Re­turn of the su­per­car

Honda wants to bring the re­born Us-built NSX down un­der

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­

THE back-from-the-dead Honda NSX should be con­firmed for Aus­tralia within months.

The new-age su­per­car is be­ing raced to­wards pro­duc­tion in the US, com­plete with a new high-tech fac­tory and— for the first time— an Amer­i­can en­gi­neer in charge of de­vel­op­ment work.

Hav­ing shown an NSX con­cept many times in re­cent years, Honda is now pro­vid­ing de­tails about the fac­tory in Ohio that will build the car and in­for­ma­tion on Ted Klaus, the en­gi­neer­ing team leader.

It has also opened an or­der bank in Bri­tain and is promis­ing an early de­ci­sion on the car for Aus­tralia.

I’mat the front of the queue to get it back,’’ Honda Aus­tralia di­rec­tor Stephen Collins tells Cars­guide. We’re not in a po­si­tion to con­firm any­thing as yet. But we’re a fair way down the track with it.’’

The new-age NSX will again be a mid-en­gined su­per­car, with a V6— as in the 1980s orig­i­nal— and all-wheel drive.

Klaus says: We have a very clear un­der­stand­ing of the high ex­pec­ta­tions lux­ury buy­ers around the world have for a su­per­car, and our chal­lenge is to ex­ceed them and cre­ate new value for the cus­tomer.’’

He re­veals the car will be built by a spe­cially trained, 100-strong work­force at the new Per­for­mance Man­u­fac­tur­ing Cen­tre near Honda’s ex­ist­ing Ac­cord fac­tory in Ohio. En­gines will be built nearby in an­other ded­i­cated NSX plant.

The re­turn of the NSX comes al­most ex­actly a decade af­ter pro­duc­tion of the orig­i­nal ended. It was built from 1999 at Honda’s Takanezawa fac­tory be­fore pro­duc­tion shifted to Suzuka un­til 2005.

In Aus­tralia, fewer than 300 cars were sold and none of the later mod­els was brought here.

We’ve got a solid his­tory with sales of the first­gen­er­a­tion NSX. I think we sold about 280 of those cars,’’ says Collins. Give that, and the strength it would pro­vide to the brand, and our his­tory, I’m pretty con­fi­dent.’’

He says the es­sen­tial busi­ness case for the car is al­ready un­der way and the chances for Aus­tralia are boosted by strong early in­ter­est from Bri­tain, which is driv­ing de­vel­op­ment of right-hand drive cars.

De­spite the NSX not be­ing con­firmed, Collins is pre­par­ing a cus­tomer plan for the car. That means a pri­or­ity wait list and ded­i­cated NSX deal­ers.

I would an­tic­i­pate that, given its low vol­ume and the spe­cial na­ture of the car, we’ll have some sort of or­der­ing sys­tem in place,’’ he says.

Last time we had about a dozen deal­ers. Given the na­ture of the car it would be fairly spe­cialised.’’

Yes to NSX: Honda will take spe­cial or­ders for the re­born icon

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