An AWD V6 hyper-hybrid that’s been a decade in the making – and the revival of a nameplate not seen since 2005, when the Aytron Senna-developed original ceased production. Why have we waited so long? The NSX’s gestation was somewhat troubled, with Honda considering a N/A V10 before settling on a V6, and then deciding to add twin-turbos and rotate it through 90 degrees for better weight distribution.
Developed in the USA and built as a showcase for Honda’s engineering might, the NSX is a thorn in the side of the Audi R8, Ferrari 488 and McLaren 570S.
The Honda NSX has a 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo generating 500-odd bhp. Wedged between it and the nine-speed twin-clutch ‘box is a brushless electric motor, which fills in power while the turbos spool up. There are a further two electric motors up front, one for each front-wheel. All three motors are powered by a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack which runs down the centre of the car and across behind the seats. Total power output is 573bhp, which means performance is…brisk.
Handling is impressive, too – the NSX is effortless and addictive and delivers on Honda’s brief to create an accessible supercar. The trick is to lay off the throttle, allow the car to settle mid-corner, then jump back on it and let the torque vectoring weave its magic. It’s brutally effective.
On the inside
As you approach the NSX the door handles come to life and project outwards. There’s no swan, gullwing or other avian trickery here, just standard doors, and the seats are plush, comfortable and designed to hold you tightly when the NSX starts upping its game.
It all looks suitably modern and stylish, but our biggest issue is with some of the materials used – at least in the early car we drive, what looked like metal was often plastic, removing a layer of authenticity from some of the key touch points, most notably the door handles, dynamic mode selector and paddle shifts. Honda says some of this may get addressed before final production begins.
The list price is £137,905, a direct conversion of this amount in Thai baht for the Honda NSX is ฿5,309,119 (obviously not including the import fees and related custom duties for importing a car in Thailand) but even if your bank balance is sufficiently stocked, with a supposed two-year waiting list in the UK, it’ll be a while before buyers who haven’t already put money down see their cars. And when your car does arrive, it won’t break the bank to run. Economy figures haven’t been released, but the hybrid system can’t have done them any harm.