Sporting hips that won’t quit and booty for days, this Liberty Walk NSX was the belle of the ball at SEMA 2017
Some of the most impressive creatures have ludicrously long gestation periods. Baby giraffes can gestate for 15 months. Dolphins? Call it 18 months. Elephants might keep their mothers hanging around for nearly two years. If you’ve ever spent any time with a heavily pregnant woman, you’ll know that this is a heinously long time to go without wine and brie. (Do elephants eat brie? Guess that’s just one of life’s mysteries.) But all of this is knocked neatly into a cocked hat by the second-generation Honda NSX, which took an impressive nine years to develop.
Even in the automotive sphere, this is a ridiculously long time. The Lexus LFA used to hold the crown for most-anticipated-supercar, taking so long to craft that they had to start again from scratch halfway through, when they realised the game had evolved while they weren’t looking. But the NSX? Honda wanted to make damn sure they got it right.
It’s an impressive set of shoes to fill, you see. The original NSX has rightly passed into the pantheon of icons – the first supercar to democratise the genre, to make supercars day-to-day usable. It forced Ferrari to buck their ideas up, and every modern performance car owes it a debt. Ayrton Senna himself was keenly involved in its development. So the new NSX had to be a sort of Senna Mark Two – and not like a rubbish Bruno Senna, but a proper champion.
It was way back in 2007 that American Honda CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura, announced a new supercar would be on sale by 2010. The following year it was canned, but then – somewhat mercurially – Honda threw the new HSV-010 GT into Super GT racing, leaving everyone scratching their heads and wondering where the NSX went. Fast-forward to 2011 and an answer came; the NSX was in development again, this time as a hybrid. A concept appeared in 2012, and the car surfaced in Gran Turismo 6 a year later. But where was the finished road car?
It finally showed its face at the North American International Auto Show in early 2015. Pricing wasn’t announced until the end of the year and the fi rst production car ultimately landed in 2016.
Worth the wait though, wasn’t it? Gorgeous thing, it is. Of course, we don’t deal with standard cars around here, and thankfully there’s a world of lunatics out there willing to drop big money on a new and exclusive car, then immediately tear it to pieces and be the first to build something jaw-dropping on the platform. And JJ Dubec MD of F7LTHY is one such lunatic.
Having got his hands on a boxfresh NSX – here badged as an Acura for his native Canada – the good doctor straight away set about working on a series of ground-breaking ideas. As such, what you’re seeing here, ladies and gentlemen, is three world-firsts: this is the first second-gen NSX in the world to wear a Liberty Walk NSX widebody kit, the first to run an Armytrix titanium exhaust system, and the first to feature an Air Lift Performance air-ride setup. Because while Honda’s R&D department may have put the hours in, there’s always plenty of scope for improvement…