Back in 1984, Honda developed the HP-X concept in conjunction with Pininfarina with the intention of meeting or better still, exceeding the performance of Ferrari’s V8 model range whilst at the same time, offering reliability and a lower price point. The plan was approved and the prototype became the formidable, NSX.
The NSX became an instant technological milestone as it was the world’s first mass-produced car to feature an all-aluminium body which ensured rigidity as well as significant weight saving resulting in the optimum power to weight ratio. With its 3.0 Litre V6 engine featuring Honda’s VTEC system (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) and input from the late Formula One World Champion, Ayrton Senna during the final development stages, here then was a new breed of supercar that combined awesome power and advanced chassis dynamics with every-day usability. The early 3.0 Litre version produced 256 bhp giving it a top speed of 162mph and a 0-60 sprint time of 7.5 seconds. The upgraded version, launched in 1997 featured a 3.2 Litre engine producing 280 bhp and top speed and 0-60 figures of 170mph and 5.7 seconds respectively. The first generation NSX ceased production in 2005.
Fast forward to 2016 and the new NSX hybrid sports car went on sale following its launch at the North American International Auto Show. Powered by a 3.5 Litre twin-turbo with 3 electric motors, two of which form part of the “SH-AWD” all-wheel drive drivetrain, it produces 573bhp. With its 9-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic, performance in the new car is sensational with 60 dispatched in less than 3.0 seconds and a top speed of just over 190mph.
As one would expect from a company with more than 55 years’ experience in World Championship Racing, in developing the new NSX, Honda has drawn upon its proud racing heritage to ensure a technological masterpiece without compromise. With four different modes to adjust the driving experience and the integrated dynamic system (IDS) featuring Quiet, Sport, Sport + and Track, all of which alter the engine, motor, transmission, chassis response and engine sound level to differing levels, it is a thrilling yet versatile and driver-friendly supercar.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Honda UK to Salon Privé for the first time”, commented David Bagley, Co-Founder & Sales Director. “The original NSX was a true pioneer blending high performance and good looks with Japanese reliability and that’s exactly what Honda has achieved with the latest model. It’s brimming with technology and is a spectacularly fast and capable supercar when you want it to be, but equally versatile and usable when running around town.”
Phil Webb, Head of car at Honda UK commented: “This is the first time that our hybrid supercar will be exhibited both on stand and on the display lap at the prestigious Salon Privé. Along with the current crop of NSX, we will have our red 1990 first generation version, which was actually driven by the late great Ayrton Senna and is the oldest surviving NSX in the country; as well as one of the last of the first generation in to the country, our orange 2005 3.2 manual.”