It’s the 30th anniversary of the Honda NSX

  • Feb 11, 2019

ABU DHABI: Very few cars turn out to be the ‘game changers’ for the automotive manufacturers. The legendary NSX from Honda was just that for the Japanese automaker. Unveiled at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, it was designed to beat Ferrari at its own game. Back then, the company unveiled a pre-production version dubbed as the NS-X under the brand Acura.

Honda NSX 30th Anniversary Side Angular

The NSX had one goal in mind, offer unparalleled performance while being comfortable and usable like any other Honda offering. The original NSX was developed with the help of the master race car driver Ayrton Senna. His inputs made the final product 50% stiffer and resulted in the world’s first all-aluminium monocoque chassis. In 1984, a sports car division was set up by Honda with an aim to improve the packaging of its front-wheel-drive cars. Initially, there was a mid-engine prototype based on the 1st generation Honda City, but it was later scrapped.

Honda NSX 30th Anniversary Dash

The 3.0-litre naturally-aspirated V6 in the original NSX was also added at the last minute, after an inquiry by the president of Honda at that time (Tadashi Kume). The VTEC system was initially designed for 4-cylinder engines and had to be redeveloped for the 6-cylinder unit. This resulted in the final production car having a longer wheelbase than the concept showcased at Chicago.

Honda NSX 30th Anniversary Old and New NSX

Zoom ahead to 2019 and the current generation NSX is a whole new animal which is laden with the latest technology. Powering the mean machine is a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 pushing out 507 PS. There are a total of 3 electric motors onboard, 1 is mid-mounted and the other 2 are at the front. The total combined power output is 581 PS against the 274 PS of the original NSX. Suspension duties in the new NSX are carried out by magnet magnetorheological dampers. To help with rigidity, the body is made with different materials like aluminium, steel, and carbon fibre. Power is sent to the wheels via a 9-speed dual clutch transmission.


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