Spotted: Honda NSX

Are NSXs over-priced at the moment, or should we be stashing good ones away in preparation for a march towards six-figure territory?

276bhp V6 under here
276bhp V6 under here
They are pretty Marmite things for the simple reason that you need to have quite a specific list of motoring proclivities  – Japan, motor sport, Senna – to worship at the altar of something with only a fraction of a 348’s glamour. Naturally, I am the undoing of my own theory, because I’m sort of an NSX fan.

The engineering side is exceptional. The greatest automotive adventures are those defined by makers forcing themselves into new sectors - direct assaults on the perceived superiority of others. Think Lamborghini taking umbrage at Enzo, Ford building the GT40 to spite, er, Enzo, and then Honda deciding to apply its searing engineering intelligence to, wait for it, have a pop at Ferrari. My weak grasp of statistics is spotting a trend here.

I have never quite understood the hype surrounding the NSX driving experience. It was always good so long as you didn’t push too hard. Then it became a serious handful. The engine was a revelation – so free and musical  - and the gearchange made anything from Ferrari and Porsche feel like a 1981 Mini. In so many ways it was streets ahead of the competition.
Cabin perhaps a little too sober
Cabin perhaps a little too sober

But if we now look back at the NSX era, it’s hard not to see the car as a failure. History shows that Honda launched the car at simultaneously the best and the worst time: a global recession was lurking, but Ferrari was on its knees. The 348 was (and is still) widely regarded as the worst car the company had built in years. That was Honda's one chance to knock a hole in the Ferrari myth, but they never quite applied the coup de grace.

These are beautiful pieces of engineering though. Robust, easy to drive, dripping with interest and a perfect machine to cherish and appreciate. Best of all, whatever Honda does next, it is unlikely to smoulder for 20 years with the legacy of Senna.

In yellow, yes please.

Comments (235) Join the discussion on the forum

  • senninha2 08 Apr 2013

  • senninha2 08 Apr 2013

    A little help to bring you back on topic ...

  • Agent Orange 10 Oct 2012

    jbi said:
    Foreign brands command over 50% of the market share in the USA.

    If Honda had priced this thing more competitively, they would have done far better.
    Nothing to do with the NSX but I've got to ask you. Your profile says...

    Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis 4.0
    Bought for £800 in May 2012 at 920,000 miles.

    Please tell me that is a typo! 80K miles shy of a million miles in a Grand Cherokee??!?!?!!!

  • s m 10 Oct 2012

    There's a 6 page article in Autocar today with an NSX, S2000 and CTR ( not the RUF one ) if anyone is interested

  • swhatley82 05 Oct 2012

    Being a Honda enthusiast, an obsessed F1 (& Senna) fanatic, I'm very biased towards the NSX.
    I owned a Honda Integra DC2 (JDM) for 3 wonderful years, by far the most fun car (per £) on the market, but always fantasised over the NSX, so in February after years of saving....I finally bought one, (1992, manual, Sebring Silver)
    As for the previous comments regarding the interior of the NSX, is of first class build quality & finish, anyone opposing this view just havent yet had the pleasure of actually sitting in the car & appreciating the quality first hand.... Pictures do not do the car justice.
    As for the drivability is car is truly amazing, easy to drive, yet it comes alive when driven hard, very rewarding & puts a smile on my face, EVERYTIME!
    The sound quality rivals at of any Supercar, when compared to Ferrari F430 suds or F360 CS (amongst other cars) many people get excited about the unique sound of the NSX!

    I'll have to attend my first PH meet, so you guys see for yourself

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