Detroit Motor Show: Honda NSX, the car about nothing

HONDA’S NSX was revealed in production form at the Detroit motor show, but the new supercar was fleetingly ignored as comedian Jerry Seinfeld – potentially the car’s first buyer – stole the spotlight.

If you've been salivating over the NSX at the seemingly dozens of motor show appearances it has made over the last three years, prepare to wait just a little bit longer. 

Honda revealed only minor details of the showroom-ready NSX ahead of the aluminium spaceframe hybrid supercar going into production this spring.

Engine power? No exact figure yet, rumoured to be around 400kW. Same goes for the torque. Engine capacity? Still a secret. Why has it taken so long to get to market? It hasn't, apparently. 

"A three-year gestation period is very similar to other such pinnacle products," NSX project head Ted Klaus said, as Ford literally pushed the carbon-chassis 450kW GT that it will build in 2016 past the Japanese maker's show stand.

"I think some of the confusion was because we did have a product that started and stopped that was also called NSX. So the gestation period started in 2012, and here we are with a higher market position with hybrid powertrain."

Despite the timing, you'd learn more from an episode of Seinfeld – the long-running US TV sitcom that prided itself on being a show about nothing – than from what Honda gave away at the show.

"Our goal was to create a human-centric response," Klaus said, referring to the Honda's driver focus, for a car that "rewards drivers of all skill levels".

Klaus said the NSX is gunning for the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi R8 V10, but despite its hybrid drivetrain, eco-supercars are not on its hit list.

"The [BMW] i8 is a wonderful, exciting product, but it is not a key competitor."

The Honda supercar is loaded with high-strength steel, carbonfibre and an aluminium spaceframe, which doesn't seem as avant-garde as the original 1990 model, which was made of aluminium honeycomb.

"Ultra high-strength steel may not be as sexy as carbonfibre or aluminium, but when that's the best material, that's what you use," Klaus said. 

Will it be revered as much as the original?

"I know that the original NSX was maybe under-appreciated, and just like all fine things in life, grew to be better appreciated. And while I hope that this [new NSX] is not under-appreciated, I hope my use of the word 'timeless' rings true."

Time is something the NSX project seems to have had a lot of.

While production of left-hand-drive models begins in Ohio late this year, we'll have to wait until mid-year for the full specs and, for right-hand-drive cars that will also be supplied by the US factory, it's most likely we will have to wait until mid-2016 at the earliest.

"Please be patient,” Klaus implores. “Please understand the challenge for us to execute the global allocation plan.

“There is a plan, but we are not ready to announce it until the global media drive."

That drive will be mid-year, so stay tuned for more NSX news. 

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