The NSX-R represents a further evolution of the painstaking weight reduction, circuit-tuned suspension refinement, and high-precision engine balancing cultivated in the previous-generation NSX-R produced during 1992-1995. Newly developed aerodynamic devices further enhance high-speed performance, resulting in greater driving performance and handling stability than in its previous incarnation.
A carbon fibre hood with outlet duct, finned front under-cover, rear diffuser, carbon fibre rear spoiler, and other innovations create a degree of negative lift rarely seen in a street-ready car. This downforce facilitates a quantum leap in the car's driving performance and handling stability at high speeds.
Racecar-like responsiveness and powerful acceleration are achieved through high-precision balancing of the crankshaft assembly – a measure unheard of in production engines – along with a "shorter" final gear ratio, DBW (Drive By Wire) electronic throttle control, and other specialised tuning.
The suspension has been hard-tuned to cope with the added downforce, and custom-designed high-grip tyres, precision custom chassis tuning, and ventilated brake discs with harder brake pads for potent stopping power have been added.
Other features unique to the NSX-R include a custom ball-shaped titanium shift knob and lightweight mesh shift boot, leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel, Recaro carbon fibre Aramid full-bucket seats with leather upholstery and a shift indicator with LEDs to indicate the engine’s power peak and rev limit.
The model will be available exclusively in Championship White.
Civic IMA – show visitors can drive tomorrow’s car today
The Sunday Times Motor Show Live will provide a rare opportunity for members of the public to experience the capabilities of Honda’s innovative Civic IMA. This is the first petrol electric hybrid based on an existing mainstream car model, and is already proving to be a runaway sales success with nearly 50,000 sales worldwide (including 1000 in Britain).
The principle behind the IMA system fitted to Civic is to take a highly efficient but smaller (1.3 litre) petrol engine and supplement its performance during acceleration, or when ascending a hill, with an electric motor. Engine and motor are thus complementary and each is designed to operate within its most efficient range. The motor assists the engine when required, but in turn recaptures energy during braking and deceleration (regenerative braking). This means the electric motor needs no outside power source, nor does it have to be ‘plugged in’.
Visitors sampling the Civic as part of the Show’s "Taster Test Drive" feature will discover a Civic which drives like any normal car, with nothing complicated or unusual about its operation. The only differences they will observe will be the car’s extraordinary level of refinement as well as complete silence when the car is at rest, since the Civic IMA incorporates an "idle stop" feature to avoid fuel wastage at traffic stops.
The Civic IMA has been on sale in the UK since May 2003 and costs £15,013 on the road. Purchasers in England currently receive a £700 Powershift grant and the model is eligible for a 100% discount on the London Congestion Charge.Published 21 April 2004