If anybody ask me about which NSX I prefer, I will always say the first gen NSX. I don’t really consider the new twin-turbo, three electric motor hybrid sportscar that Honda makes now a true NSX. The Honda NSX is known to be a pure sportscar providing a closer bond between driver and machine. Under the guidance of driving God Ayrton Senna during development, that goal was achieved. However, even Senna admitted, it wasn’t perfect.

Which is where the NSX-R comes in. Where pure gets taken to the next level. Most automakers will think the first thing to do when improving a model would be to crank up the power output. Honda decided to take a page from Lotus which is “simplify then add lightness.”

The NSX-R had many creature comforts end equipment removed such as sound deadening, power steering, and spare tire. The stock seats were replaced with one-piece carbon/kevlar racing seats. As another weight saving technique which doubles to transform the NSX to a purer driving machine, the traction control was also removed. Further weight reduction such as thinner rear glass and carpets, new lighter wheels, and gear shifter knob made of titanium rather than leather. The chassis bars for the front, rear, and door sills were also replaced with ones made of aluminum from the steel units on the stock NSX. 120kg of weight was shed overall in creating the NSX-R.

The 3.0 V6 VTEC heart producing around 270hp was left alone, but extra attention to detail was implemented in assembling the engines for the hardcore NSX to assure exact measurements on every part with no margin of errors. The chassis was enhanced with stiffer dampers and springs.

The end result is an NSX that Ayrton Senna wanted from the start. An everyday sportscar with the precision and thrill of a race car. It also marks the beginning of the Honda Type-R performance portfolio, with the Integra and Civic Type-Rs came afterward.

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