It’s a cliche to say that the original Honda NSX (Acura NSX in North America) was the first truly modern, useable supercar. Back in 1989, a 276bhp, mid-engined supercar from Japan and constructed of aluminium was big news but 23 years and these stats are far less impressive. You can find 276bhp in front-wheel drive hot hatches these days, and of course many car makers now use aluminium in their structures, most notably Audi.
In fact, it was an Audi – the R8 – that first came to mind when we viewed the NSX Concept. From the front three-quarters it all feels very R8, particularly as your eye falls on the DRG, then into the surface that forms the front fender and wheelarch. But the more you look at this car, the more it grows on you.
You can see the intentions of the Honda/Acura design team. It’s far from perfect, but then perhaps the world of the modern supercar has become a little anesthetized, some character is welcome. You can almost see, looking at the surfaces, the freedom that the Acura design team and clay modellers have been allowed. There’s some stuff that you’d never find on a German design, but it’s all the better for it. And when we say we can see aspects of the R8′s aesthetic, that’s not necessarily a criticism. Let’s not forget that, without the orgininal NSX, the R8 (and its modern peers) might never have come to exist in the form that they do.
Above all, the Acura NSX Concept looks compact, lightweight and lithe. It has believeable supercar proportions, but in a world of bloated designs, it’s refreshingly small, low and not even unnecessarily wide. We hope that Acura’s designers won’t mind us saying that, given some of the brand’s recent efforts, it’s a mighty relief to be writing that.
Posted by Joe Simpson