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15 July 2003
Redondo Beach, CA
Honda NSX
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Honda NSX

Also called: Acura NSX
Manufacturer: Honda Motor Company
Production: 1990–2005
Class: MR sports car
Body style: 2-door coupe
Engine: 3.0 L C30A V6
3.2 L C32B V6
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic Overdrive
6-Speed Manual Overdrive
Wheelbase: 99.60 in.
Length: 174.20 in.
Width: 71.30 in.
Height: 46.10 in.
Fuel capacity: 18.50 gal.

The Honda NSX (Acura NSX in North America and Hong Kong) is a sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Honda. It has a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, an all-aluminium body and chassis, a V6 engine (the C32B) that produces 216 kW (290 bhp) and 304 N·m (224 ft·lbf) of torque. NSX stands for "New Sports eXperimental".

Honda ended production of the NSX in 2005, 15 years after the first NSX was built. The last cars were built in September for the European market and December for North America. For most of its life, it was the most expensive Japanese car in many markets.

Manufacture and release
Upon its release in 1990, the NSX was a design ahead of its time. It was the first time that a Japanese automaker had made a car to compete against the products of the traditional European exotic car manufacturers and the famous Chevrolet Corvette. Besides competing against these manufacturers the car was also intended to showcase Honda's racing technology, exemplified by the NSX's titanium connecting rods. The car was designed with the input of Ayrton Senna.

Wheels magazine Australia awarded the Honda NSX the 1991 Car of the Year award.

Despite the NSX's current age, it still has a strong base of fans and supporters. Honda and others describe the NSX as a supercar based on its styling, body type, drivetrain layout, and handling. Some people have disagreed, claiming that the Honda NSX is not powerful enough. Still, for a time, it sported the highest per-litre specific output of any road going naturally aspirated V6 in the world.

On July 20, 2005, a mere several days after the announcement of the closure of current NSX production, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui announced that a new NSX was under development and would sport a Formula 1-inspired V10 motor, with speculation that it might have the SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) system from the Acura RL. In addition, he stated it would be ready within three to four years.

Refinements and versions
Honda shocked the exotic car world when it introduced its NSX in 1990. Honda designers started with the basic exotic car wedge (championed by the Ferrari Testarossa and 308), that would remain basically unchanged for its entire life. To back up the styling, the mechanical specifications were right out of a race car. The NSX featured a super-light all aluminum chassis, body, and suspension, a first for a production car. The suspension was a double wishbone suspension, mounted at both ends on aluminum subframes. And the standard race-inspired V6 engine was mounted midship and featured Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), six individual coils, and titanium connecting rods. This was the first application of VTEC in any production vehicle, but Honda's experience with the VTEC system in the NSX would eventually reach all other Honda and Acura vehicles.

Honda produced a very limited number of NSX type R in 1992 for Japan. Major changes include a more aggressive suspension and an extensive weight reduction to 1230 kg from the normal NSX weight of 1350 kg. The NSX type R was very track oriented as it lacked sound deadening, audio, electric windows, and air conditioning in an effort to reduce weight.

In 1995 the NSX-T was released with a targa top roof. The removable roof hurt the chassis rigidity of the NSX and added about 100 pounds of weight. Nevertheless, the NSX-T was the only NSX available in the U.S. for 1995 - coupes were not available. All roofs were now body colored instead of black and several new colors were available. Finally available on the manual transmission version NSX was the electric power steering previously only available in the automatic version.

1997 brought the biggest changes to the performance of the current generation NSX. For 1997 engine displacement increased from 3.0 L to 3.2 L. This new 3.2 L C32B engine gave it slightly more rated power. This improved horsepower from 270 hp to 290 hp while torque increased from 210 to 224 ft·lbf (manual transmission only). Another big change was the change from a 5-speed transmission to the current 6-speed manual. On the dragstrip, the new NSX rang up better numbers than the horsepower and torque improvements may suggest over previous model NSXs. Other notable changes include a brake rotor size increase from 12 inches to 13 inches, a new aluminum alloy to reduce weight and increase rigidity, and a transponder in the key.

Along with the engine enlargement in 1997, Japan received the NSX type S and NSX type S Zero, weighing in at 1320 kg and 1280 kg, respectively, and both with stiffer suspension than the normal NSX.

The biggest exterior changes for the NSX came in 2002 when it received a facelift with fixed headlights and various other cosmetic refinements such as xenon HID headlamps (see photo from LA Autoshow 2003). The fixed roof NSX was dropped for the 2002 model year. The suspension was revised and the NSX received larger wheels and tires. In addition, the NSX was now available in a number of exterior colors with either a matching or black interior to provide a number of possible color combinations.

A second iteration of the type-R dubbed NSX-R was released in 2002, again exclusively in Japan. The NSX-R has a more aggressive rear spoiler and hood vent, along with various refinements to reduce weight to 1270 kg. Under the body, panels and air fences in the front, along with a small rear diffuser serve to produce balanced downforce. The subtle changes along with its renowned handling have kept NSX-R in contention on the track even against considerably higher-powered cars, such as the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, whose Nordschleife lap time it tied.

A more agile, more responsive, and quicker limited edition NSX called the NSX-R GT was later released. This model was limited to a production run of 5 cars, at a cost of US$ 462,400. This NSX was created to help Honda comply with the Super GT production-based race car requirements. It's easily identifiable by the non-functional snorkel attached to the roof of the car (this is functional in the Super GT race cars), lower and widened body, and more aggressive aerodynamic components.

The Type-S continues with the face-lifted NSX keeping the weight at 1320 kg.

The Future
This article or section contains information about a scheduled or anticipated future automobile.

It is likely to contain information of a speculative nature, but is usually sourced from the automotive news media, automaker media press releases, or other news sources. The content and specifications for upcoming vehicles may change significantly as the vehicle nears production and more information becomes available. Upcoming automobiles are also subject to delays or even cancellation by the automaker.

Honda recently halted the production of the NSX due to its age, and to develop a successor. One early concept was a mid-engined car tentatively known as the Honda HSC, however Honda never officially said the HSC was the NSX's replacement. More recent reports indicate that the car will have a V10 engine, but additional information about the new car is scarce. Some sources ([1]) speak of a front engine layout. The use of Honda SH-AWD is also a possibility.

In Motorsport
Since the beginning of the NSX's production, the car has been used as a safety car at the Suzuka circuit, even for the Japanese Grand Prix in its early years of production and is still used at the circuit. The car is also used for the same role at Motegi Twin Ring, the other circuit owned by Honda.

For use in the Super GT, the NSX is highly modified (as allowed by series technical regulations). The most notable change would be in the position of the engine, which is now mounted longitudinally, instead of transverse. Similar to the setup used in modern Lamborghini's the gearbox is located in the center tunnel under the cockpit connected to the rear differential by a driveshaft. In the most recent version, the engine is fed via a roof mounted snorkel, similar to the airbox of an F1 car. The engine can either be turbocharged or naturally aspirated, depending on the class and on the rules. The NSX has always been one of the top three cars in the series, alongside the Toyota Supra and the Nissan Skyline GT-R. The NSX then took the JGTC GT500 class championshp for the Dome Mugen Project in 2000. In 2004, the M-TEC NSX took the championship in the GT300 class. It's also notable that while Toyota and Nissan have replaced their cars with the Lexus SC430 and Nissan Fairlady Z respectively, Honda still runs the NSX in the Super GT.

In Popular Culture
In Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film Pulp Fiction, Harvey Keitel's character, Winston Wolf, drives this vehicle, identifying it as an Acura. In the film, Wolf completes a typically thirty-minute drive through Los Angeles in "nine minutes and 37 seconds".
The NSX was also featured in an episode of the popular Seinfeld show "The Muffin Tops" Episode 155, where Elaine needed help to dispose of the muffin stumps. A black NSX slides around the corner and parks. Postman Newman plays a perfect homage to The Wolf, as he emerges, enters the muffin store, and proceeds to solve Elaine's problem.
The NSX appears in many videogames that bear roadgoing cars, most notably Gran Turismo.
In 2005 the BBC Two motoring program presenter Jeremy Clarkson attempted to defeat his Gran Turismo 4 lap time around Laguna Seca in an Acura NSX. He ultimately failed but he wanted to send the recently discontinued NSX out in style.
Oracle Corporation's CEO Larry Ellison is a long time fan of the NSX and has owned several. He prefers the NSX over his Ferrari. He reportedly gives several NSXs as gifts each year.
McLaren F1 designer and evo magazine contributing editor Gordon Murray credits the NSX as one of the most significant cars of the 1990's. According to him, thanks to the NSX, established supercar companies, especially Ferrari, were forced to upgrade their engineering and build quality and not just rely on the prestige and mystique of their name.
The NSX-R is one of Keiichi Tsuchiya's favourite cars; he personally owns an NSX and holds the Usui course (his touge homecourse) record with a NSX-R. Tsuchiya can be seen practicing in an earlier model on the racetrack in the final installment of the Shuto Kousoku Trial film, Shuto Kousoku Trial Max. In an episode of Best Motoring, Tsuchiya commented on how the NSX represented Honda Formula 1 (in the same way Ferrari supercars represent Ferrari's F1 efforts) and that Honda should strive to produce a similar representative model in the future.
A white NSX-R can be seen driving through a country road in the company's 2005 commercial titled Impossible Dream.
On the first verse of Pharrell Williams' song, Can I Have It Like That, he can be heard quoting "But then I sold my first verse that copped that NSX" referring to the fact that he had owned a NSX at one time.
Ayrton Senna and Bobby Rahal were both involved with the NSX's development, however Senna was more heavily involved, and performed many duties related to chassis tuning (in a similar manner to Michael Schumacher's tuning of the Ferrari Enzo Ferrari chassis). Senna was also given an NSX by Honda, although details of this car and its fate are unclear.[citation needed]-Sourced from the Acura NSX hardcover book sent to owners.
And God rested on the 7th day after creating the NSX :biggrin:
I learn something new everyday...

I had no idea that fot the GT series, the NSX's engine layout is mounted longitudinal versus transverse.

Question to you car junkies:

Isn't there more drivetrain loss and isn't the car less balanced when mounting in that fashion (engine rocks side to side, rather than front and back)?
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Just read this about a Detroit auto designer who drives an NSX...


Being avid auto enthusiasts, we often get pulled aside and asked, "So what do you drive?" It's flattering to think of our own rides as endorsements, but to date I haven't found many willing to follow my lead and plop down a few grand on a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero (it was a desperation purchase). Today's RR of the Day, a 1991 Acura NSX, is the dream car of one Detroit area auto designer, who highly recommends picking one up if you have the means.

Though largely stock save for a custom exhaust, this NSX is a pristine example of Honda's everyday exotic. The owner, who goes by the Flickr handle blodi, found it in Texas with only 29,000 miles and drove it back to Detroit over three days. He plans to swap out the wheels, work on the suspension and add a forced induction setup to fix what is considered by many to be the car's only flaw: its lack of power. Still, the NSX remains one of the most balanced automobiles ever built, and such a fine example deserves recognition. And hey, if it's good enough for a designer...