FINALLY! It’s the new NSX.
Quarter of a century after Senna’s original supercar, its tech-laden successor has arrived.
OK, you can breathe out now.
This is, at long last, the new Honda NSX in its production form. And with so many changes to the New Sports experience project over the seven years since the second-gen car was announced, let’s start by confirming exactly what the production spec is on the new version of Lord Ayrton’s favourite supercar.
The NSX drive train is a 75-degree twin-turbocharged drysumped V6 mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
On top of that, there are three electric motors – one for each of the front wheels and another to fll in the torque gap when the engine’s turbos are spooling up. So, yes, it’s a four-wheel-drive hybrid.
If that all sounds very supercar zeitgeisty, there’s more in the same vein.
That engine would suggest a clear link – even in marketing terms only – between this engine and the new turbocharged V6 hybrid F1 unit that will power the McLaren team next year. It’s all purely coincidental, according to Honda.
Or is it? The NSX concept changed powerplants mid-stream – one of the reasons the car is so late. Perhaps this was because Honda had decided it was ready to rejoin F1 and wanted the road car to share DNA with its racers.
Whatever. As complicated as the power generation sounds, it’s merely the beginning of a long and involved journey before it gets to the four tyres. There are three active systems onboard, each more fendishly complicated than the last.
First up is Sport Hybrid SuperHandling All Wheel Drive, which fnesses your ham-fsted braking, steering and throttle inputs to keep the car heading in the right direction. Second is Agile Handling Assist, which applies the brake on the inside front wheels to make the car turn faster. And, fnally, there’s the Integrated Dynamics System, a four-mode dial that allows you to alter the rabidity of the NSX’s character.
There’s also a Zero Delay launch function, which is said to give the NSX an ability to pull of starts that one Honda spokesman described as “frightening”.
Faster than a GT-R? Yes. Comfortably faster than a Tesla Model S, too? Yes again. That puts the all-wheel-drive NSX frmly in the sub-three-second 0–60mph bracket. Little on the planet is faster.
Despite hinting at this towering performance, Honda still – still! – won’t reveal the total power output of the car until closer to its launch this summer, but has admitted to a fgure of “over 550bhp”. It wasn’t clarifed if that was just the petrol engine, or the combined might of V6 and the trio of electric motors.
But, either way, with anything much less than 600bhp, the NSX will not be able to keep up with its intended rivals: the 911 Turbo and Ferrari 458. Notice no mention of the McLaren 650S in that list? So did we.
The new NSX has a mixed material spaceframe anchored by a carbon-fbre foor that, together with some magical bonding technology, promises to make body fex something that other cars do.
Some of the body panels are formed out of aluminium, the rest are composite.
“ Faster than a GT-R? Yes. It’s firmly in the sub- 3secs 0–60mph bracket”
Packaging has been key to being able to achieve the NSX’s desired performance, Honda says. By concentrating as much of the mass towards the middle of the car, the NSX has what Honda claims to be the lowest centre of gravity in its class. There is fully independent all-aluminium suspension front and rear, acting on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels.
When it goes on sale in the US this summer, the new NSX will cost around $150,000. So expect a similar number in sterling when the UK price list goes live.
And the NSXs, contrary to initial reports, haven’t sold out already. Dealers have ordered all the available UK cars, but not all have yet been sold. So make nice with the Civic salesman next time you see him.
Why is it badged an Acura, not a Honda? Acura is Honda’s posh brand in the US. Controversially, the new NSX is going to be built in the US, not in Tochigi, Japan where the original NSX was built.
But, don’t worry; it’ll be called a Honda when it gets here.