Development boss Nick Robinson has revealed that the new Honda NSX hybrid sports car is benefitting from Honda's car and bike racing efforts, with a direct transfer of technology and expertise from its GT3 and motorcycle divisions.
The American-developed sports car has already spawned a GT3 racing version, and Robinson said data collected on the race track will be transferred across to help improve the setup of the road car.
"In North America, we’ve just unveiled the GT3 version of the car, and the development team of the street car has had some involvement in its development," he said. "What works well on the track will inform future iterations and updates of the street car and vice versa." Robinson's words suggest a future Type R model could be even more track-focused than previously thought.
He added that the clever packaging of motorcycles has also helped to improve weight distribution of the hybrid drivetrain. "For many years our motorcycle development teams have strived to ensure the optimum centralisation of mass, ensuring the lowest possible centre of gravity," he explained. "This leads to the best possible yaw response."
The first customer NSXs are due to reach UK shores this autumn, with a sticker price of £137,950. Insiders say the all-new sports car is sold out for the next two to three years already, with deliveries for the first 100 orders arriving between autumn 2016 and 2017. Production for the following 100 orders will commence after this.
Rare sight on UK roads
Although Honda UK isn’t able to confirm precisely how many examples of the tech-laden supercar will come to the UK, a spokesman told Autocar earlier this year that it will “remain a relatively rare sight on the roads” in order to preserve exclusivity. As far back as 2014 Honda UK accepted £5000 deposits from around 100 customers and closed the pre-order books for the NSX.
Honda has confirmed that Europe is the “leading export region” for sales of the NSX. It will be sold through a “limited network of authorised dealers in key European locations”.
The very first NSX - which is being sold under the Acura brand in the US - was sold at auction for charity at the end of January for a massive $1.2 million.
The car's starting price means the NSX is priced below McLaren's 570S, which costs £143,250. However, the 532bhp version of the Audi R8 comes in at £119,500.
The European version of the Honda NSX was revealed for the first time at the 2015 Geneva motor show, while the car was originally shown at the Detroit show some 25 years after the launch of its iconic predecessor. Its most recent public appearance was at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The new, second-generation car has been developed in the US and will be produced in the new Performance Manufacturing Centre in Marysville, Ohio, with about 100 technicians working on the build of the car.
Although the new NSX is built around a lightweight structure and has a mid-mounted V6 engine, that is where the resemblance to the all-aluminium original NSX ends. The new model has a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain driving all four wheels and a new multi-material structure with an ultra-stiff carbonfibre floor.
The heart of the NSX’s powertrain is a 75-degree, twin-turbocharged V6, which drives an all-new nine-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. On top of this, the NSX’s sport hybrid system incorporates three electric motors. The total system output is 550bhp at 7500rpm, with torque rated at 406lb ft.