Honda NSX

Honda NSX, static
Honda NSX, front
Honda NSX, side
Honda NSX, profile
Honda NSX, rear half
Honda NSX, rear
Honda NSX, cabin

THE message from Honda is both clear and simple - this car means more to us than anything we've ever created before

The model the Japanese brand's big guns are talking about of course is the NSX supercar, the first of which was inspired by the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet.

And such was the anticipation behind that original 1990 model that there was even input from the late F1 world champion Ayrton Senna.

Fast forward to 2018 and the latest NSX - which stands for New Sportscar eXperimental - looks a match for any of the hyper performing exotica out there.

For a car that, believe it or not, can blast to 60mph in a blink over three seconds and on to a potential 191mph, the NSX has a surprisingly small engine.

But its 3.5-litre V6, aided by a pair of turbochargers and three electric motors - two for the front wheels and one for the rear - develops a whopping 574bhp.

Not that you notice on firing up the ignition, because the Honda starts off and can run at very slow speeds on purely electric power.

Hit that throttle though and the response is seismic, regardless of which gear the nine-speed auto box has engaged.

The beauty of the NSX though is that it can be used as an everyday supercar thanks to what it calls the Integrated Dynamics System, accessed by a rotary switch at the base of the dash.

There are four separate drive modes - Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track - the latter three of which progressively sharpen the engine responses, soundtrack and gearbox settings.

It may seem like anathema to run a car like this one in a Quiet setting, but it does make common sense to do so in city and suburban conditions, which is actually much of the time.

The selector also looks after the adaptive dampers, the softest offering the most comfortable ride, while the driving position is both sensible and straightforward - helping make the NSX a car you can drive with confidence and purpose.

All round visibility is clear too and there's a reversing camera among the standard kit.

As for interior space, this exclusively two-seater provides ample room for its occupants - even if they are over 6ft - but not much scope for stashing oddments or a jumper.

For instance while you do get a glovebox and wide boot there are no door bins nor anywhere to place your mobile or change for tunnel/bridge tolls.

And that heralds perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the NSX - though Honda isn't exactly alone as a manufacturer in this respect - and that's the cost of add-ons, some of which are essential and should be standard kit.

On the plus side climate control, keyless entry, heated leather seats, a switchable sports exhaust, upmarket sound system and LED headlights, along with a complimentary three-year service plan, are included.

But something called Andaro pearl paint - in this case in a bright Nouvelle Blue - costs a frightening £4,800; Garmin navigation, a CD player plus front and rear parking sensors adds another £1,700 while a carbon fibre exterior sport package is £7,100.

Staying with the carbon fibre theme an engine cover is £2,900, carbon ceramic discs with black brake calipers costs £8,400 and an interior sport package of carbon fibre steering wheel fascia, instrument binnacle, aluminium foot rest and sport pedals add £2,300.

FAST FACTS

Honda NSX

Price: £149,950

Mechanical: 574bhp, 3,493cc 6-cyl twin-turbo petrol engine + 3 electric motors driving four wheels via nine-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 191mph

0-62mph: 3.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 28.2

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 228g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust

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