Throughout the 1980s the high technology content of Honda’s mainstream cars began to increase noticeably perhaps to be expected from a race oriented manufacturer. Few observers expected the mid engined NSX supercar to push so many technology boundaries at once. It was obviously a calculated attempt to challenge Ferrari and Porsche on their home territory, and logic says it should have succeeded. Firstly, the NSX was built entirely of aluminum: under the aluminum skin was an aluminum monocoque chassis. Honda even went to the extent of casting alloy sub frames and building the suspension wishbones from aluminum. Under the glass canopy behind the cockpit Honda had fitted its very latest engine, a 3.0 liter, quad cam V6 which was fitted with V-Tec system which managed to combine variable vale timing and variable valve lift something beyond every other engine maker, so their engine gave good pulling power low down, yet could spin racer like to 8000 rpm. Honda’s careful approach to creating a supercar included styling that industry rumors reckoned was overwhelmingly influenced by the 1986 MG EX-E concept car, which was also an aluminum bodied V6 mid engined supercar. Likewise, the interior was carefully crafted, and the driving postion highly praised.
Sadly, the NSX failed to capture the enthusiasm of supercar buyers around the world. It was arguably a better car than contemporary Ferraris and the Porsche 911, but it lacked their character in terms of styling, design and driver sensations. And not least because it was usually described as being as easy to drive as a Honda Civic supermini. Honda miscalculated by deciding that the supercar breed needed the flaws removing, but with the flaws goes the character.