

NSX

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

7.7 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105.5 MPH

99.3 MPH

In a Road & Track race course test, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was clocked 5.76 seconds faster than the Acura NSX-T (68.39 sec. vs. 74.15 sec.).

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Corvette’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the NSX:

Horsepower

Torque

Corvette automatic 5.7 V8

5600 RPM

4000 RPM

Corvette 6 speed 5.7 V8

5600 RPM

4400 RPM

Corvette Z06 5.7 V8

6000 RPM

4800 RPM

NSX automatic 3.0 DOHC V6

6600 RPM

5300 RPM

NSX 3.2 DOHC V6

7100 RPM

5500 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The Corvette 6 speed gets better fuel mileage than the NSX 6 speed (19 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Corvette’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the NSX:

Corvette

NSX

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.73 inches

The Corvette stops much shorter than the NSX:

Corvette

NSX

80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

220 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the NSX (F:245/45R17 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:215/40R17 & R:255/40R17). The Corvette Z06’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the NSX (F:265/40R17 & R:295/35R18 vs. F:215/40R17 & R:255/40R17).

The Corvette Z06’s 295/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the NSX’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 18 inch rear wheels. Only 17 inch wheels are available on the NSX.

The Corvette (except Z06) has a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which will alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The NSX doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Corvette can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The NSX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Corvette offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The NSX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the NSX (104.5 vs. 99.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the NSX.

The Corvette’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the NSX’s (40% to 60%). This gives the Corvette more stable handling and braking.

The Corvette Z06 handles at 1.00 G’s, while the NSX-T pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The Corvette Z06 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 5.4 MPH faster than the NSX (67.5 vs. 62.1 MPH).

The Corvette Z06 performs Popular Science’s emergency lane change maneuver 4 MPH faster than the NSX-T (67.4 vs. 63.4 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Popular Science, the interior of the Corvette Coupe is quieter than the NSX-T:

Corvette

NSX

Full-Throttle

81 dB

85 dB

60 MPH Cruising

68 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Corvette Coupe has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NSX (51.4 vs. 48.9).

The Corvette Coupe has 1.6 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 2.8 inches more front shoulder room than the NSX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Corvette Coupe has a much larger trunk than the NSX (24.8 vs. 5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Corvette’s entire steering wheel hub sounds the horn, facilitating hitting the horn in an emergency. The NSX has two small spoke buttons. These buttons can be hard to reach in an emergency.

When three different drivers share the Corvette (except Hardtop), the optional memory systems make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror positions and radio stations. The NSX doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The NSX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Corvette’s front power windows lower automatically with one touch, especially convenient at toll booths or drive-up windows. Only the driver’s window of the NSX works automatically with one touch.

The Corvette’s outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The NSX doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Corvette’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The NSX doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The Corvette’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The NSX doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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The Corvette will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Corvette will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the NSX.

Corvette

NSX

Four Year

53%

50%

Two Year

66% to 67%

64%

The headlight lenses on the Corvette are made of plastic to be lighter, more resistant to damage and less expensive to replace than the glass headlight lenses on the NSX.

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