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Saturday, 26 December 2015

May the force be with the new Honda NSX

STAR WARS fans have had it easy – they’ve only had to wait ten years for a follow-up. If you want to see real patience then spare a thought for anyone saving up for a new Honda NSX.

The chaps at Honda are insistent that their new mid-engined supercar will be landing in the showrooms sometime in the spring of 2016, meaning it’s been more than 11 years since the last original NSX rolled out of the showroom. It’s been even longer since Honda actually launched a supercar; Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister when that happened.

It’s weirder to think the new NSX’s predecessor arrived at a time when most of us were still driving Ford Sierras, which makes you realise just how far ahead of the game it was. I was lucky enough to drive one the other day, and it just didn’t compute in my petrolhead grey matter that a 1992 car developed in the late Eighties felt slicker and more modern than the 15-reg Astra I’d been piloting half an hour earlier. So I can understand why this automotive iPad would’ve made its Windows 3.1 rivals, the Ferrari 348 and the Lotus Esprit, feel a bit prehistoric.

The NSX moved performance motoring on so much that Gordon Murray used it as his benchmark when he was developing the McLaren F1 – which is why the new one has an even bigger weight of expectation than The Force Awakens did. Ferrari and Porsche upped their game after the original NSX came out and made its party trick of being exciting and easy to use their own, which is why any of you could step out of a Ford Focus and into a 488GTB without feeling too frightened. Both it and the new 911 are hugely talented acts, so unless the NSX is astonishingly good it risks floundering onto their patch looking like the car world’s Jar Jar Binks.

Thankfully the omens are good. Honda’s raided its big cupboard of motoring tech for the new NSX, which is why it’s got four-wheel-drive and a dual clutch transmission with not five, not six, but NINE gears. Oh, and a 3.7-litre V6 that’s given a helping hand by two turbochargers and three electric motors.

I’ve no idea whether that’s enough to tempt rich Champion readers out of their 911s but I’m very much looking forward to my own test. If in 23 years’ time it feels more modern than a new Astra then I can go home knowing it’s done its job.

Shortly after which I’ll probably write a Life On Cars column comparing it to the 19th Star Wars film – see you there!

3 comments:

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  2. Thanks for the post. This car is beautiful, I love the frame work and the color on the car. I wonder how fast this car can go.

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