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Driving report Honda NSX: This is how the four-engine sports car drives

Driving report Honda NSX
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A n Tochigi would have Q, the inventor of the high-tech equipment that James Bond have already saved his British bum on many a delicate mission, his real joy. Here in the Honda development center, two hours by car from Japan's metropolis Tokyo, the tinkerer can still be a tinkerer as long as he wears the white developer uniform with the green and white Honda cap. Creativity and competence are enormous, the dress code is strict.

Honda's headquarters are in Tokyo, but the heart of the company beats in Tochigi, where they designed the first Honda NSX on the drawing board. Between 1986 and 1989 he drove endless laps on the test tracks until the men in white decided: The first mid-engine sports car from Japan is allowed out and Porsche, Ferrari and Co. are scared. That only worked to a limited extent, but the NSX still enjoys the respect of sports car fans to this day, turning Honda into a sporty car brand - an image that the hybrid eco-car Insight later couldn't get out of our heads.

Honda NS-X on the second attempt with double performance

The days when Honda emulated the environmental activists from Toyota are thankfully over. In Tochigi they have been allowed to let off steam again for a few years. The result is now in front of us and waiting to be moved on the test oval. The new NSX virtually combines the eco phase with the sporting tradition. As it was then, it is a mid-engined sports car but now with a 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine supported by an electric motor. The whole thing brings it to 500 hp, almost twice as much as its predecessor (274 hp). But that's not all: The new one is also powered by two additional electric motors that work on the front wheels. The system output is 573 hp.

The idea: The front motors bridge the already short shift pauses of the nine-stage double clutch transmission. In addition, the NSX has an electronically controlled, variable distribution of the engine power, which makes it an all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. Honda does not want to provide information on fuel consumption yet, but the NSX should definitely swallow less than the competition. However, it only drives one to two kilometers purely electrically. Not a pure e-version? Perhaps it is, because the chassis is designed for this, confirms project manager Ted Klaus to auto motor und sport .

Interior cannot quite keep up with the technology

The exterior of the Honda, which looks quite extroverted, is comparatively conventional in the cockpit. The small sports steering wheel with the shift paddles for manual gear changes protrudes from a finely leather-covered dashboard. Everything is very clean, typical for Honda. It's a shame that the aluminum application is only made of plastic. For around 160,000 euros you should expect a little more here. But what the heck, it's mainly about driving. So get out of the pit lane.

Wait a minute: Before the NSX moves onto the oval for a lap, the sportiest driving mode must of course be found. The Honda has a total of four modes: normal, sport, sport + and race. In race mode, the ESP intervenes much later, but it can also be switched off completely using a separate switch. But no one is allowed to race with the pre-production model. So on this day it only stays with Sport +. Of course, the NSX has Launch Control - and a ninth, long-geared gear for economical cruising on the freeway.

Honda NSX sprints to 100 km /h in 3.5 seconds

Enter the oval, press the accelerator pedal and the pilot is pushed deep into the comfortable sports seat with excellent lateral support, and should be 100 km /h from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. The hybrid system provides strong and above all even thrust while the NSX shoots towards the first long curve. The 1,725 ​​kg sports car remains relaxed and can be precisely directed thanks to the steering with sufficient feedback. The carbon-ceramic brakes bite perfectly before cornering. For bargain hunters there should be optional steel discs.

And accelerate again. The NSX doesn't cut the best figure in slalom and tends to understeer a bit. The vote is not yet final, assures project manager Klaus. If the NSX is still not stuck enough on the asphalt in the curves, you can order Michelin Cup tires as an option. Speaking of ordering: Your trusted Honda dealer should be ready in spring 2016.


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