Babies Love the Sound of the 2019 Acura NSX, Study Proves
The 573-horsepower engine soothed 11 of 12 babies in a Honda-conducted test for, um, science.
When this journo was a fussy baby (which is roughly once every couple of days, if you ask my girlfriend), my folks would drive me around in our Mercury Sable station wagon until I fell asleep. The gentle movement of the suspension and the muted hum of the engine and tires was soothing then as it is now—I'm still known to fall asleep on long road trips (thankfully, not while driving).
Honda decided to do a bit more research into this phenomenon, and created the Sound Sitter, a cute, stuffed plush Honda S600 coupe with a Bluetooth speaker sewn into the car's fluffy body. This speaker was used to play the sounds of 37 different Hondas, from the 1965 T360 pickup to the 2019 NSX.
In a test that Honda admits is less than scientific, 12 babies were monitored when they expressed discomfort, having the Sound Sitter rev for two minutes near the baby while its breathing and heart rate were monitored. One car's sounds stood head and shoulders above the rest, soothing 11 of the 12 babies.
Surprisingly, Honda discovered that babies found the noise of the newest NSX more soothing than a CRX or even the Odyssey minivan. Apparently, the sound of Honda's twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 revving was most analogous to the muffled hums a baby hears inside its mother's womb.
Typically, sports cars are marketed as raucous, angry, and brash. The exhaust note is a big part of that high-performance image. It makes one wonder how other high-performance cars would stack up, and if there's some primal reason we love these sounds. Honda probably didn't expect this result out of their test, and it probably won't sell any more NSXs. However, if they decide to sell those pillows, I know what’s going on my wish list.