On the face of it, the two generations of Honda NSX could hardly be more different. The first was a pared-back sports car that focused on lightweight construction so that its high-revving VTEC V6 (which sounded scintillating, but wasn’t the most powerful unit with only 250hp in early cars). The second was a hefty-but-clever four-wheel-drive hybrid with a twin-turbo V6 and 573hp.
Technically, then, the original NA1 is a world apart from the newer model. In spirit, though, they are one and the same. Both are fine examples of Honda going its own way when it comes to engineering, both are fine examples of Honda’s peerless engineering integrity and ingenuity, and both can show more ostensibly exotic machinery a clean pair of heels in the right circumstances.
Sadly, neither were what you would call a runaway sales success. Fewer than 20,000 NA1 NSXs were sold over its 15-year lifespan, while the newer car is an even rarer beast, with just under 3,000 finding homes during a five-year production run. Today, the first-gens a bonafide classic – and it’s hard to imagine its rarer successor won’t achieve similar cult status.