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Gordon Murray on the NSX

14 July 2005
Edmonds, WA
Sorry if this has been posted before, I couldn't find anything in the archives. This is from the book "Driving Ambition: The official inside story of the McLaren F1"

Murray tested several "Supercars" for research while planning the F1 project.

"Lotus, Lamborghini, Honda, Porsche, Ferrari and eventually Jaguar would be begged, borrowed or even 'blagged out of manufacturers for a magazine group test'. The Honda NSX was judged the superior all-rounder. One would be acquired as Gordon's preffered ride and handling baseline standard."

Comments on the NSX;

Starting up is not an 'event'.
Forward driving position feels great - A pillar is an intrusion
Interior too 'moulded'
Engine fantastic but no mechanical noise - very good 'growl' on full throttle
Instruments very clear - Small dials too small
Rear vision not bad - Tail feels too long for parking
Overall size of car is perfect - Except tail length for parking
Grip very good
Steering wheel not good - Steering feels direct around straight ahead position - but far too low-geared for 'hairpins'

Sure, McLaren was running Honda engines at the time, but I don't think there was any bias toward the NSX.

Interesting comments from one of the true greats
That's a good read, thanks.

I've got to give you "props," JoelN, for only having two posts and yet already being a financial contributor to the site.

Welcome to the forum! :smile:

JoelN said:
Sorry if this has been posted before, I couldn't find anything in the archives...

hmmm... Not only supporting the site, but also using the "Search" prior to posting something (with only 2 posts made)! :cool: Good job! Welcome aboard. . .

Professor Terguson [Sam Kinison] to Thornton Melon [Rodney Dangerfield]
"...I like the way you think. I'm gonna be watching you."
- Back To School

About the tail of the NSX being a bit too long... that's something I never even pondered :confused: (usual played out argument towards cars not made in markets where roads, parking, etc are more compact/tight).

I personally like moulded interiors, lol... as opposed to cracking, wide-gapped, creaking & rattling misalligned panels of all cars in that era.

However, I do somewhat agree about the steering. But the need for streetability, it's an acceptable compromise.

Start-up not being an event, well anything short of an high-output V8 will pale in comparison; dunno about that, I like the refined & sophisticated sound of our NSX'es when stationary/idle... :redface:
Thanks guys

Any forum whose members quote Rodney Dangerfield movies has got to be worth supporting :wink:
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Getting wraps from Gordon Murray is one compliment worth getting.

Thanks JoelN!

The tail comment is interesting, because I don’t think the average person would consider it long. In the list of good performance car traits, I know Murray ranks packaging very high. So I can see how he would consider the NSX tail too long, since the only thing a much of the rear provides is just trunk space.

Here’s an excerpt from the April 2005 Road & Track regarding the often overlooked importance of packaging:
Murray explains...

“There were two sides to the coin. The obvious side was light weight, high stiffness (which means carbon fiber), good aerodynamics...all that stuff. But the other side was good packaging. That's the bit I think most people miss and that's what the F1 has. The car has a very small road print, essentially the same size as a Porsche Boxster's...and it's a bit shorter overall.”

“Packaging was absolutely paramount because I'd driven a lot of Diablos and Testarossas and things that were just not really usable. I wanted to try to balance ultimate performance with usability.”
A few more about Murray on the NSX:

Murray promises comfort and driveability to match the Honda NSX, ...

"It's a fantastic car, but the traction control is awful. I always switch it off."
My own car has McLaren as the first owner :eek: May heve been Gordons test mule................. :frown: Still, everything still works, and nothing fallen off yet :wink: