Fernando Alonso Drives the 2017 Honda NSX, Digs the Brakes

After Jenson Button took the new NSX for a drive at Goodwood, the time has come for his fellow driver at McLaren-Honda Formula 1 to get in the hot seat. As expected, Fernando Alonso loves the NSX.
Fernando Alonso drives the 2017 Honda NSX 6 photos
Photo: Honda
Fernando Alonso drives the 2017 Honda NSXFernando Alonso drives the 2017 Honda NSXFernando Alonso drives the 2017 Honda NSXFernando Alonso drives the 2017 Honda NSXFernando Alonso drives the 2017 Honda NSX
The European half-brother of the 2017 Acura NSX is made on the same production line in Marysville, Ohio. Be it Acura or Honda, both siblings make use of a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and a three-motor hybrid power unit dubbed Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. In other words, the second generation of the NSX is all-wheel-drive and offers 581 PS (573 horsepower) on tap.

Because of the ties Honda has with the McLaren F1 Team, Fernando Alonso obliged when the call came to drive the NSX on the Estoril circuit. As you can see in the video below, Alonso is having fun.

And oh, how he waxes lyrical about the hybrid supercar: “In terms of driving what really has surprised me are the brakes, the feelings are not so far from what we feel driving in F1. Driving the NSX is softer and sweeter than an F1 car because you are not searching for every little fraction of an inch, as you do in races. It is like the difference between artistic drawing and technical drawing,” commented Alonso.

The thing with the brakes of the 2017 Honda NSX is, they’re not physically connected to the brake pedal. Nor is the loud pedal or the steering wheel. Every little bit and bob that the driver uses to drive the car is drive-by-wire. Compared to the first iteration of the NSX, this is alien technology right here.

Speaking of the original, Ayrton Senna offered his input in the final stages of development of the 1990 Honda NSX. Legend has it engineers managed to increase the chassis stiffness by 50 percent after the late F1 driver had a go in a pre-production car. And that, my friend, is only one way Senna improved the NSX.

My question is, did Honda ask Alonso or Button for the same kind of advice during the development of the NSX? Nope, it did not. Nevertheless, people who drove the all-new hybrid supercar have words of praise about how the car performs and makes you feel. Even Chris Harris loves it, which is saying something.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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