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- August 26 2016 The Honda NSX Love Story, Part II
The Honda NSX Love Story, Part II
Back in November 2015, we wrote about Mike’s love affair with the Honda NSX. We described it as ‘pygmalionism’ – that is ‘the state of being in love with an object of one’s own creation’ – and while he didn’t create the car himself, he has created a deeply personal connection with the car that is his own creation.
Honda NSX-R © Reece Mikkelson
Why the Honda NSX-R?
The guy that buys an entry-level Porsche 911 really wants a convertible 911 Turbo. The guy that buys a Premium Economy airline ticket really wants to sit in First Class and the guy that takes his girl to dinner at The Harvester really wants to take his girl to dinner at Le Gavroche.
As a self-confessed fanboy, Mike already owns a facelift Indy Yellow Pearl NSX that was originally owned by Jenson Button but he wanted more. Much more.
‘The NA2 version of the NSX-R was the car I was after rather than the original because of all the improvements they made during production. What Honda did was develop every aspect of the NSX to the ‘nth’ degree. The NSX-R is the ultimate; it embodies Honda’s involvement in Formula1 which provided not only aerodynamic and mechanical knowledge to the car’s design but also hands-on influence from none other than F1 legend Ayrton Senna on the car’s set-up.’
Mike’s enthusiasm for the NSX-R was shared:
‘The result makes a standard NSX feel dull’ – Auto Express
‘The NSX-R got the job done like no other sub-300bhp supercar on earth’ – EVO Magazine
‘The R is just as happy drifting as the NSX always was’ – Autocar
As with the original NSX, the exclusive R (only around 140 were built) was created to show the flashy Europeans in Stuttgart, Maranello and Sant’Agata Bolognese that Japan could produce a legitimate challenger to their fire-breathing beasts with movie-star good looks and price tags to match.
Honda NSX-R © Michael Pariera
Here are the numbers:
Engine: 3,179 cc
Power: 290 bhp @ 7,300 rpm
Torque: 224 lb. ft. @ 5,300 rpm
Max. Speed: 174 mph
0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds
0-100 mph: 10.9 seconds
Weight: 1,270 kg
While they put a little flesh on the bones, this isn’t a road test. It’s not about how the car drives, how much it costs, the pros and cons of buying a Japanese supercar or any of that stuff. This is a story of one man’s quest to own the car of his dreams.
The Hunt Is On
So, where does one go about finding an extremely rare NSX-R in mint condition? There’s only one place – Torque GT.
Based in Devon, Torque GT is a specialist Japanese importer and if you’re looking for a rare car or one in exceptional condition from the Land of the Rising Sun, these are the guys who will find it for you. Not only do they scour the Japanese auctions but they also have excellent links with specialist dealers, sourcers and collectors all over Asia who ‘can find pretty much any car, no matter how few were originally made and no matter where they are hiding.’
Their track record in sourcing some of the rarest Japanese beasts is unrivalled. Recent imports include a Civic Mugen RR, a GT-R Nismo 400R and an Impreza 22B STi. Take a look at their website for more incredible Japanese automotive awesomeness.
Armed with a detailed brief, Torque GT took three months to find Mike’s NSX-R and then another month to get the car back to the UK from Japan. With all the paperwork, red tape and legal hoops to jump through, it was six months from instruction to delivery but they got the job done.
Honda NSX-R © Michael Pariera
Mike picks up the story:
The NSX-R has a unique road presence above the standard car. Few outside the of the Honda fraternity know its importance but I can recognise those that do by the first question they ask.
‘Is it a real one?’
They’re not referring to whether it’s a replica NSX but whether it’s a bona fide R model rather than a regular NSX dressed up to look like the halo. Some even thought it was a £1,500 dressed-up Prelude…!
Having owned a few NSXs over the years, part of me was concerned that when the R arrived and the keys were in my hand, the level of specialness wouldn’t justify my high regard for the car but I had no need to worry.
It’s the little details – the thinly-painted black carbon fibre rear wing, the lightened exhausts, the front bonnet vents, the fixed carbon Kevlar seats, the perfectly-sized MOMO steering wheel and the titanium gearstick. It’s these things that make you aware of what you’re driving.
Driving a Serious Driver’s Car
In the first few weeks of owning the car, Lucas from Surrey-based supercar dealers The Octane Collection drove it and said that it felt rawer than any Porsche 911 GT3 RS. To me, that’s a real compliment from a well-respected industry expert who knows his supercars!
Being a proper driver’s car, Mike wanted – needed – to get out on the open road and drive it. His first road trip was to the F1 Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for a track day. After four, 25-minute sessions without a break, the NSX-R didn’t miss a beat.
‘The racetrack is where the NSX-R is most at home’ Mike Pariera
As we said, this isn’t a road test but it would be remiss of us not to mention that it’s a seriously quick, agile, balanced and exquisitely-built automobile that does have the ability to match – and often exceed – anything that came out of Europe’s supercar factories over the last two decades.
Honda NSX-R © Michael Pariera
While the NSX-R is without question a sensational car, Mike found – and continues to find – a lot of badge snobbery in the supercar-owning community.
‘I even experienced it with the small group I went to Spa with. Only when people have sat in the car on a flying lap do they appreciate just how epic the car is. For those that know, the car is worth every penny of its value. Over time, prices will continue to go up and I’m happy in the knowledge that most (if not all) of the NSX-Rs out there are in the hands of loving collectors who know what they’ve got, what the car represents and perhaps most importantly, how far short many of the other supercars fall when compared to the car that is part of the legacy of the late, great Ayrton Senna.’
The last word of course goes to Mike:
I’ve even burned the log book so there’s no chance of me selling my dream car from Japan!