Sports Car – 6 facts you probably didn’t know about the Honda NSX

Sports Car – 6 facts you probably didn’t know about the Honda NSX


Honda has more than 40 years of motor sport involvement. In the 1960s it fielded a team of V12 and V8 engined Formula One cars and supplied engines to Jack Brabham’s highly successful Formula Two race team.

With the NSX in production, Honda returned to Formula One with Williams and later on with McLaren.

1. The naming concept for NSX was “New,” “Sportscar” and “unknown world” – with “X” being the mathematical symbol for a variable, or an unknown value.

A team at Honda USA, selected NSX from the list of possible names, but chose to express the definition as “New Sports eXperimental.”

2. The Honda NSX was the first mid-engined exotic car without European pedigree.

3. The Honda NSX was a low slung, super light, high-revving machine sporting the world’s first all-aluminium monocoque, titanium connecting rods, a VTEC™ valvetrain and levels of quality and daily driving comfort unheard of in sports cars of the time.

4. Its all-aluminium construction and 270-horsepower VTEC V6 was as exotic as anything available at the time.

5. Prior to the NSX press conference in USA, the president of Honda Motor Co, Ltd, Tadashi Kume, unexpectedly decided to fire up the prototype’s engine, a sound that could be heard in an adjacent room, where a competing automaker was holding its own press preview.

While the noise attracted media attention, Kume turned to the NSX engineering team and asked why the NSX Concept didn’t use the new VTEC technology that had been recently developed at R&D.

When told that it was only planned for a 4-cylinder engine application, Kume pushed the team for a VTEC V6 design.

6. In February 1989, around the same time as the NSX Concept model’s debut in Chicago, legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna was in Japan to test the new Honda F1 car.

The engineering team asked Senna if he would evaluate the NSX prototype.

Even though the production NSX targeted levels of rigidity equaling Porsche and Ferrari, Senna felt it could be better.

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