Supercars used to be made by only a handful of automakers. They were expensive and unreliable, but in the 1990s a modern icon burst onto the scene. The Honda NSX changed absolutely everything in the mid-engined supercar game.
The NSX came from the makers of the humble Civic, but Honda did everything it could to make a true rival to the Ferraris of the day, such as the 348. The cockpit was designed to look like the cabin of an F-16 fighter jet, and the exterior was muscular and well-proportioned.
The car had an aluminum alloy body and chassis, which reportedly reduced overall weight by about 400 pounds. Yet the NSX could also handle like a Ferrari thanks to the input of a motorsport legend. This is why you can’t talk about the NSX without at least thinking about Senna.
Gordon Murray was daily-driving an NSX when he was developing the F1 for McLaren, and he said he loved the everyday usability of the Honda/Acura supercar. Most of that is down to things like the fly-by-wire throttle and the mid-mounted V6 engine. It wasn’t a V8 or V12 like you got from the Italians, but it had Honda’s VTEC technology.
The NSX had airbags, a stereo, ABS, all things which set it apart from Ferraris that had come before. People believe this Japanese icon set the blueprint for the modern exotic, making it easier to use on a daily basis.
Don’t forget the NSX is beautiful
Beauty is obviously objective, and it’s impossible to know if the NSX is famous for the way it looks or just because it’s Honda’s first supercar. But I happen to think the design is excellent, one of the best looks of any car from the 1990s.
It’s a little quirky, with a trunk behind the VTEC engine big enough to fit golf clubs. The second NSX generation, the modern hybrid, looks nothing like the original from 30 years ago, but we’ve got one design that bridges the gap between the 1990s and 2020s.
Hycade is a world-famous rendering artist, known for making widebody versions of the most famous cars ever made. He’s got a certain style that works with everything, featuring widebody panels and big aero.
Normally, we’d suggest that Hycade’s style of rendering is similar to Audi’s, ranging from the “ultra” concepts of last decade to the widebody production kits for things like the RS6. But in the case of the NSX, I feel like it’s reminiscent of the Nissan GT-R Nismo and the Ferrari 348 in a way.
The 348 was designed a bit like the famous Testarossa, with blades down the sides. You clearly see that added to the NA1’s flans. But the front end is completely redesigned with a much deeper chin. Honda could only have dreamed of such advanced aero in the 90s, but the changes do match the original character to some degree.
Just like Nissan’s Nismo models, this body kit has a thin pinstripe over the edge of all the aero. You could also argue that this idea is borrowed from Lamborghinis like the Centenario. We know Hycade loves that as well.