Think Hondas are boring? Well this one might change your mind.
Unveiled this week at the Detroit Motor Show, its long awaited new NSX supercar will blow away a few cobwebs.
And it’s a petrol electric sport hybrid that is green as well as bright red.
With its aerodynamic, low slung features, the NSX, pictured below, looks more McLaren than Honda but certainly does have all that Jazz.
A combination of the 550bhp twin-turbo V6 engine at the rear and two of its three electric motors fixed on the axle towards the front gives independent drive to each wheel, via a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The long awaited NSX supercar (pictured) was unveiled this week at the Detroit Motor Show
The third electric motor, between the engine and the gearbox, aids smooth acceleration, braking and gear changes. In Britain and mainland Europe it will be sold as a Honda. But in the U.S. it will carry the badge of Acura, Honda’s upmarket luxury arm, which is to the Japanese company what Lexus is to Toyota, and Infiniti to Nissan.
It features a space-frame construction using ultra high strength steel and aluminium, with a carbon-fibre floor and ultra-thin pillars.
A Honda executive, who really should get out more, described it as a ‘human-centred supercar’. But it’s fair to say that the driver is cocooned in a fighter aircraft style cockpit with sculpted sports seats.
There are four driving modes: quiet, sport, sport-plus and track, for those days when you might fancy an all-out burn-up around a racing track, rather than risking your licence.
To help haul its 19-in front and 20-in rear alloy wheels to a halt, it has powerful carbon ceramic brakes. A cluster of four exhaust pipes adds a flourish to the rear.
Though a Japanese icon, the NSX will be built at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, from imported and home-sourced parts.
It is the second generation of the NSX and is launched exactly 25 years after the original made its debut at the Chicago Motor Show in 1989.
Expect a price tag of around £100,000 when it goes on sale this summer.
Bentley has chosen a name for its forthcoming luxury 4×4 — the Bentayga.
The unusual monicker is taken from the Roque Bentayga, a dramatic and rugged landscape on the island of Gran Canaria.
It’s already been spied in disguise out on test ahead of its official unveiling later this year and going on sale in 2016.
There’s also video of it under light disguise storming around on sand dunes like Lawrence of Arabia.
A ‘baby’ Bentley off-roader has also been mooted by the Crewe-based firm, which has a target of pushing production to 20,000 cars by 2020.
SMALL cars are some of the worst performers when it comes to meeting their official miles per gallon fuel efficiency figures — with the 2013 Nissan Note the worst offender, a new study concludes. By contrast, large cars, sometimes dubbed ‘gas guzzlers’, are more likely to meet their claimed efficiency ratings.
The findings have been published by consumer motoring website HonestJohn.co.uk.
Its study of more than 60,000 cars concluded that the 2013 Note misses its official European drive cycle fuel-economy rating of 74.72 mph by nearly a third (32.3 per cent), managing 50.5mpg in the real world.
Next is the 2014 Mini Hatch — out by 32 per cent on its claimed 68mpg. Joint third from bottom are the 2012 Citroen DS5 and 2013 Renault Captur. Both miss their claimed averages by 29.2 per cent.
The best-selling car of 2014, the 2013 Ford Fiesta, is the fifth worst performer, falling 28.9 per cent short of its claimed economy figure of 67.57mpg.
By contrast the classic Land Rover Defender from 1984 onwards is the best performing car by exceeding its claim, achieving 106.3 per cent of its official fuel economy (26.58mpg).
On average, cars now achieve 86 per cent of their official MPG figures — but this is decreasing by 1 percentage point every year
Daniel Powell, managing editor of HonestJohn.co.uk, said: ‘It’s no secret car buyers are confused by official fuel economy figures.’
I’ve always had a soft-spot for Alfa Romeos, ever since I saw Dustin Hoffman’s Spider in The Graduate, though I couldn’t quite stretch to one as an impoverished cub reporter.
Now the sporty Italian car company has lifted the lid on its new two-seater soft-top 4c Spider. It’s the wind-in-the-hair sibling of the existing 4c coupe.
The wraps came off at this week’s Detroit Motor Show.
To keep the weight down it has an all-fabric roof which has to be stowed manually behind the seats rather than electronically. Even the windscreen is 10 per cent thinner.
The new two-seater soft-top 4c Spider is expected to go on sale in the summer priced at around £50,000
It comes in seven exterior colours, including the vibrant Giallo yellow shown here, with matching stitching for the seats, steering wheel and doors, and six inside trim options.
The new Alfa is expected to go on sale in summer priced around £50,000 and will be powered by a 1.75 litre, four-cylinder engine which will propel it from rest to 60 mph in around 4.1 seconds with the 237 bhp of pulling power for a top speed of around 160 mph.
Alfa Romeo says it combines ‘scintillating performance with open-top thrills and the unmistakable soundtrack of an Italian, performance-tuned engine and exhaust’. That’s helped by an all-new, titanium exhaust system mounted centrally, which can be tuned according to the driver’s mood.
The dramatic ultra-lightweight single-cell or monocoque chassis is made of carbon fibre layers that together are three-times stronger and seven-times lighter than steel.
The bodywork is made entirely from ‘sheet moulded compound’ — or SMC — a lowdensity, high-strength composite material that is 20 per cent lighter and more rigid than steel.
It was designed by Alfa Romeo Centro Stile and will be produced at the Maserati plant in Modena, Italy.
So from all the Alfa males out there, here’s to you, Mrs Robinson.