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Car of the Week: Honda NSX

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Today an Asian "Car of the Week", the Honda NSX and a customized model car version.

The NSX is also known under the name Acura NSX and was produced from 1990 to 2005 and assembled by the Honda Motor Company in Tochigi and Suzuka, in Japan.

Designed by the famous car designer Pininfarina in 1984 as the HP-X (Honda Pininfarina Xperimental) Honda wanted a Car that should be as good as every Car that comes from Italy and Germany. Pretty likely to the Ferrari 348, but for a lower price. A new prototype later got the name NS-X (New Sportscar eXperimental) and was designed by Chief Designer Nicholas Zander and Executive Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara. Instead of a 2.0 L V6 engine the HP-X had the NS-X got a more powerful 3.0L VTEC V6 engine as this new Project should show some of Hondas automotive technologies, they were already using for their F1 motorsports engagement, like an all-aluminium monocoque body. The use of aluminium for the body ans suspension saved more than 200 kg of the complete weight. To add the NS-X a real race car DNA the Japanese Formula One driver Satoru Nakajima was pretty close envolved in the track development.

The mid-engined supercas was only 142.3mm taller than the Ford GT40 – 1,170 mm. The NSX was assembled by about 200 of the best Honda workers, with a minimum of then years of assembly experience.

Nowadays the NSX has still a lot of fans and supporters not only in Asia, but also in the USA and in Europe. The Enthusiasts swear of the „most reliable exotic cars ever manufactured“, with many examples exceeding 100,000 miles (160,000 km) without serious notable reliability issues or having suffered manufacturer recalls.

There were a few more models of the two-door coupè, than jsut the NSX, read them now:
* the First generation NSX-R or NSX Type R (Japanese Domestic Model), produced in 1992, as a version for on-track performance and less daily driveability (as the NSX has). A hard weight reducing process was done, lightweight carbon fibre racing seats replaced the existing ones and overall it saved about 120 kg. 1,230 kg now. The production ended in September 1995.
* the NSX-T was the „open“ version of the NSX with a targa top roof, which was available as a special order option. It replaced the standard coupe entirely in North America with its release in 1995.
* In 1999 there were only 51 models of the Alex Zanardi Edition NSX, exclusively for the US, built. They were only available in „New Formula Red“ and with a left-hand drive, back leather interior and sued seats with red stitchings. A serial number and Zanardi's signature. There are rumors that model Number 1, which is owned by Zanardi himself, was modified by Honda with hand-activated throttle, braking, and shifting mechanisms to accommodate Zanardi's loss of both legs resulting from his Lausitzring (Germany) crash in 2001.
* in 2002 the second generation NSX-R was exclusively released in Japan. Again there was a lot of Carbon fiber used to reduce the weight to 1,270 kg. The vented hood was said to be the largest one-piece carbon-fiber hood in production cars. Each NSX-R engine was hand assembled by a skilled technician using techniques normally reserved for racing programs.
* Straight after Honda released a NSX-R GT (JDM) with a production run of only 5 cars to compete the Super GT race. And as GTC rules required at least five production cars for any race car version to compete they did.
* After the end of the NSX in 2005 through the plans of Honda about producing a new model with a V10 engine and as also Ferrari had gone from the 348, which was the original benchmark for the NSX development team the last NSX was sold in Spokane, Washington.
* There are speculations about a next generation NSX, as Robert Downey Jr. was driving an exotic sportscar by Acura during the filming of „The Avengers“ in September 2011 and the car could be a concept for the second generation NSX as Honda announced in April 2011 that they have plans to create a successor.



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