IT’S a hybrid folks – but not as we know it. If you want your next hybrid car to be small and practical, look away now.
For the Honda NSX is neither of these things – indeed it’s one of the widest cars on the road – but it is the kind of beautiful car you will look at twice, unwilling to believe it’s part electric, dazzled by its looks and awed by its performance. For you and me that means a top speed of 191mph and a 0-62mph sprint of sub three seconds.
The secret here is the Twin Motor Unit, one of three electric motors under the skin of this remarkable car. This adds superpower to the already magical 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine giving you that extra immediate electric thrust whenever you want it.
I drove this car in appalling weather conditions and while many supercars are a bit afraid to dip their toes in the water, this beauty just zipped along wet roads and made short work of hairy hairpins, but of course, and here’s the other thing about the NSX, it is four-wheel drive.
The leather seats are deep and comfortable while the cabin inside is austere and elegant with few buttons to take away from the simple pleasure of just driving the car.
My version was fitted with a carbon fibre interior sport package (£2300) which added carbon fibre to the dash, the steering wheel and the instrument binnacle as well as offering aluminium sports pedals and a footrest.
The NSX, like many other supercars, is low slung, wide and elegant with only two seats. No room for luggage.@magsbarry
And here is something I don’t think I have ever mentioned before in a review. A professional driver once told me car makers spend millions on finding the most comfortable position for our thumbs on the steering wheel – Honda has cracked it with the NSX. I actually noticed it, it was so comfortable.
The electric power in this car also means you can drive it in ‘silent’ mode – not for very long – but it is ideal for anyone wanting to make a quick but quiet getaway in the dark before powering off. Indeed you can just imagine this car prowling the nighttime cityscape.
The NSX, like many other supercars, is low slung, wide and elegant with only two seats. No room for luggage.
Its marvellously smooth lines sweep back to strong muscly haunches that you catch every so often in your mirror and smile.
My version in Nouvelle Blue had the carbon fibre exterior pack (£7100) onboard echoing the interior package. This added a carbon fibre front spoiler, rear diffuser and side sills and a dark chrome exhaust finisher.
And for all that it’s a long wide car, the NSX doesn’t feel like that when you drive it, which to me is always the mark of an excellent car.
The Honda NSX is not the first car that springs to mind when you think hybrid but it is cars like this that give us all hope, that one day when we have made the leap from the internal combustion engine there will still be room for something as breathtaking as this.
Car reviewed: Honda NSX Engine 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 mated to three electric motors Power 581PS Top speed 191 mph 0-62mph Sub three seconds Average mpg 28.2 CO2 emissions 228g/km Price £180,250 (with options)
Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.
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