The NSX has four switchable chassis modes. Quiet mode allows the car to be driven on battery power only for short distances. The other modes - in an ascending order of dynamism - are Sport, Sport+ and Track. Honda claims the latter “reveals the full spectrum of the NSX’s capabilities”.
During the NSX's development, chief engineer Ted Klaus told Autocar that the complex electronics would be tuned to only intervene if they improve the driving experience. In particular, he highlighted the possibility of using the electric motors to deliver instant throttle response, or to allow silent all-electric drive. "The NSX must stay true to the role it created, of being an everyday exotic," said Klaus. "That means we must only use the new tech to support the driver to live with the car every day, and to give the driver a car with a depth of abilities that they can peel away with familiarity, as they get to know the car.
"The technology gives us a chance to create a car that is focused on being agile, precise and linear in its responses like never before. We are looking to do more than chase numbers on paper - as with the original NSX we won't have the most powerful car in the category, for instance, but we believe the human element is more important than that. Whatever we do, the driver must be at the centre of the experience, not the car."
The structure of the new NSX is described as a spaceframe design that is constructed from ultra-high-strength steel and aluminium. The floor of the structure is made of carbonfibre and the cabin features “ultra-thin” A-pillars.
The NSX also features a “world-first [aluminium] casting process that combines the benefits of both cast and forged components”. The body panels are made from a combination of aluminum and sheet moulding composite.
At 4470mm long, the NSX is about 40mm longer the original, as well as 130mm wider and 45mm higher. The front track is a significant 145mm wider and the rear track 75mm wider. The car’s shape was aerodynamically refined in Honda’s Ohio wind tunnel.
Under the skin, the NSX’s T-shaped battery pack is mounted down the car’s centre tunnel and behind the seats. Suspension is by aluminium double wishbones all round and the car rolls on 8.5x19in front and 11x20in rear wheels.
The braking system features carbon-ceramic discs with six-pot calipers on the front and four-pot calipers at the rear.
The Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911, Audi R8, Ferrari 458 and McLaren 12C are among the competitors that were used as benchmarks by the development team, according to Klaus. “We’re looking for the excitement of the 458 at the price of the 911, and we think the hybrid technology can help us achieve that,” he said.
“The NSX has never been about a set of figures on a piece of paper,” he added. “As with the original, the eventual power figure won’t grab headlines, for instance, but the qualities that you can’t write down, such as driver involvement and pleasure, are the ones that will matter. As engineers, we like numbers, but I’m acutely aware that if we build this car against a set of criteria that has been written down, we will lose our sense of focus.”
Just 1419 examples of the original NSX were sold in Europe between 1990-2007, from 18,700 sales globally.