What Car? says…
Honda’s first-generation NSX was pioneering. Contrasting with the exquisite but temperamental high-performance metal coming out of Italy in the early ‘90s, here was a car that blended high performance and good looks with legendary Japanese reliability. It showed performance car buyers you could have your cake and eat it too, and in effect changed the face of the supercar market overnight.
It was, as you’d expect, a tough act to follow, but Honda’s second-generation NSX, launched back in 2016, did its best to rewrite the supercar rule book for a second time, offering buyers the same reliability and everyday usability as the original car, but extending its remit to include modern-minded efficiency through the use of a comparatively small turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine and a trio of electric motors – one helping the engine drive the rear wheels, the others each driving a front wheel.
As a piece of engineering, it was a rather astonishing bit of kit; the four-wheel drive system helping to make the combined 574bhp manageable, with the electric motors allowing you to drive for short stints on battery power alone. However, as a driver’s car, it never quite reached the lofty heights of its predecessor – those heavy batteries and a ‘safe’ neutral set-up blunting the NSX’s responses
Which brings us to the current model. For 2019, Honda treated the NSX to an in-depth update that focused on its steering, suspension and complex hybrid system, all in a quest to create a car that could finally stand toe-to-toe with rivals such as the Audi R8 Performance and McLaren 570S.
But has it succeeded? Read on to find out. And don’t forget, even if you’re not in the market for an NSX, there is a good chance we can save you a few quid on your next new car if you check out our New Car Buying pages.