PINCH YOURSELF all you like, but you’re not dreaming. Just hours after Ford unveiled its new GT supercar, Honda gave us the lowdown on its new NSX. That’s two greats of the supercar world revived in a single day.
The NSX was announced as long ago as April 2011 and we saw a concept car at the 2012 Detroit motor show, but this is the first time we’ve seen the production car and been fed some concrete details about the design and spec.
Developed around the concept of a “human-centred supercar”, the NSX features Honda’s “super-handling all-wheel drive” (SH-AWD), which in basic terms is a hybrid powertrain and torque distribution system that can divide up the torque not only between front and rear wheels but left to right at the front too.
This is achieved by supplementing the all-new mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 engine and nine-speed dual-clutch transmission with three electric motors. One, at the rear, between the engine and transmission, supports the engine in acceleration and helps with braking; the front wheels are driven by the other two.
The front motors, as well as boosting acceleration, improve cornering by slowing the inside wheel. Honda says it has honed the system with extensive testing at some of the world’s most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nürburgring.
The NSX body is low and wide, and while the sharp angles and aggressive front design are bang up to date, the rear lights pay homage to the original 1990s NSX. The side intake and floating C-pillar are more than cosmetic: they direct air into the engine and start accepting orders in the summer.
Phil Crossman, Honda UK’s managing director, told driving.co.uk last summer that he expected just 20 cars a year to be allocated to British customers and that the first three years’ worth had already sold out. If you’re not on the list, better start doing some serious Honda-schmoozing.