Unique JDM

1992 Honda NSX-R – A Regular NSX On Steroids

The Honda NSX, Japan’s very first supercar was revolutionary in so many ways. It could compete with the likes of the European powerhouse of Ferrari and Porsche, it brought weight reduction to a completely new level, it was reliable, and unlike the competition was actually quite affordable. The ‘cockpit’ was inspired by the interior of an F-16 Fighter Jet and if that wasn’t cool enough, Honda invited legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna to thoroughly test drive the NSX and give development input.

While the regular NSX was a very usable everyday supercar, with comfort features such as A/C, Stereo, and heated seats, some of Honda’s customers seemed to seek something rawer and more track-focused. A car whose purpose was not to be comfortable, but to be the ultimate track tool (kind of how the 911 Porsche GT3 RS is to the 911 Porsche Carrera). And so, in 1992 Honda introduced what was to become perhaps the most recognized NSX edition, the 1992 NSX-R, or NSX Type R as it is also called.

The Honda NSX Type R was only sold on the Japanese domestic market, making it a ‘true JDM’ car, but as it is older than 25 years old it can be imported to the U.S. as it has passed the 25-year-old import regulation.

The NSX-R Received Some Extensive Weight Savings

As with many special editions of JDM cars, this was one limited to just 483 production units and was exclusively sold on the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) in 1992, and production of the NSX-R stopped in September of 1995.

Honda’s first mission with the NSX-R was to reduce weight. Although the regular NSX already had gone through a substantial weight reduction with the introduction of the very first all-aluminum semi-monocoque. The heavy use of aluminum saved nearly 200 kg (441 lb.) in comparison to using regular steel. But the NSX Type R took weight reduction even further.

The majority of any comfort feature was removed such as the air conditioning, spare tire, sound deadening, audio system as well as traction control system. Although, A/C and a Bose Stereo System were available as an option for a substantial premium.

All in all, the weight loss program netted the NSX-R a significant 120 kg (265 lb.) reduction in weight compared to the normal NSX. This meant that the NSX Type R weighed in at about 1,230 kg (2,712 lb.) which is about 300 kg (661 lb.) lighter than a 1992 Lamborghini Diablo or 250 kg (551 lb.) lighter than a 1992 Ferrari 348. It surely put things in perspective when comparing the NSX-R to other supercars. Conclusion: the NSX-R was very light.

Honda NSX- R Modifications

The weight savings was just one thing that differed between the regular NSX and the NSX-R, but Honda also decided to completely stiffen up the front suspension by adding stiffer springs and sway bars, suspension links, and campers. The regular NSX had a tendency to be relatively ‘stiff in the rear’ but stiffing up the front suspension allowed for more balanced and precise handling. It also provided more rear grip which consequently reduced its oversteer tendency on track.

The interior of the NSX-R also received a few nice touches, the regular leather seats were replaced with a pair of glorious red Recaro seats made out of carbon kevlar. The stock forged alloy wheels were replaced with forged aluminum wheels provided by Enkei. as well as a neat Momo steering wheel.

Honda also decided to make some adjustments to the final drive ratio, increasing it from 4.06:1 to 4.235:1 which was more suitable for aggressive track use as RPMs tend to be higher on track than during regular city driving.

Power output was the same as in the regular NSX, producing 270 hp from its 3.0L VTEC-powered V6 engine. But the lower weight and improved drive ratio allowed the NSX-R to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds compared to the normal NSX’s 5.9 seconds. But since the final drive ratio on the NSX-R was increased, the top speed was unfortunately reduced to 168 mph. But that was of no importance to Honda since there is basically no track in Japan which has a straight long enough to achieve those speeds anyway.

The 1992-1995 Honda NSX Type R only came available with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Honda NSX Type R Prices

Finding an NSX-R for sale is no easy task as less than 500 units were ever produced, and who knows how many are still left on the roads of Japan. However, if you do manage to find one for sale don’t get your hopes up too much since you’ll have to cough up some serious cash to afford it.

So, a normal first-generation NSX can be found from around $50,000 for a high mileage example up to $120,000+ for a prime example. But that’s nothing in comparison to what you have to pay for a Type R.

In 2019 a 1995 NSX Type-R was sold for ¥30,800,000 which with today’s currency equals about $231,000. In 2021 another 1995 NSX Type-R was sold in Britain for 160,000 Pounds which would equal to $195,000.

The NSX-R got a facelift in 2002 although even fewer examples were made with only 140 units ever produced. These are even more expensive and rarer and most Japan Auction Houses expect prices to land around $345,000 to $500,000 for a facelifted version.

E. Lindgren

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