The downloadable sample PDF requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to be installed on your computer.
Befitting the subject, the author is a leading motoring historian, who lives in Japan and who has received full co-operation from Honda
Full year-by-year coverage of all production models, including limited editions
Japanese, American and European markets covered superb detail
Well over 380 contemporary pictures, including rare prototypes, mainly in colour
Advertising and sales brochures are also reproduced
Interviews with key personnel
Sales and production data
The definitive story of Honda's amazing supercar, the NSX
Honda's superbly engineered flagship model, the NSX, is the ultimate Japanese supercar. This book charts, in great detail, the complete history of the Honda NSX from inception to the present, and also incorporates a buyer's guide. Features over 380 colour photos, advertising literature and interviews with key Honda personnel in order to tell the real story of the NSX. An absolute must have for anyone who owns, plans to own, or just plain admires the thinking person's supercar, the NSX.
Review from Honda Revolutions
To Honda fans the NSX needs no introduction; it is the superbly engineered flagship model, the ultimate Japanese Supercar. It was loved by the motoring press, with only badge snobbery arguably robbing it of greater sales success. This book gives us in great detail the complete history of the NSX and also incorporates a buyer's guide.
The book is very well presented with a picture of the original NSX (red with black roof) on a black background adorning the cover, over 200 pages within and some stunning photography (over 200 colour photos) with advertising literature and reproduced copies of NSX brochures including American catalogues.
The first section of the book gives a brief history of Honda and then moves on to tell the story of the NSX with the original concept, development and debut. There are many cut away drawings and diagrams to accompany the text and it does prove to be very interesting whether you already own an NSX, aspire to own one, love Hondas or simply are interested in automotive developments. It then goes onto detailing the various models and changes over the years, the NSX in motorsport and not long after the facelift, the postscript.
As a long term fan and owner of an NSX for almost 4 years, I didn't expect to learn much new in this book, however I was pleasantly surprised as the book does indeed contain lots of information that was new to me. It explains technical issues in an accessible manner and also doesn't brush over some of the negative points that impacted the car. Of course in brand aware Britain, as we are all very aware, 'badge snobbery' was a major thorn in the side of the NSX hindering it at every stage. At launch as stated in the book 'The long-running prejudice toward Japanese cars was still much in evidence in Britain, but some were beginning to look at them objectively'.
No book about the NSX would be complete without mention of the NSX-R and this is covered very well along with the Type S, Type T, Zanardi Edition and Type S-Zero, again with some fantastic photography, although unless you read Japanese not all the information will be accessible.
Finally there was a unique ending for the NSX with the final 12 buyers (including Nigel Rouse, long term Club member) having their cars presented to them after a tour around the BAR factory.
A book that's mostly light gloss but still interesting
Book review by Julian Edgar
It's always easy to promote a revisionist history but it's probably fair to say if the Honda NSX had come from the factory with twin turbos, it would have become the enthusiasts' plaything like the Skyline GTR or the Supra turbo. Instead, despite its technically superior mid-engine rear-wheel-drive layout layout, aluminium monocoque construction and looks arguably far better than either the Skyline or Supra, the NSX has languished in the middle ground of cars that look good and handle well - but don't go ultra-hard.
So it's ironic to find that during its development, twin turbo, V8 and all-wheel drive versions were considered!
The story of the NSX is covered in Acura NSX - Honda's Supercar. Published by Veloce, the 224-page hardback is all-colour and uses high quality gloss paper. The book, authored by Brian Long, is one of the relatively rare publications devoted to a single Japanese performance car. Mr Long lives in Japan and so it could be expected that his publication would have a detailed, insiders' viewpoint of the NSX, its genesis and subsequent iterations. However, that's not really the case - the publication is more a collection of new car pamphlets and text snippets from contemporary road tests from around the world. So don't look for a detailed analysis of the mechanicals, or even spec sheets showing the different models.
But with that kept in mind, the book is still worth buying: its paper and print quality are excellent and so the dozens of pages of new car pamphlets retain their attraction for those who love the NSX. After all, those same pamphlets helped sell the car and so they're bloody good!
The opening chapter is a brief history of the Honda marque, dominated - as have all major marques - by a single man, in this case Soichiro Honda. His production of piston rings, then motorcycles, then cars, is covered in a dozen pages with some of the most interesting content being (yep, you guessed it!) original Honda print ads for the S800 and N360 cars, and Civic CVCC technology..
The next text-based chapter is probably the book's best: the development of the NSX concept. What layout to adopt, whether to use four wheel drive (it would have added too much weight) or four-wheel steering (another 29kg), the aerodynamic refinements and the choice and development of engine are all briefly covered. For those interested in the technical, this is the chapter which could have been four or five times as long - surely Honda published engineering papers on the development of the car that would have been a rich source of tech nitty-gritty? There's an interview with the NSX's chief engineer but the opportunity is wasted with only a handful of pedestrian questions asked. But the drawings of the suspension, VTEC system gearbox and LSD are all interesting - although the captions and text tend not to explain any of the details.
From the next chapter onwards, the pamphlet extravaganza begins! Over no less than the following 28 pages is the first US brochure, with some pages reproduced a little small (but still readable) and other pages at what must be close to the original sizing. Fantastic cutaway diagrams, discussion of the development philosophy, photos of the NSX body in its bare aluminium, body design, aerodynamics, engine design, the interior, the manufacture, and a full specifications sheet (the only one in the book) - they're all here with excellent reproduction. Following that are 17 pages of the original Japanese NSX brochure - interesting, but unless you can read Japanese, not of the same fascination as the US-market pamphlet.
From there the book moves through the different years and models, covering the harder-edged Type R, the open NSX-T, and the Type S. All these models are covered in 22 pages showing a Japanese market pamphlet of the time. Racing NSXs have their own chapter and then the last, fixed headlight NSX design is described.
The book is short on analysis - there's no real discussion of how the voluntary 280ps power limit hamstrung the naturally aspirated NSX in a way the turbo GTR and Supra could circumvent with their much higher forced aspiration average torque values, and the NSX's relative lack of success - it appears under 20,000 were sold - is never really gone into. (Or, conversely, should that production figure be seen as very successful, given Honda was pitching the car at the Ferrari end of the market? Either way, it would make for an interesting analysis!) There's no coverage of modified NSXs and nothing to help someone considering buying a used NSX. The drive impressions are extensive but they're all based around new car tests of the time each model was released - it's always interesting to perform a retrospective driving comparison and see the strengths and weaknesses of the older models from a current perspective, but this isn't done.
But with that said, without buying collectors' copies, where else are you going to get so many pages of new car NSX pamphlets? For both the casual browser or the avid enthusiast armed with a magnifying glass, there's plenty here to look at. It's just a pity Mr Long didn't take the book to the next level of inquiry.