The number and variety of Japanese sports cars has shrunk immensely over the last few years, even as its fanbase continues to grow. While a few Japanese cars have earned the title “supercar killer”, fewer have ever been recognised as supercars themselves. The NSX was one of those and now the second-gen that debuted in 2016 with its hybrid powertrain is due to be discontinued in 2022. For its last hurrah, Honda has unveiled the limited edition NSX Type S.
Honda has upgraded the NSX’s powertrain for more power and a sportier spirit. Its 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 and three electric motors now have a combined output of 600hp and 667Nm, sent to all four wheels via a retuned 9-speed DCT for faster shifts. The turbos are the same as the ones used in the NSX GT3 Evo racecar with a 6 percent increase in boost pressure while the battery capacity grew by 20 percent and its output by 10 percent. Honda has also retuned the sports AWD system with torque vectoring for even better cornering.
The carmaker also stated that its engineers have optimised the chassis, suspension and responsiveness of the NSX for the new Type S. It’d need those updates as it also has a wider track than before with bespoke Pirelli P-Zero tyres wrapped around the forged alloy wheels (19s in the front and 20s at the rear).
The Type S also gets a handful of visual updates over the regular NSX, including lots more visible carbon fibre. It has a different front bumper that loses the signature shape in favour of something that seems to be inspired by the front of the C8 Corvette. The mesh for the new air intakes is made of steel, not resin, so it should be less likely to break as it gets peppered with stone chips chasing the car in front of it.
The changes to the rear include a new bumper and diffuser which makes it look racier than the standard car. The rest of the rear profile looks the same and is immediately recognisable as the NSX. It doesn’t get a race-derived fixed rear wing unfortunately but I’m sure tuners will be able to find a solution for that.
You’ll also be able to spot the subtle Type S lettering on the rear fender, right above the side skirt, a true JDM design touch.
The NSX Type S also gets tinted lights and a red engine cover visible through the rear windscreen along with the numbered plaque mounted to the engine cowling. If you opt for the Lightweight Package, you can get carbon fibre for the rest of the engine cover and carbon-ceramic brakes too. Combined with carbon fibre in the cabin, the package will make your NSX Type S 26.2kg lighter but Honda hasn’t revealed the curb weight of the Type S without the weight savings.
The reveal-spec matte paint finish, named Gotham Gray, is new for the Type S but will be limited to only 70 units. It’ll be available in 9 other colours and the Orange one would be my pick. Also, Gotham Grey is better suited to an Aventador than an NSX and I think Bruce Wayne would agree.
Honda has been disappointingly uninspired for the interior of the Type S considering it marks the end of the NSX. The only changes are more NSX and Type S logos and Alcantara headliner. It’s so disappointing, they didn’t include a clear shot of the interior as part of the press kit.
The second iteration of the NSX was aimed primarily at the U.S. market and the Type S is almost exclusively available to American buyers. 300 of the 350 units of the limited edition NSX Type S are for U.S. customers only which is why it will bear the Acura badge and not the Honda H. Prices? US$169,500 to US$182,500.
In fairness, those people did buy 1,814 of around 2,800 NSXs sold globally since 2017. In comparison, Porsche has sold 5,107 units of the 911 in the U.S. through 2021 alone. As exciting and as underrated as the second-gen Honda NSX was with its hybrid performance and clever torque vectoring, something newer supercars are starting to offer today, it just didn’t catch the eye of the enthusiast. It was too much money for a Honda that didn’t look like a supercar in the company of Germans and Italians. It was the smart kid who never got popular but will always be loved by those who knew of its brilliance.
We’ve also made a video looking at the Hot Wheels diecast models of the two generations of the NSX where we talk about it in more detail which you can see below:
What do you make of the NSX Type S? Should Honda have done more for a model that marks the end of an icon all over again? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for more cool updates from the car world. You can also follow us on Twitter & Instagram (@autoloons).