HONDA'S sexy sports car, the (almost) handbuilt NSX supercar, has been named 2017 Performance Car of the Year by prestigious American publication Road & Track magazine, beating eight of the world's finest sports cars in the process.
In a stunning display of performance, style and quality, the NSX took on and toppled eight other cars besting the best from Audi (R8 V10 Plus), BMW (M4 GTS), Chevrolet (Corvette Grand Sport), Jaguar (F-Type SVR), Lotus (Evora 400), Mercedes-AMG (C63 S), Nissan (GT-R NISMO) and (Porsche 911 Turbo S).
The NSX gave the judges – members of the Road & Track editorial team – a unique driving experience, delivering a car which, the magazine said, put hybrid and other technology to work for emotional involvement rather than instead of it.
Magazine staff said everything about the car, from the way its brake-by-wire brake pedal lengthens its travel when the brakes are hot to the way its mid-mounted V6 engine sounds when being wound out in fourth gear, enhances driver involvement.
"Having the NSX recognised by Road & Track's esteemed group of evaluators is not only a great honour for the car but a testament to the skill, determination and challenging spirit of our team. We are immensely proud," Acura vice-president and general manager Jon Ikeda said. Acura is Honda's luxury division in the United States.
Now in its fifth year, Road & Track's Performance Car of the Year award is chosen based on testing that takes place over four days with two days driving the back roads of Kentucky and Tennessee and two spent on a test track at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
During the four-day testing process, the Road & Track team evaluates each car based on a combination of emotion, performance and value.
Acceleration, braking, handling, gearshift points, sound levels, vehicle weight and weather conditions are all taken into consideration. Engines, transmissions, drivetrains, steering, tyres and brakes are also noted during the performance evaluation
The NSX challenged conventional supercar thinking courtesy of its three-motor, 427 kilowatt, twin-turbocharged, Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain which is built exclusively at the company's Performance Manufacturing Centre in Marysville, Ohio.
To be eligible for inclusion in the award field, cars need to be completely new or significantly revised for their year of release.
Building on the momentum of the new NSX, Honda has shown-off a racing version known as the NSX GT3 featuring custom bodywork and aerodynamic components including a big rear wing, underbody diffuser and enlarged vents to maximise engine cooling.
The NSX GT3 utilises the production car's ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with its aluminium-intensive spaceframe chassis. It also uses a racing version of the 3.5 litre, 75-degree, twin-turbocharged, double overhead camshaft V6 engine.
The racing engine uses the same design specifications as the production NSX including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. The engine is paired with a six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox which delivers power to the rear wheels.
The NSX is the only supercar built in the United States.
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