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    Thread: Jeremy Clarkson slams new NSX

    1. Member NoXenons's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 12:54 AM #1


      BACK IN the days when you could walk from Calais to Dover and wattle was a popular building material, Honda decided it would like to build a supercar with a V10 engine. It would, the company said, be a replacement for the old NSX, and I was very excited.

      Every so often I’d call Honda to see how it was coming along, and it’d say, “Very well”, but that there’d been a bit of a delay because of the ice age, or the eruption of Krakatoa or some other geological disturbance. I seem to recall at one point it said it’d had to change the interior because modern man was a different shape from his Neanderthal predecessor.

      And then there was a wobble in the Japanese economy, and the V10 engine lost its Formula One halo, so Honda announced that the new car would be some kind of hybrid with electric motors and a turbocharged V6. That sounded pretty exciting too, especially when Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche were busy demonstrating just how biblical a combination such as this could be.



      I kept calling Honda to ask when I could drive its new offering and was always told the same thing. “Soon.” It said the design and engineering team in California was “benchmarking” the Chevrolet Corvette, and when this was done it would be ready.
      A year later it said the team had decamped to Germany to benchmark various Porsches. And then a year after that it was in Mauritius benchmarking cocktails. I began to think the new NSX was a machine that existed only in Honda’s dreams and that it would never see the light of day.

      But then last year, after a quick trip to Sydney to benchmark some surfboards and a stopover in Bali to benchmark a couple of beaches, the tanned and relaxed designers and engineers announced the car was finished.

      And I must say it looked good. It’s very low and very wide — wider than almost anything else on the road, in fact. It also appeared to be very clever, since its mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 was fitted with a 47bhp electric motor that would provide power while the turbos were drawing from the well of witchcraft but were not quite ready to deliver it.



      Furthermore, each front wheel was fitted with its own 36bhp electric motor, which meant this fairly conventional-looking supercar was anything but, under the skin. Can you even begin to imagine, for instance, the computing power needed simply to keep all four wheels rotating at the same speed?

      When you start to consider that, you can see why it’s taken so long to get the new NSX from the doodle, “Wouldn’t it be nice?” phase and into the showrooms. Especially when you step inside and realise that despite the behind-the-scenes complexity, it comes with a normal steering wheel, normal pedals, normal paddles for the nine-speed gearbox and a normal price. I’m not being flippant. At £143,950 it’s almost five times less expensive than Porsche’s hybrid alternative.



      On paper, then, this car looks like a genuinely realistic alternative to Ferrari’s 488 GTB, Lamborghini’s Huracan and whatever car McLaren has just launched. However, it isn’t.

      The first problem is that it’s not that quick off the mark. If you are driving in Quiet mode — which you will be most of the time, because the other settings make the car noisy, uneconomical and bumpy — and you put your foot down, there is a very noticeable moment when you just know the computing system is having a think. “Right. Hang on. What gear should I select? Fourth? Fifth? We’ll have a meeting about that, and in the meantime let’s see if we can work out which wheel needs what amount of power. Front left to start with …”

      Meanwhile, the driver of the Vauxhall Vectra you were trying to overtake is at home watching Game of Thrones.

      So all the clever-clever hybrid tech doesn’t give you the power you were expecting, which would be fine if it gave extra economy, but it doesn’t really do that either. Don’t reckon on getting much more than 20mpg.

      Then there’s the handling. You’d imagine that with its weird four-wheel-drive system it’d have a ton of grip, and that’s probably so. But you are never inclined to find out for sure, because you are aware this is a heavy car and nearly a ton of the weight is located in the rear end. So if you went over the limit of grip, it’d be like wrestling a grandfather clock back into line.

      What’s more, the steering is numb, and there’s a curious wobble when the car settles into a bend, as though the suspension is having a bit of a row with itself about what it should be doing.

      As a car for petrolheads, then, this is no match for its rivals from McLaren, Lamborghini and Ferrari. And then things get worse.



      The sun visors are the size of stamps and feel as though they’ve been lifted from a Soviet bread van, the horn sounds as if it’s from a Toys R Us pedal car and the sat nav is woeful.

      I suspect it’s the same unit you get in a Honda Jazz or Civic, so on the upside it could probably find the nearest beetle drive or bingo hall, but on the downside it’s a touchscreen, which doesn’t work in any car, and the software appears to have been written by Alistair MacLean or some other author of fiction. Twice it told me the road ahead was closed. And it just bloody wasn’t.

      Then there’s the stereo, which sounds like Radio Caroline did in the early 1970s, and I wouldn’t mind but the engine doesn’t compensate for this. In the old NSX there was an intoxicating induction roar when you accelerated; in the new one there’s just some gravelly noise. Which you aren’t really hearing, because you’re busy seeing if the carpet is stuck under the throttle pedal.

      Worst of all is the fuel gauge. I don’t have OCD, as anyone who has seen my desk will testify, but the needle isn’t centred, so it always looks ****-eyed. And that drove me mad.



      You are left, once you’ve lived with an NSX for a few days, with a sense that the engineers have beavered away at the difficulties of making a high-performance hybrid and then just garnished it with parts from the factory floor. Everything you touch and look at feels either low rent or annoying.
      On a recent television programme my colleague James May said he liked the NSX because he found it interesting. Later he told me that the car’s lack of apparent acceleration has something to do with Newton metres per inch per inch and that the linear nature of electric motor delivery … I’m afraid I nodded off at this point.

      He is right, though. This car is interesting. And it is pretty. But that, I’m afraid, is the full extent of its repertoire.
      Quote Originally Posted by RS-SIX View Post
      You guys are missing the point with manuals...not only does not one want to drive a manual, many active safety systems do not work with manual transmissions. Soon manual trans cars are going to be the most dangerous cars on the road. If they dont die a natural death, they will be outlawed.

    2. Member someguy123's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 01:05 AM #2
      No surprise here.

      Wait till he drives the new Ford GT....

    3. 02-14-2017 01:16 AM #3
      Yawn. Hyberbole for hyperbole's sake.
      I design cars, your opinion is invalid.

    4. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 02:22 AM #4
      perhaps changing the design direction of a project mid-course several times really does impact the final product?

      also i believe several of us called this.

    5. n00b micro100's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 06:34 AM #5
      New NSX ruined by technology?

    6. 02-14-2017 09:11 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by micro100 View Post
      New NSX ruined by technology?
      You write the word "technology" without really understanding what it means. Guess what, there are probably between 30-60 computers in EVERY car on the road today. From your Ford Focus to your Chiron. That's technology. You know what else is technology? Progress. It may be in the transmission, steering, or whatever else Honda does to make the experience better. You saying the "new NSX is ruined by technology" is akin to saying progress is a bad thing.

    7. Senior Member AZGolf's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 09:30 AM #7
      I'm not sure anyone cares what Clarkson thinks anymore, since it's now widely understood he just uses maximum emotion whenever he speaks or writes. For him, every car is either the best or the worst in the world. There's no in between in his mind.

    8. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 09:39 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by AZGolf View Post
      I'm not sure anyone cares what Clarkson thinks anymore, since it's now widely understood he just uses maximum emotion whenever he speaks or writes. For him, every car is either the best or the worst in the world. There's no in between in his mind.
      "Now" as in, recently? He's been this way for at least 10 yrs. I like his approach, but the balance of what he wrote is similar to what many others have reported on the NSX using the standard ho-hum approach.

      Given how luke-warm the reception is to the NSX overall, I would have to think that a Type-R version will arrive in a couple of years.

    9. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 10:15 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Reisner View Post
      You know what else is technology? Progress.
      If that were always true then TV dinners would have replaced home-cooked years ago. Technology and progress often go together, but they aren't inherently good just because they exist, and they also aren't always positive.
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    10. 02-14-2017 10:22 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      If that were always true then TV dinners would have replaced home-cooked years ago. Technology and progress often go together, but they aren't inherently good just because they exist, and they also aren't always positive.
      That's a terrible analogy (tv dinners? really?) Technology is progress. The people complaining about the new vs old NSX or any other car like to gloss over the downsides of the older models while highlighting their upsides. It's an obvious bias that many never take into account.

    11. Member George Bluth's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 10:43 AM #11
      Oh well.

    12. Member dubdaze68's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 10:46 AM #12
      No, I completely get it. "Technology" and "Progress" also gave us 140hp Corvettes and 68hp, poor starting, terrible running, vacuum hose and smog pump/thermal reactor/crumbling cat monstrosities in the late 70's. Hell, my parents' '81 Escort would run for about 30 seconds after you shut it off and it sounded like a third grade class shaking maracas going uphill.

      The original NSX was a lithe, aluminum bodied, screaming VTEC six cylinder that was Honda's "EFFFFFFFFYOUUUU!" to Ferrari in the late 80's.

      This NSX is an overcomplicated, heavy, ponderous, car changed multiple times in the design AND engineering cycles. It's price puts it in the realm of Lamborghini Huracans and Ferrari's bargain basement offerings, which are leaps and bounds better after having mass cash and engineering injections in the past couple of decades. When I saw the "concept" of it at NAIAS last year, I was underwhelmed to say the least.

      Then, to top it off, at least Lambo has Audi to steal interior bits and gubbins from.

      Meh. You would think that a brand that has F1 prowess and is famous for powersports all over the world would have had this.....But then I look at the current Civic's looks and the blandness of Acuras current offerings, and I think, maybe not.
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    13. Member George Bluth's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 10:55 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by dubdaze68 View Post
      Meh. You would think that a brand that has F1 prowess and is famous for powersports all over the world would have had this.....But then I look at the current Civic's looks and the blandness of Acuras current offerings, and I think, maybe not.
      They do have this. The upcoming Type-R is a beast. It's not Hondas fault you don't jive with their new design language--many do.

    14. Member gti5dr06's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 10:59 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Reisner View Post
      That's a terrible analogy (tv dinners? really?) Technology is progress. The people complaining about the new vs old NSX or any other car like to gloss over the downsides of the older models while highlighting their upsides. It's an obvious bias that many never take into account.
      TCL aka The Car Luddites lol
      Quote Originally Posted by konigwheels View Post
      Wow, it amazes me that we have children in here that can't read a couple paragraphs. No wonder America's doing so well in education! Can't take the time to read, but sure can find the time to post. Self indulgence at it's finest.

      TL;DR should be banned and changed to ID;CR or I'm dumb, can't read.

    15. Member MrRoboto's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:09 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Reisner View Post
      That's a terrible analogy (tv dinners? really?) Technology is progress. The people complaining about the new vs old NSX or any other car like to gloss over the downsides of the older models while highlighting their upsides. It's an obvious bias that many never take into account.
      But with the way of the world these days, where cars are built in order to meet ever more stringent safety, economy and emissions regulations, you're left with cars that have no steering feel, increased heft, and engine noises piped into the cabin via the speakers. This to me is not progress, and I don't really care about 0-60 times or how many g's a car pulls around the skidpad.

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      02-14-2017 11:13 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Reisner View Post
      Technology is progress. The people complaining about the new vs old NSX or any other car like to gloss over the downsides of the older models while highlighting their upsides. It's an obvious bias that many never take into account.
      Technology makes a car better. Faster, better handling, more efficient. But, it also makes it more boring, less involved, too capable. That's the rub.
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    17. Member RENOG's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:15 AM #17
      Its always fun to listen or read his reviews, much of it is just his personal perspective some of which I can relate to, and some I couldn't care less about. I can't come close to affording this car so however the car is means very little to me.

    18. Member pawa_k2001's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:22 AM #18
      There is a reason people are saying a new NSX can be had at or under MSRP.

    19. Member George Bluth's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:24 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by pawa_k2001 View Post
      There is a reason people are saying a new NSX can be had at or under MSRP.
      Links?

    20. Member JerseyVR's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:26 AM #20
      Is it static or bagged?

      Not crazy about the new nsx, it will never fill its predecessors shoes.

    21. Member Elite_Deforce's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:28 AM #21
      I just watched the Germany episode where May tests this on their track too. Couldn't be signing more different songs.
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    22. Member George Bluth's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 11:28 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by JerseyVR View Post
      Not crazy about the new nsx, it will never fill its predecessors shoes.
      Oh, why do you feel that way?

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      02-14-2017 11:31 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by George Bluth View Post
      Links?
      Look up NSX on autotrader, many available at MSRP, one at $156,900. Couple under MSRP, not by much. The first time I heard about this is watching Salomondrin channel, supposedly he was offered one at well under MSRP but doesn't want to touch it with a 10ft pole since so many are listed and it's a race to the bottom.

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      02-14-2017 11:44 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by George Bluth View Post
      Oh, why do you feel that way?
      I'm sure it's a very capable and fantastic machine to drive, but mostly the exterior just doesn't do it for me.
      I think it blends away with other supercars of today and tomorrow, where as the original NSX to me was a staple of the 90s. They're already appreciating as a timeless classic.
      Again, this is just my opinion.

      Edit: More time in the flesh may change my mind, I've only seen a pearl white one at H20i.
      Last edited by JerseyVR; 02-14-2017 at 11:58 AM.

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      02-14-2017 11:46 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by AZGolf View Post
      I'm not sure anyone cares what Clarkson thinks anymore, since it's now widely understood he just uses maximum emotion whenever he speaks or writes. For him, every car is either the best or the worst in the world. There's no in between in his mind.
      Yeah, I lost interest when he goes off on the quality of the sun visors. He's clearly grasping at straws.

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