1990 - 2005 Honda NSX - Acura NSX
From Ferrari to F16 Fighter Jet to NSX
The Honda NSX, or Acura NSX as it is known in North America and Hong Kong was spanned 15 years between 1990 and 2005. Honda's original ambition for the NSX was performance similar to the Ferrari 328 and subsequently the 348 as the design neared production. Pininfarina was responsible for pencilling the distinctive NSX's sleek sports car looks. Part of the NSX's unique styling was influenced by the desire to incorporate 360 degree visibility, similar to that inside an F-16 fighter jet cockpit.
Fighter Jet technology may have influenced the NSX's cockpit but Honda's corporate technological drive illustrated in their involvement in Formula 1 influenced much of the rest of this track weapon. Whilst Honda's formula 1 car would cost millions to buy, the requirement was to make their showcase sports car relatively affordable and ultra reliable. The NS-X was the first production car to feature an all-aluminium monocoque body, including a revolutionary aluminium alloy frame, and suspension. The use of aluminium in the body and suspension saved nearly 220 kg in weight over the steel equivalent.
Cram in some more technology?
The NSX was crammed with a long list of technological specifications including; a rigid, ultra-light aluminium monocoque chassis, a front and rear double wishbone suspension, forged control arms and alloy wheels. Other features included an independent, 4-channel anti-lock brake system, electric power steering, Honda's reliable VTEC variable valve timing system and, in 1995, the first electronic throttle control fitted to a Honda. Add to this heady mix of advancements the world's first production car engine with titanium connecting rods, forged pistons, and it's unique high-revving VTEC V6. This concoction is made even more impressive as the NSX is still considered one of the most reliable exotic cars ever manufactured, many examples exceeding 100,000 miles (160,000 km) without serious issues.
Initially the NSX was powered by a 3.0 L V6 unit but in 1997 Honda brought the biggest change to the performance of the NSX. Engine displacement increased to 3.2 L using a thinner fiber-reinforced metal (FRM) cylinder liner. This revised 3.2 L engine gave it slightly more rated power: from 274 PS (202 kW; 270 hp) to 294 PS (216 kW; 290 hp) while torque increased from 285 N·m (210 lb·ft) to 305 N·m (225 lb·ft) (manual transmission only). 0-60 mph times vary depending upon transmission and engine size. This ranged from a dire 6.8 seconds for the 3.0 L V6 automatic to the 2nd generation NSX-R with a more respectable 4.6 seconds time.
R for Race then R for Retirement
More hardcore versions of the NSX were introduced over the years to maintain interest. This included tweaks to the suspension, stiffening the chassis and weight reduction. The NSX-R versions included these changes to create a slightly faster more hardcore version with 0-60 mph reduced to a more respectable 4.9 seconds. However, by 2005, NSX unit sales amounted to a few hundred vehicles per year worldwide and Ferrari had moved on from the 328/348 with which the NSX was based. Subsequently the NSX retired from production.
Ultra-Reliable Technology Showcase, Ultimate Japanese Exotica, 911 Alternative, Unique modern classic, Amazing Revving V6 Exhaust Note.
Revvy Engine not everyone's bag. It's a very expensive Honda. Too much technology and not enough soul for some. Looks too elongated.
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