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Which is Best, East or West?

This year’s Detroit auto show had many highlights, but perhaps the biggest surprise was the simultaneous re-launch of two motoring icons.

After years of promises, Acura finally unveiled its new NSX, while Ford pulled the sheets off a new GT.

When the first NSX was launched in 1990 it built a fan base that extolled it as the perfect marriage of Italian good looks (the design came courtesy of Pininfarina) and Japanese engineering. It featured all kinds of firsts, including an all-aluminum body and an engine (also aluminum) with variable valve timing. And the new NSX doesn’t disappoint. The fi rst supercar with a female chief designer, it has a bold, highly sculpted exterior, which is as punchy as the mid-engineered, twin-turbo V6 inside. In combination with three electric motors, this produces a total output in excess of 550bhp. The NSX boasts what Acura calls “sport hybrid super-handling all-wheel drive”, which means one electric motor assisting the rear-wheels, while the others help at the front (notably in corners). Expect plenty of thrills and a high-tech cabin.

East or West article pic2Ford’s new supercar also has big shoes to fill. The original Ford GT was launched after Enzo Ferrari pulled out of a deal to sell his company to Ford. Henry Ford II had wanted to tap into Ferrari’s racing success and having been snubbed by the Italian decided to beat him at his own game, heading for Le Mans in 1963 to do just that. It took three years, but having claimed all the podium positions in 1966, Ford repeated the trick for the next three years. Ford may have replaced the raucous old V8 with a politer V6 Eco boost engine, but it still produces a walloping 600bhp.

No definitive performance stats are available as yet, but expect a now-standard supercar 0-60mph time of about three seconds, with a top speed approaching 200mph.

The Acura NSX is expected to cost over $150,000, with Ford’s new GT likely to be over $200,000. Both are expected to start shipping early in 2016.