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Paint The NSX Concept and Reflect on Its Past

Kamil Kaluski December 21, 2012 All Things Hoon 21 Comments

NSX Concept

Manufacturers use many means to start the so-called buzz (industry term) about their upcoming cars. For instance, Ford revealed pieces of the new Explorer on Facebook; a door handle here, a head light there. That was incredibly annoying, which is probably why no one has done it since. Others use so-called “leaked” images, shape teasers, headlight patters, and other artsy outlines, all to make you talk about the new upcoming model. 

Honda, and their premium brand, Acura, with a few notable exceptions, does not to do that. They show off a concept car at an auto show and, a few months later, wham bam, a vehicle that looks very much like the concept, but stripped of its jewelry and big wheels, is available at your friendly dealer. The new NSX is different however, and with it Acura is taking a conservative, yet familiar, approach to buzz creation. That approach comes by the means of a simple color-selecting app on Facebook.

It maybe fair to say that to Honda, and Acura here in North America, the success of the NSX is significantly more important to them, than the success of the Viper is to Chrysler or the Corvette is to General Motors. The original NSX was an amazing vehicle; a beautify sculpted, light-weight, mid-engine sports car with innovations such as variable valve timing and an all-aluminum body, with the added benefit of Accord-like reliability. But it was more than that; flexibility of a yoga master was not required to get into and out of the NSX, the chassis known for its amazing handling did not punish you when the road got less then perfect. It was the first supercar which could actually be used everyday – imagine that. (I can hear Porsche lovers screaming right now)

It is not difficult to look at the previous generation of the Corvette and the Viper and suggest meaningful improvements. While they may have been amazing vehicles in theory, that theory did not always translate well into reality. The NSX was just the opposite of that. With only 270hp, skeptics theorized that it was under-powered the day it went on sale, but reality proved otherwise. Since the NSX, only one other vehicle received similar accolades, the Audi R8, which came out some fifteen years later, an eternity in the automotive world.


Things at Honda have not exactly been rosy lately. While profitable and having good sales figures, the company not longer offers an S2000, a Prelude, a CR-X, or an Integra. They no longer supply engines to Forumula1, and they do not have the access to the best driver in the world who would tell them to stiffen up the chassis. The NSX Concept looks amazing in real life, but beauty is only skin deep. I do believe however, that Honda has the technology and the passion to create something amazing… and as past and present Honda owner, as someone loves the old Integras, S2000s, and yes, the NSXes, I want to see this passion come out again.

…You commit yourself to such a level where there is no compromise. You give everything you have, everything, absolutely everything.

                         – Ayrton Senna da Silva 


Merry Christmas, Muthalovin!

  • danleym

    In related news, muthalovin will get nothing at all accomplished today.

    • OA5599

      That depends on how you define "accomplished".

  • TX_Stig

    I'm going to go out on a limb here. I don't like it. Maybe the mechnicals will redeem it, but to me, it may still be a real butter-face.

    The nose ruins it most of all. I understand the family resemblance thing that everyone does, but there's no real need to do that. As a general question, why does there need to be a defining feature of a car's aesthetic design? Couldn't the overall design language accomplish this in a far more dignified way?

    • I think the nose looks horrible in the lead photo, but the car they keep trotting out at auto shows looks fantastic. (It's silver)

    • Syrax

      The problem with the NSX nose to me is that they're starting it as an Acura this time so they're tied to their language.

      I think it's easier to choose one thing to focus rather than work the whole design. That's why one of the most popular pieces of criticism today is "it looks like a Hyundai".

      • TX_Stig

        Yeah, I agree, it's easier to make a feature the "family gene" in a design language. The rest of the car doesn't really say Acura to me. The original NSX reflected the Honda/Acura designs of the day. At least to me it did. Oh well. I hope the car ends up being well received when it goes on sale. And has a good soundtrack so I can enjoy seeing and hearing them on the street.

        • Scandinavian Flick

          I don't really like it either, but to answer your question about family design language; my assumption would be brand recognition. There are a lot of companies that have a unifying feature to define their brand line. Some last for generations, such as Volvo's grill slash, or BMW's kidney grills. Some for particular generation runs, like the Acura beak, Lexus hour glass, or the Audi full face shield grill bumper thing… But the end result is always the same: When you see one of these cars, even if you've never seen that particular model before, you immediately recognize it for its manufacturer.

          With a halo car like this, it's even more important to be recognized immediately.

      • Devin

        You know, honestly, in spite of how much people talk about it, maybe having brand-wide styling cues might be a bad thing for design. What works for a big car doesn't always work for a little one and trucks and sedans should share cues either.

        Though that said, I quite like the way Hyundais look so I'm not sure that's a valid criticism.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Color? How about you buff it up and clear coat it.

  • I love the above video… I think it's my favorite car video ever. I wish the car was just a stock NSX Type R and not thing after-marketed thing.

  • ZOMGS!!!!11!1!121!

    • UPDATE: Sadly, I am one of 8 people on planet Earth that does not Facebook. Even sadder, my commitment to never, ever joining outweighs my want to color NSX's. 🙁

      • Devin

        You could make a fake Facebook account for one Mr. Muth A. Lovin Esq. and then use that specifically to color NSXs. You don't have to make a real account with actual interaction outside of that one application.

        • Very true, though I should just call up Honda Marketing, and have them make it for Google+, because what about the rest of us 8?!

  • Mr. Smee

    I read somewhere, maybe here, that Acura's chief designer said that despite criticism, the "beak" is staying part of Acura's design ethos. Let me get this right, a design feature that's universally reviled is going to stay, a design feature that likely impacts the resale value of your cars in a bad way is going to stay, a design feature that looks utterly amateurish is going to stay. I am sure this new NSX will have fabulous performance, but it will never have the soul of the original.

    • Vairship

      All I can say is that if I were an Acura dealer, I'd swap in an aftermarket grille on every car as soon as it rolled off the truck. Surely SOMEBODY is making aftermarket Acura grilles, right? RIGHT?

  • mseoul

    Totally unrelated:Kamil if you can get this Zlomik up on Hoon it must be well received: http://www.zlomnik.pl/index.php/2012/12/22/wigili

    The selection of pics and comments is fantastic..

    • That is pretty good. I never copy and paste their entire posts tho, that wouldn't be fair. I go around the whole website, then pick and choose the random images I find into a mix of my own. 🙂