Honda engineers liked the 458 so much, they cut it apart
While it’s common practice for automakers to buy competitors’ cars for benchmarking purposes, it’s not often that we, the fans, find out about it. Not so with the Acura NSX. A few weeks ago we heard about the letter Porsche left in the Honda-owned Porsche 911 GT3.
During the development of the latest Acura NSX, Honda apparently purchased a Ferrari 458 for the engineers to dissect. The team at Honda dismantled the Italia to learn its secrets, and then, according to an insider, put the remains in trash cans at Honda’s research and development facility.
The folks at Honda were taken aback by how well the Italian supercar was assembled and hopefully used some of Ferrari’s techniques when developing the NSX. Even if Honda didn’t use any of Ferrari’s ideas, the results are still the same — the latest NSX is impressive, and somewhere, there’s a shredded Ferrari 458. Pity.
The new NSX supercar still has some tricks up its sleeve
Good as it is, the new Acura NSX is not the pure sports car that came out of Japan in 1991: That NSX had a mid-mounted naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 that spins to 8,000 rpm, less than a 3,000-pound curb weight and a suspension so good Gordon Murray tried to emulate it for the McLaren F1. The new NSX is … well, it’s complicated.
Now some of that original purity could be returning, according to NSX chief engineer Ted Klaus.
For example, we figured an NSX Type R was on its way, and Klaus has confirmed our suspicions and more in an interview with Autocar. There’s a chance this car could ditch its electric motors and battery packs, too. Klaus said that making a “more pure, simplified version” was pretty straightforward and that there was “an appetite for it” within Honda. This non-electrified NSX would most certainly have to be rear-wheel drive too, since the electric motors are the only things turning the front wheels in the current car.
A lightweight, gas-only-powered NSX sounds more like the NSX of yore, and we couldn’t be happier to hear it’s a possibility.
In addition to a barebones NSX, we could also see an all-electric and convertible version spawned from the current car. Acura entered an all-electric version of the NSX at Pikes Peak to explore the possibility of something like that working for the road.
Also, the roof was chopped off before when they switched the original from the coupe to a targa top in 1995, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see again.