The Honda NSX was designed to show case Honda’s Formula One World Championship winning technology in a super car that was as practical a proposition on the road as a Honda Civic. In order to achieve that goal Honda aimed at making a game changing car that was both better than the Ferrari 328 and 348 models and significantly cheaper.
The design team for the New Sportscar – eXperimental (NSX) was led by Chief Designer Nicholas Zander and Executive Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara who allegedly studied an F-16 Fighter for idea’s to incorporate into the new vehicle. Formula One drivers Saturo Nakajima and Ayrton Senna contributed to the design process along with Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal. It was at Senna’s insistance that the all aluminium chassis was made stiffer than was originally conceived.
The NSX, each one built by a hand picked team with a minimum of ten years experience, was launched in 1990 to much acclaim with a transversely mounted 2997 cc / 181 cui V6 motor that produced 270 hp good for propelling the NSX to 60 mph from rest in 5.02 seconds and a quarter mile time of 13.47 seconds.
Twelve years after it’s launch and upgraded version the NSX was launched in 2002 now powered by a 3197 cc / 194 cui V6 motor which produced 290 horsepower that lowered the quarter mile time to 13.3 seconds. The revised edition as seen here is externally easily differentiated by the absence of the pop-up lights which were mandatory at the time of the vehicles launch to gain access to the US Market.
Production of the NSX ceased in 2005. Gordon Murray who designed the 1992 McLaren F1 and owned an NSX for 7 years is quoted from a Japanese interview as saying of this game changing car “The moment I drove the NSX, all the benchmark cars—Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini—I had been using as references in the development of my car vanished from my mind. Of course the car we would create, the McLaren F1, needed to be faster than the NSX, but the NSX’s ride quality and handling would become our new design target.”
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