In 1989, Honda unveiled the first generation of the NSX, the brand’s challenge to the likes of Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari and Audi’s top marques. With the same defiance, Honda’s 2017 NSX brings a whole new driving experience to the open road.
When Honda first introduced the NSX, it was quickly dubbed the “Ferrari Killer” by auto writers the world over. Here was this mainstream Japanese brand, taking on the European marques with a human-centered supercar with a more than reasonable price tag. The NSX quickly became an icon.
Today, with a new green inclination, the 2017 NSX – or New Sports eXperience – boasts the most intuitive and advanced sports hybrid power unit in the supercar segment. Featuring an innovative new body with world-first material applications and construction processes that allow for lighter weight with increased strength, this state-of-the-art model includes a dynamic exterior design that uses what Honda dubs ‘total airflow management’ to integrate supercar aesthetics with supercar performance.
The NSX is all about challenging prevailing beliefs about supercars, just as the first generation NSX did so comprehensively over a quarter of a century ago and the results are apparent the second you lay your eyes on the new model, with its low, sharp nose; its bonnet and front fender punctured with air vents that help with the overall cooling process; its slim wing mirrors; and its cavernous side intakes.
Foremost among the 2017 NSX’s many innovations is Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), a first-of-its-kind technology in the supercar arena. By combining this new interpretation of Honda Super Handling performance with innovative approaches to vehicle design – including advanced body construction, component packaging and aerodynamic optimisation – the NSX faithfully translates the acceleration, steering and braking inputs of the driver with incredible fidelity and instant response. It amplifies the capabilities of every driver, and, living up to the model’s acronym, greatly elevates the driving experience.
And that’s quite a driving experience; in quiet mode, the new hybrid supercar promises to purr along rather than roar, although the full power of its turbo-charged 3.5-litre 75-degree V6 is never far from reach, especially when paired with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission and a three electric motor Sports Hybrid system, which has two motors powering the two front wheels and one supplementing the engine’s efforts at the rear. The result is a supercar that can leap to 100km/hr in just three seconds, putting the NSX in line with the likes of the Ferrari 488 GTB, the McLaren 650S and the Lamborghini Huracan, although Honda have never been shy about its ambitions to outperform the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 V10 as well.
The interiors are also suitably supercaresque, with Alcantara, leather and carbon fibre all making appearances. The driver sits low and tight in the cockpit, and enjoys great forward visibility thanks to thin A pillars, although critics have already called out a lackof rare visibility. The instrumentation panels are all digital, with a central touchscreen similar to other Honda models, and a central dial that changes the driving mode, meaning that while the new NSX has plenty of racetrack cred, it’s easy to reign all that power in if all you’re looking to do is arrive at work in style. www.honda.com.hk