Welcome to the cockpit.
Love the NSX, or Acura NSX, depending on where you are in the world.
This is one of the most advanced supercars on the planet!
And it almost had to be.
The long awaited successor to the 90s icons Honda and Acura, needed something pretty special.
It's hybrid System with its torque vectoring all wheel-drive.
The new one is sexy as [UNKNOWN] with probably progressive [UNKNOWN] but when I first got to drive it, I couldn't help wondering.
What would this car be like if it were a little bit more simple, without the electric motors and the battery packs?
What would a really raw, in a sense [UNKNOWN] Today I get to find out.
Because today we are hitting the track the NSX GT3.
As the name implies the GT3 is the FIA GT3 spec race version of the road going NSX.
Paired down and gutted out, the GT3 weighs an astonishing 900 pounds less It still has a lot in common with the normal NSX.
The chassis is the same as is most of the twin turbo V6 but that engine is now free of all the hybrid baggage.
Free to spin only the rear wheels.
Yes, no more all wheel drive.
Now rear driven as intended by God and by [INAUDIBLE] chief engineer of the original NSX.
This should make for a much more simple, much more raw, fundamental driving experience.
But that's not why those systems were evicted.
They're gone because simply, they're not legal.
FIA regulations which this car had to meet dictated rear wheel drive only and no hybrids.
And so, if Honda wanted to go racing with the new NSX And they really, really wanted to go racing.
They had to simplify and add lightness and that's exactly what they've done, relying only on the V6.
And the road car's nine speed transmission has gone too, replaced with a six-speed sequential manual unit, again per FIA regulations, still controlled by a pair of paddles on this outrageous steering wheel, which cost some $30,000 alone.
That wheel though is connected to the same steering rack as on a road car.
And that's a good thing because the steering is actually one of my favorite parts of this car.
It's very light, and some people have criticized it for being too vague.
But I think it's actually great.
Precision is incredible, the speed of it.
When it's time to go around a hairpin you don't have to shuffle steer or anything like that.
You're basically just true wheeling [INAUDIBLE].
[SOUND] [LAUGH] Something tells me, Bill, this is a [UNKNOWN] race car.
With none of the fancy hybrid setup as found in the road car, the GT3 will indeed require a bit more finesse.
Though the 18 inch wheels and tires are massive, 13 inches Why did the rear and wearing proper race rubber, all that horsepower just through two of them will be more than enough to et myself in trouble.
Thankfully there is a proper race ready traction control system at play here.
It offers 12 total setting ranging from fully off to heavy rain, all selectable by a knob right on the steering wheel.
ABS 2 has 12 settings and if that weren't enough, there are some rather extreme aerodynamics to help keep me planted.
The cars received a giant wing out back and this front splitter too.
The two combined give five times the downforce of the road car.
I think that front splitter will make for a quick and clean decapitation for any critter that's unfortunate enough to fun in front of me on the track today.
The race car of course needs a lot more cooling too, so we have this giant vent in the hood, and the vents behind the door are enlarged too.
Over all it actually looks a lot like the road car, just got a lot more to it.
That body work, the
The wing and the splitter are entirely made of light-weight carbon fiber which goes a long way toward helping this car hit that 29 hundred pound target weight as set by the FIA.
Again that's about 900 pounds lighter than the road car.
The weight savings are even more extreme inside the car, which is a minimalist paradise.
Just look at this place!
Unlike the interior of the road going SX, which has been rightfully criticized for being a little bit too plasticky, everything in here's carbon fiber.
Unlike the shiny, polished panels you find in a lot of super cars, the carbon here is raw and everything is cut back to the bare essentials.
Everything in here is made to go fast and it just makes me want to go fast, just sitting in here.
In the center console we have a lot of the more important controls.
The ignition for example, you wanna turn the car on, master switch, I can turn the ABS off.
But I think I'll leave that on today.
Things like the fire extinguisher and the windshield wipers too.
On the steering wheel we've got things like the pit speed limiter.
I can flash my headlights on here.
I can actually adjust the throttle mapping and the engine mapping to control how the power comes from that V6 behind me.
I can even turn the windshield wipers on here too.
On the floor of the car is just two pedals, just like on the road car.
But unlike the road car, there is a clutch here.
It's hiding down here in the steering wheel.
It's this tiny little pedal in the lower left.
If I wanna get a gear, hold down this, select first gear with the main shift paddles, and away we go.
Assuming I don't stall the car, which I'm a little bit worried about.
Okay, here we go, clutch in, first gear.
The steering is actually, it feels a little bit like a road car, amazingly.
It is of course the same steering rack that they use in the production car, which is pretty impressive.
That they're actually able to use that same component here in the race car.
And it feels really good.
It is again like the road car.
Very light feel but very sharp.
[SOUND] The throttle response is actually very different from the road car.
We seem to have a little bit less torque down low than a road car, probably because it doesn't have that hybrid system to give a punch out of the corners.
Once you let this thing have its head, when it stretches its legs a little bit.
It goes, it goes, my goodness.
Because this is a mid-engine [INAUDIBLE] it's situated pretty close to the nose.
And I'm actually quite a bit lower than a road car, which just makes that feeling of speed so much greater.
I feel like I am absolutely flying.
The nose of the car is so sharp.
It's still responsive [SOUND] you can't quite drive this car with your right foot like your [UNKNOWN]
will be real going [UNKNOWN], you've got to be a little bit more patient with it, but [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] [SOUND] It's pretty lively.
There's so much drift.
Brakes are complaining.
Finally on the long straight, see what can [INAUDIBLE] down the side.
I never want this to end.
I could do this all day long.
The road [INAUDIBLE]
nine speed transmission, wasn't legal, we've got a six speed sequential [INAUDIBLE] here again.
And it's not nearly as smooth as the road car.
Super quick, a little bit of a kick in the pants when they grab the next gear, which feels pretty great.
Just like a road car, the race car does do all the rev-matching and auto dipping, all that stuff that I need, which makes my job A little bit easier out here, been very appreciative.
[NOISE] Here we go in the straight again.
[NOISE] [LAUGH] [NOISE] And brake, brake, brake, brake, brake.
Once again, the steel rotors on this car Unlike the carbon ceramics that are on the road car.
So they're not quite as sharp, it's a really good feel.
This is Incredible.
The feeling, the vibration.
Plucking through the transmission.
The smell of all these deposits.
This is the full body experience.
Driving the GT3 in anger on the track is an overwhelming experience, though the power down low in the rev range felt weaker than a road car, the top end rush was addicting, just like a Honda of yore.
And with the light steering and all that grip, I actually felt pretty comfortable in the car.
Quite comfortable pushing my breaking limits, getting on the throttle earlier, and really trying to get the most from those aerodynamics.
Even though muscling this car around was mentally and physically exhausting, I didn't want to stop.
But all things must end, eventually the chicken flag flew, I had to bring him in.
This has just made me appreciate
[SOUND] I'm with the [INAUDIBLE].
I was out here this morning [INAUDIBLE] road going [INAUDIBLE].
Putting down some pretty aggressive lap times.
I'm having a really good time.
The fact that I can do that in the road car, and then twist a little knob and turn it into a very respectable [INAUDIBLE] car That's quite a feat.
Both of these NSXs are really incredible cars.
What an experience.