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Honda NSX (1990 - 2005)

Last updated 24 February 2021


Model Timeline

March 1989
Honda NS-X revealed in concept form at the Chicago motor show

August 1989
Journalists drive the first NS-X prototypes

Test drives take place at the Suzuka race track in Japan, and the cars are far from finished. They're powered by tuned C27A engines (as seen in the Honda Legend and Rover 827), and have yet to receive last-minute chassis tuning as suggested by Ayrton Senna.

August 1990
Honda NSX hits the dealers

Note that the hyphen has now been dropped from the name. Groundbreaking features included NSX's ultra-rigid, ultra-light all aluminium monocoque chassis and front and rear double wishbone suspension, with forged control arms connected to forged alloy wheels. Other noteworthy features on Honda's first mid-engined supercar included titanium connecting rods, forged pistons, and an 8000rpm red line, thanks to VTEC-R engine.

The NSX was made at the purpose-built Takanezawa R&D Plant in Tochigi between 1989 and 2004, as well as Suzuka for the final few months.

November 1992
Honda NSX-R goes on sale

Honda NSX Type -R

This was an NSX specifically modified for track use. The R was lighter, and lost its sound proofing, the in-car entertainment system, spare wheel, air conditioning and traction control. Carbonfibre seats were fitted, as well as light weight forged aluminium wheels by Enkei - overall weight was now 1230kg (down from 1350). 483 were built - all sold in Japan, but many subsequently exported.

June 1995
NSX-T launched

Honda NSX Type -T

Targa-topped NSX unveiled, and sold to special order only. The car was 45kg heavier than standard and was less stiff structurally, meaning the suspension was tweaked slightly to compensate.

June 1997
Uprated NSX with 3.2-litre engine introduced

Honda NSX Type -S

NSX received the revised C32B engine, which upped power from 276 to 290bhp - torque was also improved to 225lb ft from 210. The four-speed automatic version remained unchanged. Six-speed manual transmission also introduced, optimising in-gear and outright acceleration - 0-60mph acceleration improved to 4.7 seconds.

In Japan, the NSX Type-S was launched to sell alongside the standard model. It was stiffer and lighter than the standard NSX, and like the previous Type-R was stripped of much of its luxury equipment.

December 2001
Honda NSX given a substantial facelift

Honda NSX Mk 2 (1)

The original NSX was tweaked for 2002 - with the main change being limited to the dropping of the pop-up headlamps, to be replaced by flush-fitting Xenon units. The suspension set-up was revised, and larger wheels were fitted, improving grip levels, if not comfort, significantly.

July 2005
Honda announced the death of the NSX

With sales drying up, Honda took the decison to stop the NSX without a replacement in sight. Although the company had been investigating a 'new' NSX since the turn of the century, no production models resulted. In July 2005, Honda officially announced that it would cease manufacturing NSX after 15 years, and it wouldn't be until the Geneva show of 2013 that the company confirmed that its replacement - a hybrid mid-engined supercar - also called the NSX, would go into production in 2015, some 25 years after the launch of the original.

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