Though most people will associate Type S Hondas with those who can't afford a Civic Type R, it has a special significance for anyone raised on Gran Turismo. Because for those kids, a Type S Honda ought to be an NSX; not as vaunted as the Type R, sure, but another forbidden fruit of the Japanese Domestic Market that looked super cool to impressionable UK gamers. It was no more powerful than standard, but it was lighter, with carbon-Kevlar Recaro seats, no power steering, a lighter battery, a Momo steering wheel and gorgeous BBS alloy wheels. Rare and expensive, the original NSX Type S was a JDM gem.
And now the badge is back on the bum of an NSX, a new Type S - the first in 25 years - coming to Pebble Beach in a couple of weeks. It will mark the end of production for this generation of NSX, with the promise of a car "that goes beyond all NSX models that came before."
Details on exact changes for the Type S are pretty scarce for the moment, though resurrecting the Type S name does imply some weight saving measures might be implemented. The fact that one of these launch pics shows an NSX with smoke billowing from the rear tyres suggests it could even ditch the standard car's all-wheel drive for rear-wheel drive only; certainly we've never seen that much smoke coming from a hybrid NSX before. There's a new wheel design, too, which will surely be lighter, and reworked aerodynamic parts - see the rear diffuser and spoiler, most notably, with what looks like a tweaked front end as well. As is Type S tradition, this doesn't look as focused as a Type R might, but is clearly something quite different to standard.
Honda says it will make 350 of these Type S NSXes, with 30 staying in Japan and 320 offered to the rest of the world. The matte grey paint is new as well, though it's not clear yet if that will be the only Type S colour. As "the culmination of the challenges Honda took on for the second-generation NSX", expectations will be high for the Type S given the favourable impression made by the standard car. Even if that hasn't directly translated into sales. Speaking of which, Honda says the Type S has been made "as an expression of gratitude toward customers who have loved NSX to date", so don't be surprised if existing owners are offered one first. In fact, the quite melancholy tone of the press release - "Finally, Honda would like to express its sincere gratitude to all customers and fans who have enjoyed and loved NSX" - makes it seem this could well be the last NSX ever. And nothing makes people eager to buy anything like knowing there's not long left to get one. Expect more details from the immaculate lawns of Pebble Beach very soon.
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