It’s Almost Here! Honda NSX to Debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed in June

In a month, the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be underway. This time around, Jenson Button will be getting behind the wheel of the new Honda NSX, which is making it’s second generation debut after the first was discontinued back in 2005. Glynn Williams of Business Car Manager predicts that the NSX will soon be the envy of high rolling car-collectors, joining the ranks of the coveted Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi R8, and McLaren 540C. Honda’s latest offering has similar performance specs to these classics, and is offered at about the same price.carl-turnley-Detroit_NAIAS_2015_2016_Acura_NSX

The Honda NSX is actually made in the USA (Ohio, to be exact), by a small team of 100 people. With 573 horsepower and top speeds of 191 miles/hour, the vehicle can sprint from 0-62 in under three seconds. Even though the car’s top competitors have higher top speeds, the NSX holds an advantage with its impressive acceleration, thanks to three electric motors. The car also features four different driving modes that can affect everything from the motor to the engine noise level.

Car enthusiasts have long waited for the return of the NSX, and given what we know so far it won’t be a let down.

Honda vs. Chevy

The 100th edition of the Indy 500 is fast approaching, and two teams are already embroiled in some serious beef. In the events leading up to the big day, Chevrolet has dominated the last three, leaving no victories for Honda. To make it worse, Chevy swept the podium on the qualifying stage, and only two Honda drivers placed in the top 11. And with IndyCar’s biggest event knocking, the hopes that Honda will win it are nothing short of slim.

Honda is not taking kindly to some of Chevrolet's racing tactics.

Honda is not taking kindly to some of Chevrolet’s racing tactics.

So what happened? It comes down to this: Honda is blaming the IndyCar establishment for giving Chevy an unfair advantage; Chevrolet is taking it in stride, arguing that Honda should have been better prepared. Since 2012, Chevy has won two Indy 500’s, and Honda has won the other two. The pair of manufacturers has always been competitive, but some recent events have taken their rivalry to new heights.

In 2015, the sport began to allow aerodynamic body kits. Eager to beat out the competition, Chevy jumped at the opportunity… but there was a problem. Several drivers went airborne during the Indy 500 practice runs, and the unofficial take was that Chevrolet’s design caused the malfunctions. What happened next is the crux of the rift. IndyCar changed the rules on pole day, allowing the Chevy cars to stay on the track. Honda saw the changes as being favorable only to Chevy; the organization bowed to the expectations of a manufacturer, not vice versa. What happened next was somewhat unpredictable in hindsight— Chevy grabbed the top four spots in last year’s Indy 500.

Michael Andretti, the owner of Team Honda, is voicing his disappointment because he feels that “two classes” of car are being allowed to compete. Not only that, but the gulf will also take away from the potential for an awesome show.

What do you think?

Honda’s Revival

It’s not unusual for a car to resurrect an old model for a new era. Dodge did it most notably in the mid-2000s with new incarnations of 70’s throwbacks including the Magnum, Charger, and Challenger. In 2005, Ford pulled it off when they channeled their 1960’s vibe for the new look Mustang.

The NSX is back with a fury.

The NSX is back with a fury.

But one auto manufacturer that did not execute this revival was Honda. In fact, they did the opposite, discontinuing several street favorites. Over the last decade, it’s name slowly slipped into conversations of starter cars. The old-reliable, but nothing definitively excellent for auto enthusiasts. But once they abandoned ship on the NSX in 2005 and the S2000 at the end of the decade, Honda became a codeword for “pedestrian”. Not they’re bad cars, but they just weren’t at the top of the mind in the discussion for top of the line street performance.

However, most of that last paragraph was written in the past tense. That’s because Honda is looking to change its fortunes in that department with the release of three formidable autos.

The first is the new look NSX, resurrected from its mid-2000s grave. Released under the Acura brand, this scorcher has confirmed speeds of 191 mph, and possesses a whopping 500+ horsepower. It boasts three different motors, an li-ion battery, and allows the driver to select a different mode to meet any condition they may encounter.

The Honda S660 is new to the fleet, and cousin to the S2000.

The Honda S660 is new to the fleet, and cousin to the S2000.

The S2000, another beloved vehicle, is slated for a re-release, as well, in 2017.

There’s also a new model in the works, the Honda: S660. And unlike the botched release and promotion of the CR-Z, this mini-roadster has well exceeded demand— it’s sold out. The only unexpected snag is that 80% of buyers are over 40 years of age. Compare that with S2000 sales, when 20% of buyers were 40 years or older. The demographics have completely flipped. Honda hoped younger consumers would bite for the S660, but the low demand in that demographic has been chalked up to the fact that many young drivers may not have the income required for a car of that caliber. But perhaps the younger crowd that grew up admiring the S2000 has aged,

and is looking to recapture some of that magic for themselves.

But wait, there’s more! Honda is reportedly in the works for production of a brand-new vehicle ready to fit the demands of the 21st-century. It’s dispelled rumors of a hybrid sports car, as it is a fully electric vehicle. It’s going to be powered by four electric motors, one at each wheel, for the ultimate all-wheel drive experience.

Here’s to Honda dispelling the assumptions that environmentally conscious vehicles can’t be vicious on the street.



Over at Petrolicious I bumped into a post that took a look at one of the more fascinating styles of racing automobiles: engine passengers. Obviously, we’re not talking about engine riding shotgun, and the reality is that it can be a bit hard to imagine for those who do have not seen one. So let’s take a look at some of the cars they’ve shared with the readers.

italian dalmonar car turning the corner

That’s the Nardi Bisiluro Damolnar. As you can see, the engine is fitted not under the hood, but in a section of the body that runs parallel to the driver’s side. Debuting in 1955, this particular vehicle was built with one thing in mind: endurance. Enrico Nardi wanted his car to compete with the best at the legendary Le Mans endurance race. One of the most important aspects of the dream vehicle was the emphasis on aerodynamics. This compact speedster actually required the driver to put their legs through the steering wheel, and the brake system was a work of genius in its own right. But while hopes were high, it ultimately did not finish due to suspension and weight problems— it met its end when it was blown off the track while being lapped. However, you’ve got to respect the ingenuity in the design.

While the Damolnar turned heads in its day, it certainly wasn’t the first vehicle to have that unique body design. That credit goes to 1951’s TARF II. The car was nicknamed “the twin torpedo”, and primarily competed in low-drag speed races. And speedy it was! It won a competition with an officially recorded rate of 185 mph, although it’s maximum speed was almost 200mph! Lucky for us, there has been video of this bad boy in action.

These cars aren’t only relics of the past. Honda is actually tinkering with a similar concept with their two cars aptly named Project 2 and Project 4. It’s pushing around 215 horsepower and weighs under 900 pounds. Again, this thing is a concept, so don’t expect to see it on the track anytime soon. But at least we know it’s out there.