Honda NSX Type R

We dream it. They build it. Sweet dream

illustration by BRENDON WISE words by LOUIS CORDONY

More circuit samurai than eco warrior

HONDA’S decision to build a thirdgeneration NSX was the jab in the arm we’ve all wanted for the firm.

Unfortunately, though, it’s not quite what we hoped.

Rather than the NSX playing the role of a drivers’ supercar, it has instead filled the role of a subdued eco-mentalist.

Sure, it was always going to be hard to live up to a legend fortified by years of nostalgia, but Honda had plenty of time to nail its return.

Thankfully, it’s still early days, and Honda is yet to release the final production NSX, or any variants.

With the latter yet to happen, we want to play Honda’s smoking gun and leave nothing to chance. So, we put our heads down and imagined the NSX Type R.

The recent Civic Type R proves Honda doesn’t muck around when it comes to the red badge, and there’s serious kudos to be won by slapping one on its supercar again.

The NSX already has straightline speed, all it needs to do now to become the driving tool we want it to be is lose some weight, find more grip and loosen its tie a little.

Please, Honda, we’re tired of dreaming about the past. M

There’s serious kudos to be won by Honda slapping a red badge on its supercar again

Here’s how we’d do it

PURE POWER .

First, we’d toss the hybrid system and find some smaller, more responsive turbochargers. Power will drop from 427kW/646Nm to 375kW/500Nm but retain a linear delivery, which will pull strong to its 7500rpm redline thanks to use of the latest VTEC technology.

FEATHER TOUCH .

To complement the deleted hybrid system, the return of Honda’s fastidious weight-saving techniques will see the windscreen thinned, sound deadening tossed, wheel sizes reduced and premium luxuries deleted, as well as new seats, more carbonfibre and titanium exhaust material. It will weigh in at 1325kg, a substantial 400kg saving.

STICK IT .

As with the regular NSX, the Type R will be equipped with Continental ContiSportContacts for the road with a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 option for track use. Aero derived from the NSX GT Concept will make use of the new grip. Without front electric motors, the steering software will be re-mapped for more natural feel.

IN SUSPENSE .

New composite springs and re-tuned dampers compensate for the altered weight distribution, while ride height drops 20mm.

Two drive modes will be offered: Standard and ‘R+’, the latter sharpening throttle response and dampers. ESP and ABS will be fully programmable (separately) when the car recognises it’s on a circuit.

TO THE LIMIT .

Its straight-line sprint time increases to 3.4sec (0-100km/h, up from 2.9sec), but the Type R will lap Suzuka five seconds quicker than the base car. Production will be limited to 500 a year at $400,000.

Available in white, red, black and yellow, with black or white wheels.