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2016 CES - Clarion Builds Installs 2016 Technology On 1991 Acura NSX

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CYPRESS, Calif. and LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2016 -- Clarion Corporation of America announced today the completion of the transformation of its legendary year-one Acura NSX 'Clarion Builds' project car. In six short months, Clarion and its Clarion Builds program partners collaborated on transforming a worn out, high-mileage daily driven NSX into a reawakened supercar. Featuring 21st century driver-focused electronics, a high-resolution Full Digital Sound system fit for an audiophile, countless engine and performance upgrades, and an intentional restrain to keep the iconic style and classic lines of the original design principally intact, the supercar will be on display during CES 2016 in the ballroom foyer at the Westgate Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

"With the original NSX hitting classic status this year and the reimagined 2017 Acura NSX on the horizon, we wanted our Clarion Builds NSX to serve as a tribute to the car's remarkable history and celebrate the upcoming arrival of its long-awaited successor," said Allen H. Gharapetian, Vice President of Marketing and Product Planning at Clarion and Chief of the Clarion Builds Program. "When building a car that has a fanatic following and a plethora of aftermarket parts readily available, it's easy to be tempted to go overboard with upgrades. However, we stayed true to the Clarion Builds' theme of tastefully modifying and upgrading iconic classics while paying homage to the car's classic beauty. We maintained the car's gorgeous factory design and added subtle aerodynamic upgrades to accentuate its lines, and focused our attention on improving its already stellar handling and performance while giving it electronics upgrades that even the most expensive super cars on the market would be jealous of."

When it was originally acquired, the Clarion Builds NSX project car was a quintessential example of what the NSX was originally designed to be: a supercar that could be driven daily and affordably maintained. In the 25 years between when the Clarion Builds project car left Honda's Tochigi factory in Japan until Clarion acquired the car, it had traveled 230,000 trouble-free miles with no more than a scratch and chip here and there on the paint. The car was cared for and physically in good condition, though with such high miles on the odometer, the suspension and drivetrain were in dire need of attention. The desperately outdated electronics and a completely worn interior, offered a great opportunity for Clarion to showcase its latest innovations in audio, infotainment, and intelligent safety electronics in a worthy vehicle.

Working with a collection of well-known automotive industry brands who all share the same fascination and passion for iconic classic cars, the build plans for Clarion Builds' Acura NSX project were strategically laid out to make a car that was praised as being perfect upon its arrival 25 years ago become perfect again by today's standards.

Upgrades to the The Clarion Builds NSX Include:

  • Electronics: Clarion outfitted the NSX with its new Full Digital Sound (FDS) audio system featuring the new 7" NX706 touchscreen source unit. The audio system within the car is the only one of its kind capable of faithfully reproducing high-resolution digital audio without ever converting it to an analog signal, delivering precise high-performance sound of the highest quality. The system is composed of a Z3 FDS processor and pair of digital tweeters, two Z7 full-range speakers and a Z25W 10" digital subwoofer. The car was also equipped with Clarion's four-camera SurroundEye panoramic vision system, allowing the driver to see exactly what's around the vehicle while driving. Additionally, it features an integrated radar detection system from Escort and a state-of-the-art security system from Viper.
  • Body: The NSX was stripped down to its bare all-aluminum monocoque and properly prepped for a full color change. The fenders, hood, front and rear diffuser and spoiler were replaced with more aggressively styled parts from Downforce. The "Blu Caelum Ad Personam Metallic" paint, laid down by Diamond Hills Collision, was provided by Clarion Builds partner Glasurit, a brand of BASF.
  • Drivetrain: The tired high-mileage 3.0 liter naturally aspirated VTEC V6 and 5-speed manual gearbox were swapped in favor of a later model 3.2 liter VTEC V6 outfitted with a Comptech supercharger and 6-speed manual gearbox.
  • Suspension, Brakes, and Tires: The factory suspension was upgraded with KW coilovers to offer more cornering grip. The rims are staggered 18/19" Volk ZE40s in Bronze from Clarion Builds partner Ray's Engineering. To keep everything on the road, Clarion Builds partner Michelin provided a set of supercar-worthy Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. To improve stopping power, all four corners of the NSX were upgraded with StopTech's Big Brake Kit.
  • Interior: The finish of the factory interior was completely upgraded with materials of the highest quality. The worn out ivory interior was scrapped in favor of a luxurious black and cinnamon brown color combination perforated leather. The factory seats, shift knob and boot, and e-brake handle were trimmed with expertly crafted skins from The factory NSX steering wheel was customized with flat bottom and bolstered sport grip to look and feel more like a modern supercar. The headliner and A-pillars were reskinned in black alcantara. The carpets were replaced with a black loop carpet kit designed to match the look of the original NSX-R.

Now that the Clarion Builds NSX project is complete, the car will spend most of 2016 in the limelight hitting various industry events and car shows. The car will be on display during CES 2016 in the ballroom foyer of the Las Vegas Westgate Resort and Casino from January 6 until January 9, 2016. Be sure to tag your photos with #ClarionBuilds on Instagram. Followers with the top-five most liked photos of the car from CES will be awarded with limited edition Clarion Builds gear including NSX themed t-shirts.

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In the ‘80s, Honda was on a mission to develop a car with outstanding aesthetic appeal and the speed to compete with cars coming out of Italy at the time. Honda designed the NSX with the Ferrari 348 in its crosshairs and brought to market a car that could not only hold its own against world-class supercars, but could be driven daily and, as with any Honda, could easily go hundreds of thousands of miles with just basic maintenance. Undeniably, the NSX is an ideal second project for the Clarion Builds program, and we look forward to restoring and modifying the timeless classic with 21st century technology.

The 1991 Acura/Honda NSX is an icon by any definition. It single-handily redefined the super sports category when it launched nearly 25 years ago. It targeted and delivered performance numbers previously reserved for Ferraris and Lamborghinis. When the program began Honda engineers built a super car with the idea that owners could drive their car daily and yet maintain them as routinely as Honda Accords or Civics. But, as time tells today, the NSX has not just delivered on that idea; it has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Today, the year-one NSX is surely a sought after collector’s car, especially with increased collector interests given the pending launch of the all new 2016 Acura NSX which boasts an impressive amount of state-of-the-art world-first technologies.Following the same principles as Clarion Builds’ inaugural build of an iconic 1974 BMW 2002, Clarion will partner with several hand-selected services and parts providers, as well as specialists that cater to the NSX community and automotive enthusiasts, to bring this tired, high-mileage “everyday supercar” into the 21st century with regards to its electronics, engine, suspension, and anything in between while staying true to the car’s timeless original design and iconic driving dynamics.

About Clarion Builds:
Clarion Builds is an innovative marketing program that began in the summer of 2014, initiated by Clarion USA to tackle unique restoration projects of iconic cars and trucks in cooperation with key partners, hand-selected for each individual project. The program is designed to connect with new and existing fans who are car enthusiasts, automotive sports fans, journalists, historians, and anyone with an interest in design and style, through a mix of social and traditional media.

To find out more about the program, or to follow the complete build, visit Clarion Builds at, watch the latest Clarion Builds video at or follow Clarion on Facebook at

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