When Honda springs to mind, most think of a trusty family car; the Honda CRV or the ultra-reliable Honda Accord, for example. We don’t necessarily think supercar….well, that’s changed, and those around us would agree, too.
With the release of the 2019 Honda NSX, we were given the chance to put it through its paces. Open sunny highways, windy mountainous roads, tight CBD gridlock, and throw in some torrential downpour for good measure. We had a chance to test it across all possible environments, and boy did it impress.
Growing up, we had fond memories of the original Honda NSX – it was one of those wild cars which competed amongst the greats like Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, but with a different level of prestige. It was a car built by Honda to prove to the world how capable they are of making world-class machines and stamping its foot down as a manufacturer.
The original ’90s model was a beast for its time; we recall seeing it parked at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre during one of the F1 media events in the early 2000s, prior to Jenson Button’s final stint with the manufacturer in ’06. It was one of those cars we’d always dream of driving (not to mention one of our favourites to drive on Need For Speed, too).
We’ve only got praise for the exterior, the Honda NSX is a seriously beautiful car. The Thermal Orange Pearl (pictured) glistens in the light; a truly magnificent colour, albeit a costly upgrade as it doesn’t come cheap at 10k. But when you’re spending that much on the entire car, what’s the difference? The matching orange brake callipers are a nice addition too.
The carbon fibre exterior add-on elevates the entire package, with honeycomb intakes, spoilers and diffusers, making for a more aggressive shape akin to its competitors.
The interior is nice, with Alcantara leather – but nothing to cry home about. They probably spent the R&D budget on the drive and performance, and this was more an afterthought.
It feels like a supercar, but doesn’t quite sound like one. Although it does have some level of grunt and thrust that car fanatics love to hear, the NSX is most likely not going to impress those craving the return of V12 F1 days, but it’s sure to impress those who like to fly under the radar – and fly in this you will.
The Honda NSX has three main driving modes: Quiet, Sport and Track. Quiet mode is perfect for pulling into your suburb without alerting the neighbours and being seen as a complete wanker. While sport and track, well, we’ll leave that to your imagination.
As you can imagine, the car is low… really low. With no option to raise the nose with a lift kit like in Lamborghini, so taking large speed bumps or down ramps can be a bit annoying.
We would like to see a better reverse camera, which was a bit low res and hard to see during our time when it was raining.
Entering a new era of supercar, the Honda NSX features a uniquely different system to anything on the market. It combines a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine with three electric motors, two of those which operate the front axle, making it a four-wheel-driven car. The gearbox is a nine-speed automatic with responsive paddle shifters.
Total outputs are 573bhp, enough for a top speed of just over 300, and 0-100kmh in sub-three, putting it firmly in the realm of a McLaren 570S or Audi R8. The torque is magnificent, thrusting you into the back seat and giving you that supercar feel you pay top dollar for.
Over the course of 3 days, eyebrows were raised, necks snapped back and punters were perplexed. Even seasoned enthusiasts gave a nod of appreciation and confusion, taking second looks to see the badge.
If you’re after a unique set of wheels, the NSX should be on your radar. Not as ostentatious as a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but equally as impressive on the road.
Honda says it’s a supercar for daily use, and we can see their point. Its vision across the dash is wide; it’s somewhat comfortable to drive long distances (we did over 2 hours straight), and it’s fuel economy, should you care, sits under 10L per 100. But would we want to drive this daily? Probably not… it’s a weekend car at best.
We can see it geared for young professionals who want a car which no one else owns, who could, in theory, drive it daily as its quite comfortable and the hybrid appeals to younger demographics who are more environmentally conscious.
Interested in a test drive, got some spare cash lying around? You can visit the Honda Website for more information