After what feels like centuries, we finally have an all-new Honda NSX. 25 years after the first one was launched Honda has finally shown us it’s follow up. Like its predecessor it’s a mid-engine supercar with its sights set on taking on Ferrari and Porsche. However, a lot has changed in the last quarter of a century. Ayrton Senna was still around and Rowan Atkinson had just become Mr. Bean. So, like everything else, this new NSX is a completely different beast to the car it replaces.
For a start the old car had a 3.0-litre V6 engine producing around 280bhp. That was adequate back then but today’s NSX has 550bhp courtesy of a petrol-hybrid powertrain complete with three electric motors. Two drive the front wheels while the rear wheels are powered by the third electric motor and the twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine. Honda says the electric motors gives the NSX “zero-delay performance”. The batteries have been cleverly packaged in a ‘T’ shape behind the seats to help give the NSX better weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity.
No official specs have been released but as Honda has said many times, the 458 Italia was used as a benchmark, we should expect a 320km/h top speed and a 0-100 km/h time around the 3 second mark. The NSX uses a new nine-speed dual clutch gearbox. 9 gears! Madness. Don’t let all those gears and hybrid-ness worry you though, the NSX should be light. The floor is made of carbon-fibre and Honda has gone and used a variety of lightweight materials throughout the car.
Like many sports cars these days the NSX has different driving modes available, four to be exact. The brilliantly named ‘Quiet Mode’ allows the NSX to drive in pure EV while Sport, Sport+, and Track are what most people will be using. Note there’s no ‘Normal’ mode because the NSX has never been, and never will be, a normal car.
As we’ve seen the NSX in various concept forms, pre-production prototypes and movie cameos, it’s safe to say we’re quite familiar with the design. The NSX is relatively compact measing in at 4470mm long, 1941mm wide, and 1214mm high. We knew what was coming. Luckily Honda’s designers haven’t changed much for the production car, it retains the concept car’s distinctive style. Likewise inside where it’s much the same as the many previews Honda gave us years ago. It’s a clear modern take on the original NSX’s.
The NSX will forever be a legend. It may come and go, it may change formula to suit with the times, but it’s a nameplate Honda knows has a lot riding on it. They can’t afford to dilute the NSX’s name so there’s no doubt this new one will be nothing short of amazing. For reference a BMW i8 has 380bhp, an Audi R8 V10 has 525bhp, and a Ferrari 458 Italia has 562bhp. The NSX will be available in right-hand drive and will go on sale in New Zealand sometime in 2016. I have sneaking suspicion lotto ticket sales will go up and there’ll be more bank robberies in the coming months.