Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda NSX First Impression Test Drive In Japan
We were invited to Honda’s Research & Development headquarters for a first impression short test drive experience of their all new NSX supercar. We were quick to find out that we were the first person of Indian origin to test drive this all new NSX. Self-praise is sometimes worth a lot.
What the Honda engineers have done this time is to provide a supercar that will easily work as an everyday point to point vehicle which will have handling, power delivery and exotic looks to impress any skirt or six pack model whilst having the ability to scare some Ferrari and Lamborghini drivers with its 0-100km/h sprint power and handling delivery.
After being docile for 25 years, Honda has decided to return to the supercar world by attempting a revival of the NSX supercar with technology to match tighter emission controls, better fuel efficiency with the use of a hybrid system and outstanding handling with Honda all-wheel drive technology working its magic.
The early 1990s NSX was the first model to be developed exclusively in-house by Honda with the aim of delivering the pure supercar experience that at the time had been missing from the marque’s portfolio when Porsche, Ferrari and even Toyota was dominating the supercar segment at the time.
We are dealing with a thoroughbred supercar here, one with a chassis and body fashioned from aluminium and a low kerb weight of 1,725kg. Using a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world’s-first material applications and manufacturing processes. The all new NSX’s front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution.
This V6 engine will soon find its way into many Honda vehicles carrying the Honda Motorsports badge with its impressive 573bhp and 406lb-ft of low down torque. With this kind of thrust, this new NSX could be nothing but brutally quick and so its 0-100km/h sprint of just under 3.0 seconds along with a 315km/h top speed confirm its entry into the VIP room of the supercar club.
From ignition this NSX presents to the driver and nearside onlookers a subdued engine note growl. It hints to greatness as you rev the engine in neutral gear. Hard acceleration from start is very impressive and we can a test to this as we have only recently driven the all new Ferrari 488 Italia in Italy. Mid-range engine trust is almost insane as both powertrains work seamless to propel this slippery car forward. Like a bullet being fired from a ‘Nerf’ gun we head up the side of the OVAL test track and before we can catch our next intake of air, we have reached 188km/h and the 1st corner is upon us. We want to brake gently but the firm handling and secure steering feedback leaves us riding the corner at the same speed and before exiting we are ready to accelerate again but our passenger/Honda engineer cautions us to keep our speed below 190km/m for safety reasons. We are disappointed.
The NSX features an “Advanced Sports Package” with placement of key powertrain components -the mid-mounted engine, twin front motors and Sport Hybrid battery pack and power control unit – optimized to concentrate vehicle mass low and toward the center of the vehicle, to further enhance dynamic response. The combination of this packaging concept and the lightweight body give the NSX the lowest center of gravity in its class.
This NSX utilizes a fully independent, all-aluminum front and rear suspension and puts its considerable power down through ContiSportContact™ high-performance tires—245/35Z R19 front and 295/30Z R20 rear—mounted on 19×8.5 inch front and 20×11 inch rear aluminum alloy wheels (the 1st NSX used 15-inch wheels in front and 1inch wheels at the rear). Powerful, natural and confident braking performance is provided by 6-piston front and 4-piston rear monoblock calipers squeezing ultra-high performance carbon-ceramic brake discs.
Handling is greatly enhanced by Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), enabling lightning-quick response to all driver inputs—steering, braking and throttle—along with the stability, control and launch performance of all-wheel drive. Agile Handling Assist (AHA) uses the subtle application of brake torque to further enhance yaw response and dynamic stability.
The NSX’s dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities.
There’s a huge amount of drama in the way the NSX looks. Its length and width are instantly apparent and so is the way it hugs the road. The NSX footprint is similar to that of an Accord footprint. Visually, it’s unlike anything else on the road in its intended price range and it clearly owes more than a little to the classic NSX.
Why We Want One
Despite its searing performance, the NSX still cossets its occupants with a sumptuous cabin and a raft of advanced technology features. This NSX is positioned right in the faces of some of the world’s top supercars. In the Honda hierarchy, it sits above all else and is the brand’s follow up to the 1990’s iconic and classic NSX. Buyers considering an NSX will also be looking at the likes of Ferrari’s 488 Italia, Lamborghini’s Huracan and the Mercedes AMG GT.
We might just be witnessing something very special from Honda. This is a model that was designed as a lightweight supercar from the ground up by Honda themselves. The supercar elite may be forced to make room for a newcomer.
Specifications Honda NSX 2015 Model
Engine: V6 TwinTurbo With 3 Electric Motors
Transmission: 9-speed semi-automatic
Max Power: 500hp @ 7500rpm petrol engine +73bhp Electric
Max Torque: 406lb-ft @ 2000rpm
Acceleration: 2.9 seconds
Maximum Speed: 315km/h