RAC Cars News


New Honda NSX Aims High

By raccars Published

Honda's eagerly awaited new supercar is, so far, short on details and long on anticipation. While Honda has yet to reveal any actual figures, the fact that the car is, at the moment, undergoing testing against some very impressive competition is indicative of what to expect.

Honda recently took the under development NSX to Los Angeles to put it through its paces on the track and the interesting local landscape, alongside no less than the Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 911, Audi R8, Corvette Z06 and the Nissan GT-R. Competition of this calibre suggests a power output no less than 500bhp and a sub-4.0 second 0-62mph speed.

Under questioning, Honda execs have mentioned driving pleasure as one of the benchmarks the testing process is intending to showcase and named the Ferrari 458 Italia specifically as the one to beat. It seems its aim is to steal some market share from the Italian supercar, by offering equable performance at a more affordable price point. The Honda team claims to be focused less on specific power output and performance figures and more on lap times and driver satisfaction.

The NSX is looking like an accessible supercar indeed – Honda's very democratic attitude is that similar lap times should be achievable in it from a professional and an amateur driver. The original NSX was characterised in a very similar way.

So far, only Honda staff drivers have been involved in development testing. Some involvement from a Formula One driver can be expected, as a nod to Ayrton Senna's contribution to the development of the original NSX. While such details have yet to be confirmed, Honda has announced that a special Honda track in northern Japan will be the site of future trials.

The production NSX is due in 2015 and so far Honda is on schedule. The car will initially be released in the USA, followed by Europe, with Japan and China receiving their first deliveries soon after. In hard top form at first, Honda has been happy to confirm a convertible will hit the streets later on. Price wise, the NSX will be knocking up against the Audi R8, meaning £93,000-£123,000. However, in a bid to maintain exclusivity, Honda will be keeping production volumes low, sub Porsche 911 levels – once again aping the R8. However the Japanese company plans to surpass both of its German rivals when it comes to build quality.

Early images have already shown the NSX a winner in the design stakes, from the exterior at least, so sports car lovers are sure to be impatient for the 2015 release.

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