When Honda brought production of the first-generation NSX to an end in 2005, after 15 years, few could have guessed it would be a decade until we got to meet its successor. The Japanese supercar was universally loved for its sharp-edged looks, all-aluminium body and brilliant driving dynamics. Nevertheless, as a last hurrah, Honda launched a more hardcore, focused R version, and in 2004 we got our hands on it.
“Anyone who has ever played the game Gran Turismo, and I mean really played it by sifting for hours through the specification sheets of the car, balancing a rigid weight reduction scheme against extra torque, a lower ride height and a couple more degrees of camber for that extra bit of turn-in through the final bend at the Grand Valley, will appreciate this car more than most,” we wrote. “In isolation, the modifications are not huge, but as a whole, they amount to a completely different car.”
The NSX went on a diet for its R makeover, losing its air conditioning system, which reduced its already low kerb weight to 1270kg. The NSX-R was distinguished further from the standard car with a lighter flywheel and shorter throttle pedal travel to boost response. Bigger brakes were fitted, too.