The origninal Honda NSX was revealed at the Chicago Motor Show in 1989, over 25 years ago - and now Honda has finally revealed its all-new supercar.
The new Honda NSX – unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show wearing the badge of upmarket US arm Acura – will feature a twin-turbo hybrid drivetrain packing around 550bhp. Power will be distributed via all four wheels using three electric motors and a mid-mounted V6 petrol engine. That means the car is longer and wider than the original concept.
An even hotter Honda NSX Type R is also in the pipeline. Ted Klaus, the car's chief engineer, commented: “I think everyone who loves cars wants to see a version that we say is pure red.
“The NSX has always been silver first, moving towards red later. Someone asked me, ‘when will you be satisfied?’ Probably never. What you do today, you can improve on tomorrow.”
Looking like a cross between an Audi R8 and McLaren 650S with its aluminium composite and steel body, the bold new NSX casts a striking profile, with the low roofline and gaping side vents giving it an undeniably aggressive look. At the rear, there are four centrally mounted exhausts, LED lights and a race-inspired diffuser.
Every element of the NSX’s exterior design has been carefully sculpted for high-speed stability. It’s undergone extensive wind tunnel testing at Honda’s development centre in Ohio, leading to modifications to the bonnet vents, side air intakes and boot spoiler.
The design has been optimised to concentrate the weight low and towards the middle of the car, and Honda claims it has the lowest centre of gravity in its class. Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of Acura, said: “The NSX delivers pinnacle supercar performance, with zero-delay acceleration and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics.”
It also gets a fully independent all-aluminium front and rear suspension set-up, as well as carbon ceramic brakes and 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloys.
Inside, the show car is trimmed in bright red leather, with the driver and passenger cocooned by the high centre console and intricate dashboard.
Honda's NSX uses a longitudinally-mounted direct-injection V6 petrol engine which is boosted by a single electric motor and drives the rear axle through a brand-new dual-clutch gearbox. At the front axle are two further electric motors, which can vary the amount of torque they apply individually –Honda calls the configuration its Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive).
The instrument cluster features an adaptable TFT display, while the centre console boasts a large screen above heating and climate controls. The engine start button takes centre stage, nestled within the ‘Integrated Dynamics System’ dial control, allowing the driver to choose between Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track driving modes. The NSX also features a launch mode for lightning-fast standing starts.
The new car will be built exclusively at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio, US. Badged as an Acura in the States, it’ll be sold as a Honda over here. Prices are set to be around $150,000 (£99,000) in the US, with order books opening in summer.
“After three years of intensive development work we are excited to reveal this next-generation supercar - the Honda NSX - to the world,” said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global project leader over NSX development. “We’ve developed a human-centered supercar that responds to the will of the driver and that builds upon the NSX heritage.”