Second Coming of a Legend?

If you’re truly a fan of cars, the type who realizes that there are quick cars other than the Mustang and the Ferrari Enzo, then you will know that Honda was once something more than a higher-quality, higher-priced alternative to Toyota. You will know that once, in the not too distant past, Honda was once a very potent force in the world of motor-sport and street-legal sports cars. There was the S2000, a roadster which packed a tiny naturally aspirated 2.0 liter engine capable of pushing out 247hp under its bonnet. (That may not sound like much, but that comes out to 123.5 horsepower per liter with no forced induction. A record that lasted from 1999 to 2009 until Ferrari’s 458 bested it.) There was also the Civic Si, which has lost luster in recent years, and the Integra/RSX line (released under the Acura moniker in North America). And then there was their most legendary achievement, a car which was capable of beating Corvette in a drag race, and the Ferraris of its time around the Nurburgring: the NSX. Not only did it make the most famous super-car manufacturers in the world blush, but it inspired the creation of the McLaren F1 and influenced modern super-cars as a whole. It was faster than a Ferrari 512 or a Corvette C5 (a Euro-spec NSX even beat a Corvette C6 Z06 in a drag race on Britain’s Top Gear in 2005), as reliable as an Accord, drivable on a daily basis, economical, comfortable, beautiful in looks and engine noise and it cost far less than anything it competed with. Its handling and aerodynamics far out-classed anything of the era; courtesy of an all-aluminum body plus input and advice from the late Formula One legend, Ayrton Senna. And more astonishing than this is it managed to beat the V8’s of its rivals with a meager 3.0 liter V6 power plant, putting out only 276hp. Later generations would see displacement up to 3.2 liters and 290 horsepower.

The original NSX was lightweight, mid-engined and had rear wheel drive, providing it with excellent track dynamics paired with reasonable practicality.

But the thing is the new NSX is facing a new breed of competition, most of which drew on the original NSX for their inspiration. Continue reading