Touring the Place Where NSXs Are Born: Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center

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Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Acura’s 573-hp, mid-engine, all-wheel-drive hybrid NSX is no ordinary car, and the place where it is built—Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio—is no ordinary assembly plant.

It takes a finely tuned mix of high-tech automated assembly techniques and highly skilled human workers to bring this cutting-edge supercar to life, and the PMC has both. The plant employs about 70 “cream-of-the-crop” manufacturing technicians out of a total staff of around 100 associates, and it houses sophisticated facilities for body construction, painting, assembly, and quality confirmation. Though some of the NSX’s components are manufactured elsewhere—for example, the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 engine is built in Honda’s Anna Engine Plant in Anna, Ohio, and the hybrid-system components are built in Japan—the fabrication and assembly of the car itself is entirely contained under the roof of the Performance Manufacturing Center.

About the only way you can get the opportunity to tour the PMC as a civilian is to purchase a new NSX. Acura offers an NSX Insider Experience for buyers, which includes a general plant tour and can also include observing the final assembly process of your own NSX. They’ll even let you do the honors of applying the exterior Acura badges to your car.

However, if you don’t have $165,000 or so to drop on an NSX and the owner experience package, you can still take a nickel tour of the PMC right here. Along with a group of auto journalists, we got a walk-through of the facility during Acura’s recent 2019 full-line press event—check out our pics and videos below.

What is the NSX Insider Experience?

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

On the day we visited, Acura had this NSX rolling chassis on display in the Performance Manufacturing Center’s lobby.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Our compliments to the interior decorator.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

This is just one section of the manufacturing floor, but it gives an idea of the size of the facility.

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Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Here is a bare NSX space frame, seen just outside of one of the plant’s fully robotic MIG welding stations. Note the heavily tinted glass panels surrounding the station; these mitigate the extreme brightness of the welding process’s sparks.

Each NSX space frame undergoes an elaborate “e-coat” process that includes immersion in 10 process tanks. Here, the space frame is dipped in a pre-treatment “bath” in preparation for a corrosion-resistant, zirconium-based primer coating.

Acura NSX Factory

Further assembly and wiring-harness installation happen after the space frame is coated. Note the light-colored sealer that is applied to the various joints and seams.

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Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Freshly stamped hood skins and inner-structure panels.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Here’s a complex jig for fine-tuning door panels.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Primed body panels are fitted onto special racks for painting.

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Robot painting guns ensure uniform coverage.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Each body panel undergoes a fastidious quality check.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Painted body panels are placed on racks to await final assembly.

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The NSX’s engine is installed from below… a hydraulic lift is used to lower the body over the awaiting powerplant.

Acura NSX Factory

Special wheeled racks allow the partially completed NSXs to be moved around to various stations in the assembly process. Note the protective “booties” covering the disc-brake assemblies.

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Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Body panels are installed and adjusted by hand.

Honda Performance Manufacturing Center

Once the wheels are installed, the entire suspension goes through a careful fine-tuning procedure.

Each freshly completed NSX undergoes a rigorous “shakedown” session.

A few dynamometer runs are part of the quality control process.

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