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Honda NSX (2018 - 2020)

The independent definitive Honda NSX (2018-2020) video review
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    By Jonathan Crouch

    Introductionword count: 53

    This improved version of the second generation Honda NSX took the fight to Ferrari in the junior supercar sector. And, like NSX models always have, it went about the task a little differently. But how does it stack up as a used buy? Here, we look at the 2018-2020-era versions of this model.

    Modelsword count: 4

    2dr sportscar (3.5 V6)

    Historyword count: 593

    What should a supercar be? We know the European answer to that question, a formula personified by Ferrari, echoed by McLaren and lightly evolved by the handful of less exotic premium brands who've dared to enter this rarified segment. What you get in each case is a race car for the road. What you need, says Honda, is this, their second generation NSX, first launched in 2015, then upgraded three years on to create the lightly updated version of this car that we're going to look at here. The NSX name may resonate because the earlier generation of this model, launched back in 1989, had such a profound effect on its sector. Here was an exclusive junior supercar as focused as any Porsche or Ferrari, but a machine that could be as undemanding to own and drive as a Civic. The letters stood for 'New Sportscar eXperimental' and when Honda experiments, the automotive world sits up and takes notice. They certainly did with that early NSX. The styling was inspired by an F-16 fighter jet and the selling price was pretty much half the cost of the comparable Maranello product of that era, a Ferrari 348. Famously too, the chassis was developed with the help of Ayrton Senna - but crucially, you didn't need his talent to really enjoy it. We'd never seen a supercar quite like that. A machine an ordinary driver could take near to the limit on the road without frightening and possibly dangerous consequences. A car that wasn't awkward to drive in town. Or worrying in the wet. Small wonder that the original 'NA1'-series model stayed in production until 2005, Honda subsequently readying a V10-engined replacement that was supposed to celebrate the success of the brand's return to Formula One. It didn't happen. The F1 team floundered and fell victim to the period's worldwide recession, as did the replacement NSX. And that might have been that, had it not been for a dedicated band of enthusiasts within the company who refused to let this model line die. Finally, the Japanese management relented and a small team from the brand's American Acura division were tasked with reinterpreting what the 'New Sportscar eXperimental' concept should mean for the modern era. This was their response. Launched in 2015, then as we said earlier lightly updated in mid-2018 to create to car we're going to look at here, this 'NC1'-series model was as different from its market contemporaries as its predecessor had been from its competition back in the Nineties. The whole original concept behind this second generation model lay in the way it could take the hybrid performance technology we saw on £750,000 hypercars like McLaren's P1, the Ferrari La Ferrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder and make it available for Porsche 911 Turbo- money. As part of that, there are no fewer than four motors on offer - a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo boosted by an electric motor, together powering the wheels out back, with the Sport Hybrid AWD system completed by two further motors powering the wheels up-front. This NSX can start and creep briefly on all-electric power, it can flash to 62mph in under three seconds, it can reach nearly 200mph flat out and it's everyday-usable enough to feel quite suitable if all you actually need it to do is to collect your dry cleaning. This, in Honda's words, is what an 'Everyday supercar' should be. And with this revised model, an extra layer of driving involvement was added too. Here, we're going to look at the post-facelift 2018-2020 models.

    What You Getword count: 318

    It's an established mark of supercar styling that every exterior element should serve a distinct purpose. That's certainly the case here, as part of what designer Michelle Christensen calls the 'Interwoven Dynamic' approach to the sleek silhouette. In profile, you better appreciate the way that the bonnet line, roof line, floating C-pillars and rear quarter appear as one distinctive and unified curve. It all combines with remarkably short front and rear overhangs to create a sleek, yet muscular overall stance that properly conveys the required sense of purpose and power. The cabin design doesn't share much with European rivals, apart from the way that the large centre transmission tunnel flows between the seats into the centre console. It certainly feels like a place designed to do business with the road, the focus appropriately centred on the magnesium-fashioned wheel, through which you view a driver-focused 8-inch TFT digital display dominated by a central rev counter incorporating a digital speed read-out. Flanking this gauge are two digital charge meters reminding you of this Honda's electrified remit, with that for the main battery on the right, with the left hand one briefing you on the Sport Hybrid system's current rate of 'Assist Charge'. There's no conventional gearstick - just a McLaren-style narrow centre console strip incorporating gear change buttons and the electronic handbrake, collectively a set-up you'll quickly adjust to. All of this works pretty well, but quite a few of the materials used to trim this layout feel decidedly low-rent by premium supercar standards. The same comment applies to the 7-inch centre-dash Honda CONNECT colour touchscreen, just below which sits the large silvered dial you'll need to control the various settings of the car's 'Integrated Dynamics System' driving mode The boot is much wider than it at first appears - wide enough in fact to swallow the full-sized set of golf clubs that the Japanese maker insists will somehow fit.

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    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Sporting Cars

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    80%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    50%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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