Not much hints at a manufacturer's confidence in their latest product, better than when they start taking money from customers before a production version of the car has even been seen, let alone turned a wheel.
Illustrious motoring marques have traded on the strength of the brand in this way for years. Favoured Ferrari customers have had deposits on the company’s latest flagship, named LaFerrari, for four years, despite the car only being officially unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March. Lamborghini too sold all three examples of its ultra-exclusive Veneno before it had even been seen. Now Honda is the latest company to open up the order books early.
Yes, Honda. The same people who brought you the sensible-shoes Jazz supermini and hooligan special Civic Type-R are to release a new supercar called the NSX, which is due to reach showrooms in 2015.
The NSX is a long awaited follow up to Honda’s first supercar of the same name, which made its debut in 1990. Despite being considered amongst the finest cars of its era – not least because it was developed with a hand from the legendary Ayrton Senna – the NSX was a commercial flop, being priced against the Porsche 911 and its hundred-weight of badge-snob appeal. The Honda’s dynamic prowess was sadly only enough to see it achieve cult status amongst petrolheads.
Like that car, the new NSX will feature a mid-mounted V6 engine for improved agility, but in a sign of the times it will also be a hybrid. Forget the Toyota Prius, though – with an independent electric motor housed in each wheel, the NSX will not only be four-wheel drive, but will be able to instantly power up any given wheel, for maximum cornering speeds.
Despite only being seen as a concept version at the 2012 Detroit motor show, eager customers have already been kicking down Honda’s door. Put £5,000 down and you’ll be reserved a spot on the waiting list.
More than 20 deposits have been received from interested UK customers. The price of the NSX has yet to be confirmed but is expected to be over £100,000.
Picture from Honda