Japan's first modern supercar, the high-tech Honda NSX was introduced in 1989 to a rapturous reception, before going on sale to the public the following year. The NSX was a real lightweight thanks to the extensive use of aluminium, and still assembled by hand in a land where mass production was the norm.
Famously developed with input from Ayrton Senna and endorsed as ‘monumental’ by Gordon Murray, the Honda NSX was, and still is, an automotive legend. Murray even purchased and drove one on a daily basis, which he described as being, ‘very dear to his heart’. The beauty of the NSX was not a headline-grabbing top speed or a colossal power output, but rather the expertly balanced combination of its chassis and powertrain. It is the byword for a useable and approachable supercar, and as such is all but immune to the passing of time and progression of technology.
Powering the NSX was a real jewel of an engine, a DOHC 90-degree V6 drawing from Honda's long racing heritage. Mounted transversely, the all-alloy unit could rev safely to 8000 rpm - something achieved with titanium rods - but was docile enough to pull cleanly from 1000 rpm, making the NSX a pleasure to drive around town.
Inside, the NSX showcased Honda's renowned ergonomics, albeit with higher grade materials and plenty of technology - for example electric seats and climate control were standard - and combined a supremely comfortable driving position with cleverly thought out controls. The cockpit set new benchmarks for supercars and unquestionably caused competitors like Ferrari and Porsche to lift their game.
In 2005, after 16 years of production, Honda finally pulled the plug on this first-generation NSX, ending a remarkable chapter in the history of Japanese engineering. The NSX proven remarkably trouble free from a maintenance point of view, its V6 engine being totally reliable and capable of doing big mileage without any issues. Values of the NSX have also held up remarkably well, and they are, without doubt, now regarded as a sought-after modern classic.
Body: 2 Doors Coupe
Driver's Side: RHD
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Indicated Mileage: 12,158 KM (Actual Mileage 34,000 KM)
Location: Hong Kong
Registration: Soon to be registered in Hong Kong
This Motor Car: Finished in Formula Red with contrasting black roof and black leather interior, this beautifully NSX comes with the more powerful 3.2 Litre Engine as well as the highly desirable 6 Speed Manual Transmission. A "4 Point" car at Japanese inspection before exported to Hong Kong in 2019 and undergone a 2-year restoration to ensure that any and all minor mechanical faults were rectified as well as giving the car a fresh new coat of paint. New bushing, tie-rod, control arms, coolant, gearbox oil as well as an engine-out service was included. Additionally the car has had its alignment done as well as having new tires fitted. Arrived in Hong Kong in 2019, tax assessment completed and ready to be registered for rd use. This NSX we are offering today is in good condition. The interior is well preserved and very good for the age except for minor wear on trims and seat leather. Available for viewing by appointment only.
Classic NSX colour combination of Formula Red over Black on a Pininfarina designed body
A rare and one of the last First-generation bodied (Pop-up lights) second-generation (NA2) NSX
3.2L Motor, 6 Speed Manual Transmission, uprated Original 16/17 inches Wheel-tire combo
Classic Insider condition score: 85 points out of 100
Largely Original. Freshly repainted, well-cared for and consistently maintained. Exterior has new paint, looks shiny and fresh. The seals around the door are leak-free but a bit worn and could be replaced. The original alloy wheels are painted in black, largely unmarked and shod with brand new 2018 tires. The Interior is original, seats, dash, carpets and door cards showing some signs of correct wear and tear for the age. Front driver's seat is slightly more worn than others. The trim surrounding the centre console and some buttons on the control interface are more used than other. Mechanical and suspension are excellent and all bushings, tie-rods, freshly replaced. Engine bay is very clean and tidy with a newly repainted Red Honda valve cover.
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SERVICE HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS
** All available previous Service records available upon request
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY:
The Honda NSX was produced between 1990 and 2005 and is equipped with a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout powered by an all-aluminium V6 featuring Honda's Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system.
In 1984, Honda commissioned the Italian car designer Pininfarina to design the HPX (Honda Pininfarina Experimental), which had a mid-mounted 2.0 litre, V6 configuration. Following Honda's decision to pursue the project, the management informed the engineers that the new car would have to be as good as anything coming from both Italy and Germany.
The HPX concept car evolved into the NSX (New Sportscar experimental). The original performance target for the NSX was the Ferrari 328; subsequently revised to the 348 as the design neared completion. The bodywork design had been specifically researched after studying the 360° visibility inside an F-16 fighter jet. The car's strong chassis, rigidity and handling capabilities were the results of three times F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna's input with NSX's chief engineers while testing the prototype car at Honda's Suzuka Circuit during the development stages.
The NSX featured a state of the art 3.0-litre V6 ‘VTEC’ engine (variable valve timing) and an all-aluminium monocoque body, encompassing a revolutionary extruded aluminium alloy frame and suspension. This made the car extremely light and extremely strong. Other game-changing features included 4 channel ABS brakes, titanium connecting rods in the engine and later in the model’s life – an electric power steering system as well as an upgrade to a 3.2-litre V6 engine. The car was the first real Japanese ‘Supercar’, proving itself and quickly establishing respect from its key competitors. Production continued right up until 2005, with only subtle changes made throughout its life.
Today, the NSX is still considered by owners of the marque as one of the most reliable exotic cars ever manufactured with many examples comfortably exceeding 100,000 miles without serious reliability issues.
The Honda NA1 NSX was initially available as a mid-engined coupe. Manufactured in a purpose-built factory in Tochigi, Japan, the rear-wheel drive NSX was powered by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine that was mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
The original 3.0-litre C30A V6 petrol engine had an open-deck design, an aluminium block and cylinder head, double overhead camshafts (per cylinder bank), titanium connecting rods for reliable high-rpm operation (a world first), forged pistons with molybdenum coating, four valves per cylinder, direct ignition (individual coils mounted atop each spark plug) and a compression ratio of 10.2:1. The C30A engine also featured Honda’s
Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) which was designed to engage between 5800 and 6000 rpm; and,
Variable Volume Induction System (VVIS) which used a secondary intake plenum to create an inertia ram tuning effect from 4800 rpm.
While engines with manual transmissions had an 8000 rpm redline; engines with automatic transmissions, however, had less aggressive cam timing and the redline was reduced to 7200 rpm.
The five-speed manual transmission had a twin-disc clutch, double-cone synchroniser in second gear and a synchronised reverse gear. The four-speed automatic transmission, however, had a lock-up torque converter for improved economy in third and fourth gears which operated in four increments for smooth operation.
Body and development
Significantly, the NSX was the first production car to have an all-aluminium monocoque chassis and suspension, with the former including an extruded aluminium alloy frame. The use of aluminium in the body was estimated to provide a 200 kg mass saving relative to steel, with the aluminium suspension components saving a further 20 kg.
For the NSX, development assistance was provided by Bobby Rahal, Satoru Nakajima and Ayrton Senna, the latter attributed with convincing Honda to stiffen the chassis after testing a prototype vehicle at Honda’s Suzuka racetrack. Furthermore, Honda used a Cray supercomputer to performance finite element modelling to achieve a design with the desired structural rigidity.
With its long-tail, cabin forward design, the NSX coupe was 4430 mm long, 1810 mm wide, 1175 mm tall and had a 2530 mm long wheelbase; kerb weight was 1365 kg for models with manual transmissions (with a 42:58 front:rear distribution) and 1405 kg for models with automatics.
The NSX had independent, double wishbone suspension front and rear with forged control arms, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bars; the NSX was also fitted with a limited slip differential which had a multi-plate clutch and planetary gearset. In crosswinds, the differential would operate to detect the rotational difference between the rear wheels and transfer torque to the slower wheel to keep the vehicle on its desired path.
The NSX had a variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering system. Initially, only models with automatic transmissions had power-assistance and this was disabled at speeds above 50 km/h for greater steering feel. From 1993, however, models with manual transmissions also had power-assisted steering.
The NSX had 282 mm ventilated brake discs front and rear with dual-piston steel calipers.
Standard features for the NSX included forged alloy wheels with 205/50 ZR15 front and 225/50 ZR16 rear Yokohama tyres, a four speaker Bose sound system with a six-disc Alpine CD changer, climate control air conditioning, power adjustable front seats, leather trim, cruise control, central locking, power windows, power mirrors and a height and reach adjustable steering column.
From 1994, the NSX was fitted with 215/45 ZR16 front and 245/40 ZR17 rear tyres for more responsive handling and increased cornering capability.
From 1995, the NSX had electronic throttle control (also known as drive-by wire), the first Honda vehicle to be so equipped.
Released in April 1997, the NA2 NSX was powered by a 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine and solely available with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 3.2-litre C32B engine had the same properties as its 3.0-litre C30A predecessor but thinner fibre-reinforced metal (FRM) cylinder liners were used to increase displacement, though more efficient intake and exhaust systems were also introduced. Furthermore, the newly introduced six-speed manual transmission differed from its five-speed predecessor in that it had a single clutch.
While standard safety equipment was unchanged, the post-April 1997 NA1 and NA2 NSX were fitted with 298 mm front and 303 mm rear ventilated brake discs with dual-piston steel calipers.
The “Facelifted” NSX NA2 introduced cosmetic updates and suspension changes. Visually, the post-February 2002 NSX could be identified by its lighter, fixed headlights with high intensity discharge (HID) xenon bulbs, a restyled front bumper and rear apron, more prominent side sills, new tail-lights and ribbed seven-spoke alloy wheels; the NSX also introduced two new colours: Monte Carlo Blue and Imola Orange. As a result of these changes, the NSX’s drag coefficient was reduced from 0.32 to 0.30 Cd.
Inside, the NSX had new colours for the gauge faces, centre panel, sound system air conditioning unit and door panels.
Suspension changes for the NSX included increased front spring rates and a larger diameter rear stabiliser bar. Furthermore, front tyre size increased from 16 to 17 inches (with 215/40 ZR17 tyres) and rear tyre width increased from 8.5 to 9.0 inches (255/40 ZR17 tyres).
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