Its been 25 long years since Honda launched its masterpiece, the NSX. At a time when Ferraris were a bit recalcitrant, it proved that a supercar could be easy to drive and reliable, while still being earth-shatteringly amazing to drive.
More than a decade after the original NSX was pensioned off, and years of teasing concept cars, Honda has finally unveiled the production version of the next-generation NSX, due to go on sale in 2016.
We think it looks absolutely stunning, with bodywork honed for maximum aerodynamic (and cooling) effect. It has grown a little over the concept, no doubt dictated by safety and interior space, but it’s still pretty small at less the 4.5 meters long.
But the beauty is more than skin-deep. There is some very clever stuff going on underneath. The NSX was designed from the outset as a hybrid, centered around a mid-mounted, 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with dry sump lubrication to lower the centre of gravity.
A direct-drive electric motor sits between the engine and the nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox, providing extra oomph under acceleration and during gear changes. A pair of motors power the front wheels and vector the torque when cornering.
Honda hasn’t released any power or performance figures yet, but expect them to be significant. Honda says only that the NSX has “instantaneous zero delay launch performance and handling response that seems to anticipate the driver’s desire.” Cool…
The original NSX was one of the first cars to be made entirely from aluminium. The new car continues that tradition, with a spaceframe chassis constructed from aluminium, high-strength steel and “other advanced materials.” The floor is carbonfibre, with bodypanels in aluminium and sheet moulding composite.
The running gear is suitably high-tech, as well. The wheels are 19-inchers at the front, 20’s at the back. Carbon ceramic brakes haul off the speed.
Inevitably, there are many driving modes to choose between, from electric-only Quiet, for sneaking out of the estate for an early morning blast, to Track, which is self-explanatory.
Built in Ohio of all places, the order books for the new Honda NSX open later this year. Except in the UK. Deposits were taken for all 100 coming over here months ago, so you’re too late.