Honda NSX: the second coming

The second generation of the iconic, mid-engined super car from Honda, the NSX is finally on its way - we think.

Damien Reid January 14, 2016

In the pipeline since the beginning of the decade originally as a V10, then a more eco-friendly twin-turbocharged V6 to continue the legacy of the Ayrton Senna-inspired original of 1990, the new NSX has been back to the drawing board more than a few times, however it’s now ready for action.

A few lucky motoring journalists were recently given the keys in California to drive what has now evolved into a hybrid supercar to take on the Porsche 918 Spyder that should go on sale in the United States first, this Spring.

Up front are two electric motors with a combined output of 72bhp which provide all-wheel-drive tractability as well as an EV-only stealth mode.

In the back, wedged between the 500bhp twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine and its nine-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, is a third, 50bhp motor that helps the engine to deliver low-speed torque while it waits for the turbos to spool up and all up, is expected to give a combined power output of 573bhp and a 0-100kmh time of less than three seconds, smacking squarely in the realm of supercars.

Despite its race bred V6 engine, Honda technicians worked hard to keep the NSX whisper quiet which no doubt will disappoint the die hard enthusiasts but please the neighbours, so the four small exhausts were deemed good enough to do the job according to the Honda boffins.

A central rotary switch controls the four driving modes; Quiet, Sport, Sport-Plus and Track. Quiet mode is the fuel-saver that allows the car to slide away using electric power only at up to 65kmh before dropping into Sport mode which should probably be called Normal mode as this is the one most will spent their time in for the daily commute to the office.

Sport-Plus is for Friday morning runs to the mountains as it adds weight to the steering and generally sharpens things up a little. It also shifts the tacho redline to the 12 o’clock position for easier sighting.

Finally Track mode does what it says on the tin and becomes the Porsche turbo hunter. It’s rapid acceleration out of corners is the most noticeable benefit of the hybrid system, as the front motors help to tug its 1725kg up to 307kmh while optional carbon-ceramic brakes provide plenty of stopping force under foot.

Price in the US where most will be sold, is expected to be around $US155,000 with no word from Honda Middle East on when or even if it will arrive on our shores.

Specs

  • Engine: 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo hybrid
  • Power: 573bhp @ 7,500rpm
  • Torque: 550Nm @ 2,000rpm
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic
  • 0-100kmh: 2.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 307kmh
  • Price: AED 675,000 est.