1989 Acura NSX World Debut in Chicago Auto Show in February.
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The Honda NSX (branded as the Acura NSX in North America and Hong Kong) was a sports car produced between 1990 and 2005 by the Japanese automaker Honda.
It used a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and was powered by an all-aluminum V6 gasoline engine featuring Honda's unique "variable valve timing and lift electronic control" VTEC system.
The production NSX was designed by a team led by Chief Designer Ken Okuyama and Executive Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara.
At its first public appearances as the NS-X at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1989, and at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1989 sports car enthusiasts were astonished by its pronounced cockpit forward attitude. The bodywork design had been specifically researched by Okuyuma and Uehara after studying the 360 degree visibility inside an F-16 fighter jet cockpit.
Upon its release in 1990, the NSX was a design concept well ahead of its time. At only 1,170 mm (46 in) in height only 141.3 mm (5.56 in) taller than the legendary Ford GT40 the car showcased Honda's cutting edge racing pedigree and technology at a time when the company were literally making history while totally dominating Formula One motor racing.
Aside from its unique 23-step paint process, including an aircraft type chromate coating designed for chemically protecting the aluminum bodywork and a waterborne paint for the base coat to achieve a clearer, more vivid top color and a smoother surface finish, today the NSX is still considered by owners of the marque as one of the most reliable exotic cars ever manufactured with many examples exceeding 100,000 miles (160,000 km) without serious notable reliability issues or having suffered manufacturer recalls.
The NSX was initially assembled at the purpose-built Takanezawa R&D Plant in Tochigi from 1989 to early 2004, when it was moved to Suzuka Plant for the remainder of its production life.
In 1995 the NSX-T with a targa top roof was released in Japan as a special order option. In North America, the NSX-T replaced the standard coupe entirely as the only trim available, with the notable exceptions of the Zanardi Edition NSX in 1999 and a handful of special ordered post-1997/pre-2002 3.2 liter coupes. The removable roof reduced the chassis rigidity of the NSX and added about 100 pounds (45 kg) of structural reinforcements.
In addition to this major change, the suspensions have also been softened to improve ride, comfort, and tire wear, at the expense of ultimate handling. The suspension redesign was also intended to reduce the sudden-oversteer problems that plagued most mid-engined vehicles. All roofs were now body-colored instead of black, although in Japan the two-tone black roof/body color was still available as an optional feature. Finally available in the manual transmission version NSX was electric power steering, previously found in the automatic version exclusively.
1997 performance-enhancing changes (Worldwide).
1997 brought the biggest changes to the performance of the current generation NSX for the Japanese domestic versions and abroad. For 1997 engine displacement increased from 3.0 L to 3.2 L. This new 3.2 L C32B engine gave it slightly more rated power: from 270 bhp (201 kW) to 292 bhp (218 kW) while torque increased from 210 lb·ft (280 N·m) to 224 lb·ft (304 N·m) (manual transmission only). The 4-speed automatic model still used the 3.0 litre engine and power output. Another big change was the adoption of the 6-speed manual transmission. The combination of slightly-increased power and torque, 6-speed manual gearbox, and optimized gear ratio produced improved straight-line acceleration. The new NSX rang up better numbers than the power and torque improvements may suggest over previous model NSXs. 0-60 mph time dropped from 5.4 seconds to as low as 5.0 seconds for the NSX-S Zero. Other notable changes include a brake rotor size increase from 12 in (300 mm) to 13 inches (330 mm) — which necessitated larger wheels and tires, a new aluminum alloy to further reduce weight and increase rigidity, and a transponder in the key.
(images: Honda. text source: Wikipedia)
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