This is the new Honda NSX, or – more accurately – it’s the new Acura NSX. Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of Acura before – it’s the brand through which Honda sells luxury and sports cars in the USA, a bit like Lexus does for Toyota and Infiniti does for Nissan.
Since the car was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and has been largely developed in the USA, it’s wearing the Acura badge for now.
It looks a bit familiar…
As well it might. Since the original NSX was canned in 2005 there has been mid-engined concept after mid-engined concept from Honda. A concept car looking a great deal similar to this debuted at the same motor show in 2012 and did the show circuit for two years in updated forms.
Cinema-goers may have seen Tony Stark driving a convertible version at the end of Avengers Assemble, while gamers have been able to drive it in virtual form in Gran Turismo 6 for nearly a year.
This new car though represents the final production form of the NSX, ready for orders in the summer and deliveries at the back end of 2015. It’s longer and wider than either the concept models or the last of the NSXs sold a decade ago.
Any juicy technical specs?
We’re a little way off from concrete numbers here, but there’s enough by way of engineering buzzwords to keep everyone happy for now.
The car uses an aluminium spaceframe, tied by a carbon-fibre floor and is clad with aluminium composite panels, so despite the size increase over the original it’s not likely to do too badly when it comes to stepping on the scales – the original NSX was only a little over 1.3 tonnes (about the same as a Honda Civic) in its heaviest form and we doubt the new NSX will go above 1.6 tonnes.
Other big news comes in the form of the drivetrain. Like the original NSX, the new car is powered by a V6 sitting behind the driver and pushing the rear wheels but unlike the original it’s twin turbocharged. If that wasn’t departure enough from the formula, there’s also a pair of electric motors driving the front wheels – weirder still, there’s a third motor between that engine and the nine-speed dual clutch gearbox, to “support acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance”.
Yes, this means that, like some other performance cars, the NSX has become a four wheel drive petrol-electric hybrid. Honda is keeping shtum on the capacity and individual power unit peak torque and power figures, but total power is pegged at 600hp – more than twice the 270hp the first NSX could manage and surprisingly close to the day’s other big supercar reveal, Ford’s new GT.
Unlike the Ford GT though, the NSX doesn’t disappoint on the inside. It’s well thought-out and contemporary in feel without much of the shared switchgear that left people cool on the prospect of the original Honda supercar. It seems largely made of decent materials and eschews the other-worldly look of slightly more highly-strung exotics in favour of an everyday supercar vibe.
And how much will it cost me?
We’ve no idea – yet. Honda hasn’t announced a price, but given that it’s an aluminium and carbon fibre, twin-turbocharged, petrol-electric hybrid supercar packing nearly 600hp and monstrous carbon ceramic brakes, we’d not be surprised if the price wandered north of £100,000.
Given that European reaction to a £50k Honda supercar 25 years ago was bewilderment – and only 1,400 people were impressed enough to put the money down – it’s a sign of how far the market has come along. If it weren’t for the original NSX it’s not likely that people would pay £80k for a Nissan – not to mention the quarter million pound “Toyota” in the shape of the Lexus LF-A.
In any case, Acura will be assembling the production cars – including right-hand drive models – in Ohio over the summer ready for the showrooms in the late autumn.
In a line…
Have you put a deposit down on the Ford GT? Did you keep the receipt?