NSX Lift

Top Supercars to start off 2015 are the……Ford GT and Honda/Acura NSX. Other “Moc-Supercars” are the Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V. Most of these models should be debuting at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show; with the exception of the GT being a rumor.

Gran Turismo 6

Anyways, I’m really excited about the NSX, as its performance in the market will help entice other Japanese automakers to invest in the sports cars again. The GTR has been alone. Toyota has had success with the FT-86 and have shown a concept called the FT-1. So its good to see Japan offer more than just everyday cars.

Gran Turismo 6

Anyways here is the NSX and its history till now.

The first of the NSX’s showed up in 1990: It utilized an all aluminum body and an in-line V6 mid-engine. The car was also a favorite of F1 driver Ayrton Senna. The R model was released in 93′.

Gran Turismo 6

As more computer and technological gains were verified the NSX was updated as years went by. Improvements were: Alarm system, automatic trans with a “more manual feel” (F-matic), electronic power steering, etc. The engine was also updated from a 3.0L to 3.2L for the manual transmission models.

In 2001 Honda refreshed the aerodynamics of the NSX, most notably are the fixed healights in the front. The R model followed the next year in 2002.

Gran Turismo 6

The vision for the NSX continued with the HSC in 2003. The new interior emphasized a more luxurious feel with paddle shifters and a V6-engine. The long wheel base design and interior of the HSC is a definite replica of the upcoming NSX. These new interior updates would help the NSX reach an exotic feel that it was missing when attempting to compete with Ferrari.

However, sales and a move to efficiency slowed the continuation of the project. Sales of the second gen, NSX ended in 2005.

Gran Turismo 6

As a phoenix dies, its reborn. The same year in 2005; Fukui, Takeo CEO of Honda, said the NSX should be revived in 3-4 years as a V10. The V10 was an obvious move that helped push Nissan with the GTR and excitement was through the roof for Godzilla (GTR) and meta-Godzilla (NSX) to meet again. By 2008 only one made it to production, the GTR.

The green movement from 2006-2010 as well as the global recession put the V10 project at an immediate halt. Honda announced the project will be stopping and the V10’s ended up in the new HSV JGTC cars. Surprisingly however, Toyota was able to make a V10 project happen with the LFA.

tumblr_m1nz2oww2r1qk65n6o1_1280

In 2009; Ito, Takanobu became the new CEO of Honda motors, following his entrance in 2010 he mentioned that the NSX will be coming back and it would be a hybrid. For those who knew Takanobu it wasn’t a surprise, since he had a long history with the engineering of the NSX ever since its birth.

Gran Turismo 6

Rebirth and destruction: NSX

The Honda (Acura) NSX finally has a production model scheduled and showing on January 2015 at the North American Detroit Motor Show. Also in this release is an update for the “baby” Acura, the ILX, “replacement” of the RSX (Integra), which has been out-of-production for almost eight years. I seriously can’t believe how old I am now.

2015-acura-nsx-front-end

Anyways the rebirth of the NSX was something we have been waiting for. The Japanese sports car era of the 90’s came to a sudden halt, mostly because of a move to create an efficient vehicle portfolio. Toyota was the forefront runner and really hasn’t released a sport coupe model for nearly 12 years; not considering the Scion brand . As for Honda, they kept dipping their toes with the NSX. Previously the NSX was to sport a V10, however that was scrapped and the V10’s were put in HSV racing cars. Honda however still had the S2000 till 2010, and the Si and Type-R civics were still hot commodities. Nissan was the only company to truly have a high-performance supercar, until the LFA triggered a stampede to other manufacturers.

2015-acura-nsx-rear-three-quarter

With the rebirth there is also destruction, and that’s with the last manual tranny in the Acura group. The ILX is the last to get its LED eyes to welcome the NSX and that goes with dropping the manual transmission to an 8-speed auto. This is due to sales and interest, which really doesn’t surprise me as Lexus did the same thing. The styling doesn’t really prompt a sporty feel as the RSX did, however it does have sharp lines. Honestly I’ve never been asked what transmission I would like when going to buy a car. Usually if the car has a manual the sales guy/gal will say, “now this only comes in a manual” or “this one has a manual, but we can try and find one without to match your needs.” Its never the opposite with current automatics.

2016-Acura-ILX-FL120

Its been too long for the NSX and although I would have hoped for a 6 or 7-speed manny on a V-10, seeing this innovative track car will be a day of reckoning for the GTR as well as BMW’s i8. The NSX should be turbo’d with a hybrid set-up. All-wheel drive as all Acuras are standard now wish the SH-AWD and it will be built in…….Ohio?!?

0002-Acura-ILX000

Manually Getting There.

So I composed a list for North American car manufacturers offering a manual transmission in their line up. I found a lot of interesting things when searching through different car web pages, especially gaudy flair.

The Alfa Romeo webpage was by far the most confusing of them all. I tried to get a simple spec sheet that took me more than 6 minutes to find, I should have been paid for fanyarin’ that kazi. Porsche also has too many options for their cars that they fail in giving a clean webpage to properly choose and differentiate between the options. Honestly, if you are getting a brand new Porsche, find a dealership and let them help you with those choices. The easiest page was Scion, nothing flashy and quite simple to understand and build my car.

Lotus-Evora-S-3-640x475

Few surprises were with Audi only having manuals for its A4, A5, and R8 lines, this includes S models. They had the easiest and cleanest web configuration when building a car out of the other luxury brand vehicles. Volkswagen also shares parts with the A3 through the A6 models, so I was surprised that the A3 didn’t have a manual transmission standard/option, yet all Volkswagen’s do. With the release of the new Lamborghini Huracan I won’t be surprised if the new R8 V10 loses the manual option too.

Lotus-Elise-CR-8

The three Japanese luxury brands have essentially phased out all manual transmissions in their line up. I know Acura is now officially overseen by U.S. management as of the beginning of this year, so I’m not sure if the ILX will even remain a manual. Infiniti hasn’t released its official Q60 coupe since it shares engines with the Fairlady Z and Lexus decided the IS models don’t need manuals anymore.

For the American brands, Ford had options on almost all their sedans and coupes besides the Taurus. Chevrolet and Dodge also had a great line-up for a manual transmission package on their cars. As for  luxury U.S. cars, Buick and Cadillac had at least one or two options performance cars with manual options.

17065_Exige-S-Green-Hethel-Track_1024x768

Lotus, Porsche, and Subaru were my all time favorites. They still offer manuals as standard and their line-up’s were amazing. The BMW range disappoints me, it looks like they are slowly trying to let go of the manual. However I’m glad the M6 and M5 still have that option available.

Manrefle-page-001

Put an X on it!

As Honda/Acura get ready to reveal the NSX we can see current line ups getting updated to welcome their flag-ship super car back. In the U.S. all the Acura models are getting rebranded with an X and the last car before the big reveal of the NSX will be the TL. I know I’ve talked about this already, but come on its the NSX ya’ll! HEEE magari vizuri!

The 2015 Acura TLX Prototype NSX-concept