Anyone who’s followed us over the past 16 years will be aware of our huge respect for Honda. From the lightweight EK9 to the flagship NSX, Honda have produced some cracking cars over the years and the latter is where we’re focusing our attention today.
Fast approaching 30 years since its release NSXs are arguably held in even higher regard today than all those years ago. Produced in relatively low numbers very few actually change hands which is a true testament to how enjoyable they are to own.
Honda’s brief to produce an everyday supercar was certainly met as the NSX is a car you can literally drive every day with little worry of big bills around the corner. Our good friend Mike at Minutia Detailing can attest to this with his daily Daytona yellow NA2 previously owned by Jenson Button. Now covering over 167,000 miles it still runs on the original clutch!
So how could Honda possibly improve on this superb everyday super car? Presenting the Honda NSX Type S…
For those unaware the NSX-S ever existed would be excused. Released exclusively for the Japanese domestic market in limited numbers of 248 the chances of seeing one in the flesh are really very slim. This special edition has often been described as the perfect mix between the base model and NSX-R. Blending everyday driving with a more focused driving experience, a more refined Type R if you like.
Released shortly after the displacement hike in 1997 (3000cc to 3200cc) the NSX-S also came in 45kgs lighter than the base model bringing the overall kerb weight down to 1,320 kg. This weight saving was helped in part by the Type S specific BBS lightweight aluminium wheels and beautiful carbon-kevlar RECARO half leather seats.
A 6-speed manual transmission was favoured to suit the more powerful engine helped by strengthened gaskets, crankshaft pins, and piston pins. A stainless steel exhaust manifold, dual-mass flywheel, 16 inches brake rotors, and stiffer suspension also came as standard from the factory, as did a mesh design engine cover (like the Type R) and a coloured roof.
At 10.357 million yen it was the most expensive NSX sold in Japan to date. But was it worth it? If the performance improvements haven’t convinced you then the stunning Monte Carlo blue pearl and BBS alloys on this stunner we sourced for a customer surely will. But the all important question remains… how does it drive?
Although a fabulous allrounder, occasionally I’ve felt a little disconnected with the base model NSX but also a little broken after longer outings in the uncompromising NSX-R. In contrast the Type S lives up to the hype and boasts the perfect balance between the two models. Sharper handling and improved throttle response literally transforms the driving experience from the base model. Plus the more supple suspension and increased sound deadening help create a far more comfortable ride than the NSX-R.
Does that mean I’d prefer to own a Type S over an NSX-R? The answer would have to be no. Personally I see the NSX as more of a weekend toy rather than something I’d commute in every day. There’s something so special about dropping into the same model that Senna smashed around Suzuka. For these reasons alone the NSX-R appeals to myself more. However, for anyone looking for that special ‘everyday’ NSX the NSX Type S reigns supreme…