Over the past few years, the Honda/Acura NSX has finally gotten the credit it deserves. If there’s such a thing as a new-timer classic, this is it; just last year, we were wondering if the new NSX would ever see production. Five years before that, the original NSX could be had for used car prices. Five before that, and it was an outdated, overpriced sports car on its way out. And fifteen years before that, there were some smart people out there who were still convinced that a world-class exotic could never come from Japan.
But the NSX proved them wrong. Gloriously, gloriously wrong. Not only did the car prove that the Japanese could run with the world’s best, they could also change the rules of the game. In the past, we’ve talked about how the Toyota 2000GT proved that Japanese automakers could do world-class engineering, or how the Nissan Z-Cars created a new breed of entry-level sports car, but in the 1980s, Asian automakers were still largely known as builders of econoboxes. Sure, there was the Honda CRX, the Toyota Celica, Supra, and MR2, and the aforementioned Z. But these were “sporty cars,” nothing made for the true enthusiast – at least not according to conventional wisdom.