Horn of a dilemma

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter: @PaulWardGover

THE horn in the Honda NSX is fee­ble. Barely a squeak.

That’s fine in a baby Jazz at $14,990 but hardly suit­able for the all-new $420,000 Honda su­per­car that the com­pany is pitch­ing against Porsche, Fer­rari, Lam­borgh­ini and Audi.

Su­per­cars usu­ally an­nounce their ar­rival with a trum­pet­ing horn that’s also good for in­tim­i­dat­ing the world’s most ex­otic wildlife.

But the NSX horn is not what it seems. Or sounds. “Of course we know about the horn,” says NSX de­vel­op­ment en­gi­neer­ing chief Ja­son Bilotta.

He’s smil­ing like he has a se­cret and he does.

The horn, it seems, was the sub­ject of a lot of en­gi­neer­ing in­put on its size and lo­ca­tion. And even­tu­ally it was the lo­ca­tion that de­cided its size, and also the noise it makes.

“The pack­ag­ing at the front of the car is very tight. It’s a ques­tion of air­flow and cool­ing. We couldn’t fit a big­ger horn and we couldn’t put it any­where else,” Bilotta says.

He laughs when he says a set of old-school air horns would have been fun, but even with a $1 bil­lion de­vel­op­ment bud­get on the most im­por­tant Honda in more than a decade it just wasn’t pos­si­ble. “The car speaks for it­self. It’s not about the horn,” Bilotta says.

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