The Honda NSX. Honda decided to aim high with their all new 90’s high performance car and Ferrari was the intended target. But how could Honda rival the mighty Ferrari V8 model range, all dramatic looks and ingrained with passion and performance?
The 1984 HP-X (Honda Pininfarina eXperimental concept) sowed the seed for a sportscar equalling these Italian traits, but with an added dose of Honda reliability and at a lower price point. The hard points were in place, a mid-engined rear wheel drive car with pretty bodywork and of course the Pininfarina involvement. Honda was on the right track but it was not until 1989 that the final car was shown at the 1989 Chicago Auto show. Known as the New Sportscar eXperimental, it was officially named as the NSX. Sales commenced in 1990 with the NSX rolling out of a purpose made factory.
The NSX took the form of a rear wheel drive coupe powered by an all-aluminium V6 engine with atmospheric aspiration and 3.0 litres of swept capacity. It featured Honda’s Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control system (VTEC) and either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed Sports Shift automatic transmissions. A targa followed in 1995. Revised in 1997 with a larger engine (now 3.2 litres) it was phased out in 2005 after some further revisions in 2002.
The original brief was successfully achieved. Here was a car that had all of the performance of the Ferrari and indeed other then contemporary junior super cars – but without the unreliability and associated histrionics. Its dramatic styling and aerodynamics, purported to be based on the canopy of the American fighter jet, the F16 Fighting Falcon, also gave amazing visibility and a futuristic feel to the NSX.
The NSX stopped the arrogance of other supercar manufacturers trading on just their name and exuberant styling, forcing them to start focusing on the reliability and usability of their products as much as the performance.
LHD, 5 speed manual, Formula Red with black roof, Air conditioning, Electric seats, Electric mirrors, Cruise control, Bose Sound system.
The NSX is low and dramatic with its bold paintwork in Formula Red, accentuating the aerodynamic aesthetics of the car. The integrated spoiler, pop-up lights and side vents cut into the side of the body give a smooth feel to the body, sculpted with aerodynamic efficiency in mind and devoid of unnecessary detail.
The paintwork of this NSX presents beautifully with barely a blemish to report. The black roof is also very clean, providing a dramatic contrast to the body. The seals around the doors and roof itself are also pleasingly free of wear.
Jumping inside the interior of the NSX was a far cry from supercars of the time. Although still a very low sports car, the Honda boasted excellent visibility, great sight lines and an interior that proved that supercars and ergonomics can go together. There is very little wear to the interior to report, the leather is smooth and the seats comfortable and supportive. The trim surrounding the centre console is immaculate and the control interface well laid out.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Honda were on great form when they engineered the NSX powerplant, fusing Honda reliability with motorsport technology and exotic materials. With a capacity of 2.977 litres, the mid-transverse mounted V6 revved to a heady 8000 rpm. The engine benefited from many lightweight components, such as titanium connecting rods which helped achieve that banshee rev limit.
On test drive, the engine feels fit and athletic, with a pure and sharp naturally aspirated feel to the throttle response. It also presents beautifully, showing little signs of wear, aesthetic or otherwise.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The wheels on this example are a 5 spoke design and finished in silver. There are no marks or blemishes to report and they present as new. The tyres are Yokohama A-022 in a period sized 205/50/15 on the front and 225/50/16 on the rear. On test drive the brakes on this example work well, shedding speed confidently.
An Acura NSX from new, it was Imported into Italy at less than a year old and treasured by it’s few Italian owners, it received its Italian ASI classic car certification in 2014 before being imported and registered in the UK on the 01/10/15 and sold to its only and current UK owner.
On delivery to the current owner he enlisted Plans Performance, a well known and respected NSX specialist to carry out a comprehensive check and service on the NSX. The work included the replacement of the cam belt and tensioner, replacement clutch, brake fluid, VTEC actuator oil shield and other associated tasks. A full geometry check was also carried out with wheel alignment and camber settings set correctly. Mileage at the time 17,654.
Currently due a service on time only (current mileage 19,035), which can be completed on sale, the car is now ready for a new custodian and owner to enjoy.
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