New Honda NSX

Honda NSX Test Drive: Y. Moroboshi “They’ve Built the Sports Car of the Future”

It’s certainly been many moons since we got out first peek at the new NSX, but we finally just got the chance to take it for a test drive on the open road.

The NSX test drive event was held in Kobe. We first took some photos down by the coast the jumped in. Since there weren’t many NSXs available, everyone rode in pairs, which meant we couldn’t really fit a camera inside the car as we were driving. If you move the seat forward you can fit a little bit of baggage, but a camera was out of the question. If you happened to be driving a date home they would probably have to hold their own bag, and I myself would have to ask my companion to hold my attaché case, all of which means the car does affect stoicism to a degree.

Turning on the system causes the motor to come roaring to life. Despite it being a hybrid and not needing to start the engine, Honda keeps things dramatic in line with the NSX’s style by providing that little extra cherry on top. Still, even with the car purring like this, we’re here to test the EV functionality, and switch over from running mode to quiet mode. The car takes off ever so smoothly, stepping down on the gas vrooming you forward. Just because it’s called quiet mode doesn’t mean you’re just driving with only the motor. Give it a little gas and when you get up to around 35 km/h the engine starts up, switching over to hybrid mode.

Getting onto the highway, we switch over to sport mode and the engine begins racing seamlessly, and we speed up, the dry ring of the exaust reverberating in our ears. In terms of acceleration, all one can say is that it’s strong. On the narrow Japanese highways we certainly felt pretty boxed in. You might be inclined to think that maybe the NSX is suited best for the circuit, but it provides the height of comfort and quiet, which makes me think it would be best as a GT car for long touring drives.

Above even the sport mode is the sport + mode as well as track mode, included with that circuit mentality in mind. Switching in sport + mode, the sound of the exhaust begins to take on a sportier tone and the acceleration response, suspension, and steering settings all sharpen. If you push it up into track mode, the sound of the engine becomes even louder, all settings getting even sharper and sportier.

If any word captures the handling, it would be “excellent.” Vectoring technology is certainly all the rage now, and devices that slightly change the car’s inclination are included as a given. Even with all this, the sports hybrid SH-AWD takes cornering to a whole new level. All four of the tires performing brilliantly, ferociously turning the car. Our test drive took us up Mt. Rokko, so we couldn’t necessarily keep up a heated pace, but we were still able to enjoy the absolutely amazing performance of the NSX regardless.
To think that there’s a Â¥20,000,000 ($ USD) sports car on the market is pretty surprising. The NSX has number of special lineups under the Acura brand outside of Japan, but this car will be sold at Honda dealerships in its homeland. Maybe I’m being silly, but does it really feel right buying a premium ride like this, sitting next to kei cars. Oh well, perhaps I’m overthinking that a little.

As the NSX is a rather expensive prospect, we’ll be ignoring the cost performance aspect of our rating.

5 star rating:
Package: 3/5 stars
Interior: 3/5 stars
Power: 5/5 stars
Footwork: 5/5 stars
Overall Recommendation: 4/5 stars

Yoichi Moroboshi
Automotive Journalist

After working in the editorial department, Moroboshi became a freelance journalist at the age of 23. Since his late 20s, he raced events such as the Fuji Freshman Race for 7 years, and now works as a photo journalist shooting circuit races. His hobby is cooking.

[Translated by Bryce Clarke]