RE: Honda NSX: Pic of the Week

RE: Honda NSX: Pic of the Week

Sunday 10th February

Honda NSX: Pic of the Week

1989 wasn't only the year of the MX-5 - time to celebrate the NSX's 30th as well!



Just in case the news of the Mazda MX-5 being 30 years old in 2019 doesn't make you feel over the hill, don't forget that it marks the same birthday for the Honda NSX - another hugely significant sports car that's changed the genre over the past three decades. Moreover, it's 30 for the Lexus LS400 this year as well, so another one to add to the party list - a big year!

Anyway, the least we could do for Honda's New Sportscar eXperimental on its big birthday was a Pic of the Week. Hopefully there will be one or two more features marking the occasion during the year, but a new wallpaper seemed like a good start. Both images below feature Honda UK's lovely (and very early) NA1 NSX, the same that featured in our Hero piece of a few years back.


Truth told its automatic gearbox makes it less than fabulous to drive, but that doesn't get in the way of how it looks, which is what we're celebrating here. For something designed in the middle of the 1980s, there's still something that works so well about the NSX shape, even with its slightly long rear overhang. The pop-up headlights are great, the low scuttle is great, the rear light bar is great... there's a lot to like, even after all this time.

So make your choice (or take both) and get downloading below. Rest assured this isn't the last time an NSX will be seen on PH in 2019!

Picture one:
4K
16:10
16:9
Quad HD

Picture two:
4K
16:10
16:9
Quad HD

Author
Discussion

Agent57

Original Poster:

495 posts

92 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
Whenever I see an NSX from the back all I can think is that they had that whole long red strip and yet they could only get one fog light in.

Make it symmetrical.

LarJammer

1,677 posts

148 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
A birthday worth celebrating!

myhandle

857 posts

112 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
The US spec Acura is symmetrical .

Global Nomad

4 posts

19 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
Symmetry is over rated. There is very little that benefits from symmetry, including us.

samoht

851 posts

84 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
Nice pics.

I'm very keen on the idea of PH doing some more NSX pieces this year, it's very much a historically significant car in multiple ways, marking Japan's effective debut at the top level of the market and a key influence in making all subsequent supercars better engineered and more usable.

I'm curious about ownership and running costs; in principle one would hope that a Honda drivetrain in an aluminium body would be the perfect combo to last forever with minimal maintenance costs, but of course it's still an old performance car at the end of the day. A buying guide / living with article would be great, basically.

I'm also interested in hearing about the handling, which attracted mixed reviews (rather like the S2000, come to think of it), and interestingly comes with either unassisted or ePAS steering. And of course, anything about the unicorn Type Rs (NA1 and 2), and how big the gap is from the regular models.

So anything PH can contribute on the above would be of interest personally - and, of course, any PHers who want to post :-)

Agent57 said:
Whenever I see an NSX from the back all I can think is that they had that whole long red strip and yet they could only get one fog light in. Make it symmetrical.
They did make it symmetrical, with two reversing lights. Then when they wanted to sell it in the UK, a rear fog light being a legal requirement, they changed one of the slots for that, to accommodate our quirky local requirements.


(pic from classicvehicleslist.com )

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Black S2K

828 posts

187 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
Running costs are a bit weird; it's basically just a Honda so routine stuff might surprise modern car owners - I know of someone who was quoted £490 to change the battery on a (perhaps-equivalent) Cayman, whereas I can manage perfectly well on my own with a £70 battery.

Tiny tyres are quite inexpensive, too.

Don't ask about the cost of model-specific parts; you will weep. Sometimes cheaper from Acura (watch the shipping mass!) and sometimes S/H as a few bits are NLA. It is an old car, as you say. But they're mostly needed due to sheer age (or damage!) rather than because of poor engineering.

Electronics (it had quite a lot for its time) are often repairable with a soldering iron and some skill. Or hideously expensive...

There are a few specialists who can help.

We don't know how long it will be before the ally body shells become brittle - I guess probably longer than will worry any of us now.






Black S2K

828 posts

187 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
As to handling, it's typically-Honda in that it requires familiarisation and then you wonder why anyone does it differently.

It rewards correct driving techniques and lets you know what it's thinking about doing. The passive RWS is less extreme than an S2000, despite similar geometry and that might be due to the CG and mid-engine. So it's typically throttle-adjustable.

It does require trail-braking as it's set up to understeer - it's more of a GT car than most 'supercars' with which it was erroneously compared. The steering is low-geared for similar reasons.

There is little real difference between the lighter earlier cars and the later 3.2 ePAS ones; one is slightly 'purer', the latter feel slightly more refined.

I think the last cars with the 17" fronts have the numbest steering. Though without a prior geometry check, such opinions are hardly scientific.

So it's really entirely down to personal preference as to which version one chooses.


V8 FOU

2,589 posts

85 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
I have really tried to like these. Driven three different ones..... and well, very competant, but not exciting at all. Sorry, but my old Esprit V8 was / is better.

yonex

12,993 posts

106 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
V8 FOU said:
I have really tried to like these. Driven three different ones..... and well, very competant, but not exciting at all. Sorry, but my old Esprit V8 was / is better.
Until the Esprit fails in a predictably expensive way smile

ruprechtmonkeyboy

331 posts

25 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
V8 FOU said:
I have really tried to like these. Driven three different ones..... and well, very competant, but not exciting at all. Sorry, but my old Esprit V8 was / is better.
Have to agree, years ago I drove a left hooker, auto NSX. Granted it wasn't manual but I was left pretty underwhelmed with the car TBH.

senninha2

123 posts

119 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
Hi Samoht,

I’ve owned my ‘98 3.2T since 2006 and added some 40k miles over this time.

A few years back I had the leading UK specialist complete a tech refresh. Outside of this, annual running costs are limited to a routine service. As above, smaller wheels means tyres are not extortionate and if you keep the alignment checked regularly, they do not eat tyres as some reports might suggest.

Its a Honda, so everything works as it should, most mechanical jobs can be completed by a competent mechanic. Age will be your main consideration. Most of the owners I know have adopted a programme of preventative maintenance and with this approach I hear of very few issues.

If you’re really interested then do check our NXSCB and NSX Prime as the two main forums ... lots of info and details of events where you could meet owners and understand more about the ownership potential of these great game changing vehicles ....

HTH, Paul

dobly

483 posts

97 months

Sunday 10th February
quotequote all
The fact that the NSX was revised many times over the production period doesn't get mentioned as much as it should. A 1991 car may look almost the same as a 2005 car, but delving a bit closer will reveal that many, many parts were updated with the advancements in materials or electronics technology.
There were 3 major updates to the anti-lock braking system for example. Even the much derided auto gearbox had 3 revisions.

Black S2K

828 posts

187 months

Monday 11th February
quotequote all
yonex said:
V8 FOU said:
I have really tried to like these. Driven three different ones..... and well, very competant, but not exciting at all. Sorry, but my old Esprit V8 was / is better.
Until the Esprit fails in a predictably expensive way smile
That's why an Esprit is so much more exciting!

LarJammer

1,677 posts

148 months

Monday 11th February
quotequote all
samoht said:
Nice pics.

I'm curious about ownership and running costs; in principle one would hope that a Honda drivetrain in an aluminium body would be the perfect combo to last forever with minimal maintenance costs, but of course it's still an old performance car at the end of the day. A buying guide / living with article would be great, basically.

I'm also interested in hearing about the handling, which attracted mixed reviews (rather like the S2000, come to think of it), and interestingly comes with either unassisted or ePAS steering. And of course, anything about the unicorn Type Rs (NA1 and 2), and how big the gap is from the regular models.

So anything PH can contribute on the above would be of interest personally - and, of course, any PHers who want to post :-)
Mine is a 3.0l 96 targa. Broadly speaking, running costs are a little more than for a 'normal' car. Tyres and brakes are cheap, servicing is reasonable although the plugs are quite expensive. Some parts are very expensive though - a clutch is £1200 (plus labour). I spent some money getting mine right when I first bought it & it hasn't really needed much since, apart from regular maintenance for the last couple of years.

A buyers guide is simple - is it a manual? is it accident free? do the stereo and heater work? Answer 'yes' to all 3 and you have a winner (the bespoke stereo and heater can cost THOUSANDS to fix).

As for the handling.... it is very comfortable to drive, the trick front suspension takes the worst of the harshness out & the seats are the most comfortable I've ever sat it. You have to adjust to the steering, initially it feels slow & for a few corners you are adding more lock than you thought you needed but this is soon forgotten. The front end feels completely planted & I have never experienced any understeer, you point it where you want it & it goes precisely there. The back end is a different story, when pushing on you can feel it moving around & I reckon it would soon swap ends (I haven't pushed past this point yet...).



Edited by LarJammer on Monday 11th February 09:44

Black S2K

828 posts

187 months

Monday 11th February
quotequote all
Good point about the 'walking' front suspension. Ally-bodied cars can be a bit crashy on rough surfaces and the compliance pivots take a lot of the sting out of road tits, to the point where one must remember to slow down for the sake of the car. It really has an incredible ride quality. Long journeys are very comfortable, as any true GT should be. Visibility is incredible - like driving a bubble.

If one starts to press on a bit too hard, the bushes in the pivots start to deform and it leads to an odd feeling the car is tripping over its front suspension. Which is a pretty good clue to back off a bit. The rear end also gives clues if one is getting carried away, but if one lets the car settle into a turn before powering out, it's very grippy. As soon as one can see one's way out of the turn, it will go.

I could only imagine it getting out of hand if one forgets grip levels are lower on a wet road than in the dry and does not adjust accordingly. Which makes me wonder what the SH-AWD system is like...

Also worth pointing out that the TC system only intrudes when one expects it to and not before, so it's not intrusively-calibrated.

One point to note - they are prone to paint blisters near the leading edges of the front wings, were water/oxygen has got under the paint via a stone chip. Since aluminium oxide is impermeable, they do not really spread and are more of a cosmetic blemish than a concern.






Derek Chevalier

1,920 posts

111 months

Monday 11th February
quotequote all
Black S2K said:
There is little real difference between the lighter earlier cars and the later 3.2 ePAS ones; one is slightly 'purer', the latter feel slightly more refined.
I thought the 02+ cars were as light as the earlier models if not lighter?

Black S2K

828 posts

187 months

Monday 11th February
quotequote all
Derek Chevalier said:
Black S2K said:
There is little real difference between the lighter earlier cars and the later 3.2 ePAS ones; one is slightly 'purer', the latter feel slightly more refined.
I thought the 02+ cars were as light as the earlier models if not lighter?
Quoted masses vary a bit, so I'd not like to say exactly.

The 3.2s had an extra centre sill from the -Ts and a six-speed, plus the ePAS and bigger wheels/brakes, so gained a bit of mass as well as refinement.

The facelift cars' headlamps saved a bit back, but whether that is cancelled by the 17" at the front, I couldn't say.

They all feel comparatively light and oddly free of friction - they're strangely easy to roll around the garage.

MX6

3,945 posts

151 months

Monday 11th February
quotequote all
I love Japanese sports coupes from the '90's era and the NSX is one of the finest, has to be the most exotic looking. They are a great shape but I have to admit to prefering to see them modified with a more aggressive wheel fitment/stance. The standard the wheels and fitment can look a bit tame these days for me, I think they take a deep dish rim very nicely... Plus I've seen a few with turbos go well.




paulmnz

371 posts

112 months

Tuesday 12th February
quotequote all
Since this is a 'photo' thread, I'll put my thoughts in between a few pics of mine.



The NSX for me absolutely lives up to the hype

The only things that let the car down a little is the slow and very heavy steering (which gets heavier at speed - a proper workout at silverstone) and the 'period' electronic systems - the TCS and ALB (before ABS!) are both very rudimentary



I find driving it a complete event and very exciting, even compared to more exotic cars I have - I love driving the NSX, the engine, the gear change, the chassis, so easy to position as it's tiny and the 360 degree visibility is outstanding.



The suspension is perfect for the road, although they do roll a lot on the track!

If I could only keep one car, it would be an NSX.

markyb_lcy

40 posts

Tuesday 12th February
quotequote all
Global Nomad said:
Symmetry is over rated. There is very little that benefits from symmetry, including us.
Apparently human faces have "proven" to be more "attractive". Somewhat subjective, I know!

I tend to agree though that symmetrical cars do look better. Saying that, for an NSX, I'd turn a blind eye ... besides, you're not looking at it when you're driving it biggrin