What is it?
This is a refreshed version of the second-generation Honda NSX: a car we liked, though we always recognised that it was highly unlikely to match the stature of its famous predecessor. The Ferrari 348 was a considerably easier benchmark to surpass in 1990, after all, than a McLaren 720S is today – and not just because of the passing of nearly 30 years.
The original Honda NSX changed the landscape of the market niche into which it emerged – and expecting to do that twice in a row was a tall order. Today’s very best £200,000 supercars probably only have the usability, visibility, drivability and all-round completeness that they do as a result of the legacy of that 1990s Japanese lightning bolt.
The 2016 version did what it could to rewrite the mid-engined rulebook again using electric motors and typical Honda-brand ingenuity – but ultimately, and by widely held consensus, it left plenty of untapped dynamic potential to explore. Three years later, Honda’s just given us the chance to find out how much of that intriguing potential its first mid-cycle revision on the NSX has unlocked, with a test of its latest 2019-model-year version.
The facelift budget can’t have been huge, mind you. The edited highlights are that the NSX now has new Continental ContiSportContact6 tyres; new anti-roll bars; new toe-link bushings, and a new design of wheel hub for the rear suspension; and electronically recalibrated adaptive damping, power steering, transmission and four-wheel-drive systems.
Outwardly the car comes in a new shade of bright orange paint and has had a very select handful of styling revisions. In the cabin you get a bit more standard equipment for your money, and a couple of new upholstery material options to choose from.
And, on the subject of money, the car’s now a chunk of change more expensive than it used to be – but given what’s happened to the price of sterling since 2016, you can understand why that might be.