A big, powerful, mid-mounted petrol engine, rear-wheel drive and poster-boy looks were the customary ingredients of the traditional supercar. But the supercar’s genesis harks back to the 1960s, and we’re well into the 21st century, so it’s time for an update: welcome then, the second-generation Honda NSX.
Now the first NSX was a pioneer. Instead of exquisite but mercurial high-performance Italian metal, here was a car that blended high performance and good looks with legendary Japanese reliability. The current NSX claims the same reliability and everyday usability, but extends the remit to include modern-minded efficiency.
As a result the NSX has a comparatively small 3.5-litre V6 engine, boosted by a couple of turbochargers, plus a trio of electric motors – one helping the engine drive the rear wheels, the others each driving a front wheel. So it’s four-wheel drive to help make the combined 574bhp manageable, and also allows the NSX to run around town for short stints on electric power alone.