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Honda’s NSX sprints into Australia
First example of Honda’s hybrid-powered NSX supercar hits Melbourne showroom
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8 Jul 2016
AUSTRALIA has had its first taste of Honda’s reborn NSX supercar, with a pre-production version of the company’s hybrid hero rolling into a Melbourne dealer yesterday.
While it is technically a pre-production model, sources told GoAuto that the display model, bathed in a deep red (Honda calls it Curva red), is about 99 per cent close to the Australian-spec model.
The sole NSX in Australia rolled off a truck and into the showroom at Yarra Honda in Melbourne’s inner north where it will stay for a few weeks for customer events and general display before moving around to other parts of the country.
Yarra Honda is one of five dealerships in Australia that have been nominated by Honda to handle sales and service of the ultra-exclusive US-built supercar.
The other four include Scotts Honda in the Sydney suburb of Artarmon, Austral Honda in Newstead, Brisbane, Nordic Honda in Glen Osmond, Adelaide and Burswood Honda in Perth.
Honda Australia general manager dealer business Robert Thorp told GoAuto that the pre-launch interest in the NSX has been strong.
“We’ve got some dealers that are holding some pre interest,” he said. “That is all conditional on spec and pricing and further details to be confirmed. But there are a number of interested parties out there that dealers are keeping warm for us.”
While he would not detail the number of pre-orders, Mr Thorp added that “there has been a couple” of keen buyers that have already put down “small deposits” for the NSX.
The NSX will go on sale in Australia in the final quarter of the year, but pricing is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
It is understood it will sit somewhere between its UK pricing of £155,000 ($A267,000) and the US pricing of $US207,000 ($A276,000), pointing to a circa-$270,000 pricetag.
In 2004, its final year on sale in Australia, the priciest version of the NSX set buyers back $256,500 plus costs.
Mr Thorp said while many Honda fans and owners are unlikely to buy an NSX, it will act as a brand halo and draw people in to dealerships.
“It has got technology all the way through it. It’s a demonstration of what we can do. Directionally you will start seeing that filter through a lot of our products and while this is going to be aspirational and probably out of reach of some of our customers, we have got the new Civic, which is equally stylish and is certainly a vehicle that is going to appeal to our customers.
“To some degree this is going to drag interest to Honda that will hopefully benefit what is an exciting and developing product range.”
Mr Thorp added that he did not think traditionalists would be turned off the NSX’s hybrid powertrain, rather people will be drawn to the car because it offers the latest in hybrid technology.
“I think it actually will bring people to it because it is unique,” he said.
“There is nothing else in the county, in fact the world that has this technology that can actually deliver this driving experience. As the technology progresses you are probably going to see more and more of it.
“And people want to catch up to it and probably emulate it and beat it, but the reality is, is that this is a unique driving experience that you can’t get anywhere else. I think that alone, as well as the fact that it has such a rich name, is probably going to drive people to have a look at it.”
While only five dealers have been chosen to sell and service the NSX, Mr Thorp admitted that it was a hotly contested opportunity among the Honda dealer network.
“There was probably no shortage of dealers that were keen to participate. But we were very selective in the way we went about that. We wanted to make sure we selected dealers that had a reasonable location and coverage and presented it well.”
He added that it was unlikely that the selected dealers would have to hire new specialist staff to manage the NSX sales and servicing, but said Honda Australia had committed to supporting the selected dealers.
“Whilst we will sell some cars (NSX), it is not the bread and butter of what they (dealers) are going to be selling so we are careful to make sure our dealers invest accordingly and clearly we are going to be supporting them centrally through our head office just to make sure we can deliver that unique customer experience that these customers are going to demand.”
The NSX is powered by a 3.5-litre mid-mounted turbo V6 engine with three electric motors for a combined total of 427kW/646Nm, and it also features all-wheel drive, a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission and carbon-fibre/aluminium construction.
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