The cars we loved.
Its great news that Honda has revived its flagship sports car the NSX. For the last 10 years or so Honda cars were slowly loosing their edge when it came to being funt to drive. Other factors were stagnating to the point of letting crusty competitors like Ford and relative upstarts like Hundyi catch up.
A slow and sometimes disappointing turnaround happened starting with the lack luster CR-Z. The company got it right with some versions of the Accord while its bread and butter car the Civic was lost somewhere in between. Acura, Honda’s upmarket US brand on the other hand dispensed with the RS-X leaving the TSX as it’s ‘sporty car’ offering. In America the original NSX was marketed as an Acura. Without it, Acura had no inspirational sports car.
With the N2000 and Prelude long gone, the car in the American Honda line up with the most sporting appeal was the V6 Accord Coupe. Then word came out that Honda would be showing a concept of some future sports car at the 2007 NAAS. Dreams of the NSX circulated and before long an official announcement made it official: Honda would be creating a follow up to the legendary NSX. A final design evolved after nearly 9 years of testing and design revolutions.
Where the original 1990 model was light and efficient along the lines of a race car, the 2015 second generation car would be those things with a larger emphasis on being environmentally friendly. Built around a turbocharged V6, the first Honda turbo application outside the RDX Crossover, the new NSX would be as fast as it was practical to use as an every day car. Well..maybe not for everything every day it is a two seat car after all.
to the two turbochargers, the NSX also uses electric motors (three of them) to supply thrust in varying amounts to all wheels. It’s a sophisticated system that uses torque vectoring electric propulsion to augment the angled V6 engine. The thrust is channeled through a 9 speed automatic transmission (one of the few 9 speed transmissions in a production car at this writing).
With power in the 550 range and weight just over 3000lb, the NSX promises to deliver neck snapping acceleration and supercar handling thanks to its mid engine design.
Where the original car looked like an exotic that was using polite Japanese style restraint, the new car is an all out knockout visually. Looking both aggressive and sophisticated, it follows the originals mid engine dictated silhouette with today’s complex curves and straight vectors that only a computer could have made real. The elegance continues inside with exotic materials and a low dashboard that looks like the helm of a small spacecraft. It’s easy imagining this being the car Justin Temberlake sings about in “Spaceship Coupe” from his The 20/20 Experience album.
The list of technology acronyms is as long as any Honda since the original NSX. You gotta love names like “Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive” or “Integrated Dynamics System”. It all brings back the days when Japanese cars wore their technology on their sleeves (quite literally) with acronyms printed along the front fenders or on doors.
Unlike those high tech cars of three decades ago, this one will be made in America. In fact, all NSX cars will be built in Marysville, Ohio and exported back to Europe and Japan! The original NSX tought the European supercar cartel a thing or two about value and promises to shake up the current crop from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. As the cost of those cars skyrocket, their day to day practicality (and reliability) has not kept pace with their price. That might be arguable with more affordable products from Porsche and Ferrari, but priced in the $150k range, the NSX will still be a bargain and likely require less fussy maintenance than any of them.
The only mission left for the NSX is to revive the sporting nature that was once the core DNA of Honda cars – all Honda cars. Besting Ferrari at their own game has been done before. Getting Honda to sprinkle some of the NSX’s goodness down to the Civic or CR-Z for that matter may be more a challenge.