Friday Photo – Configuring the new Acura (Honda) NSX

If you’re in the USA you can order your brand-new 2017 Acura NSX right this very second, with the help of a rather cool online configurator. For those of us not Stateside, it’s the chance to play around with your dream NSX specification at least.2017 Acura Honda NSXIn the UK we’re still waiting on full details of how much the new NSX will cost and when it’ll be released. But, as the model has been designed in the USA, and will even be built there it’s no surprise that the Americans get the new twin-turbo V6 hybrid first. Across the pond prices are set to begin at $156,000 (£111,700) plus destination charges, so we decided to see what the perfect ESM version of the new NSX would cost. 

Sticking to the tried and tested formula of adding ALL the carbon fibre (probably should be fiber) and all the Alcantara options, we ended up at the quite terrifying total of $204,400 (£146,300). Admittedly that’s still cheaper than the McLaren 570GT we featured yesterday, but some of the optional extras are quite frankly eye-watering. You can click this link to go view our design, or just check out exactly what we chose from the list below: (more…)

BTCC 2015 – Silverstone | Reviewed and Rated

The title race is almost over. So just how does our BTCC Correspondent feel about another Shedden championship?

2015 BTCC SilverstoneFollowing the latest rounds of the championship at Silverstone, you would suggest that it’s now Gordon Shedden’s title to lose. He has secured a 23 point gap at the top of the standings with only a possible 67 points remaining. The likelihood of Jason Plato, or even Colin Turkington, overturning that gap seems far-fetched.

Plato or Turkington, or even more unrealistically Matt Neal or Andrew Jordan, could complete that extremely rare situation of winning all three races. But, it would seem a near impossibility that Shedden would be so far back that his 23 point gap would be eradicated and then overturned. Shedden, of course, will be nervous and Plato and Turkington will be hopeful but it seems an unlikely event that we’ll see a Team BMR driver crowned as champion.

Whilst we talk of who will be champion, let’s not forget there are other drivers out there competing for victories. Matt Jackson has taken the championship by storm since he returned at Snetterton and he will be hoping his form will continue after securing another win at Silverstone this time out. So, even if Plato and Turkington wanted to secure three, unlikely, victories they obviously won’t just be facing competition from each other.

2015 BTCC SilverstoneAs previously mentioned, the power of Motorbase’s Ford Focus is phenomenal and it was put to good use yet again on the long straights of Silverstone. Jackson took pole for the second meeting running and secured a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race. Jordan took 2nd after a good move on Shedden on the second lap. Shedden held onto 3rd throughout the race, despite seemingly hold up many cars, especially in the early stages. The opening race felt fairly processional with not many overtakes, although late on, as some of the soft tyres ran out of grip, there was slight excitement. However, probably the biggest talking point was a puncture for Plato on the final lap. It hadn’t been the best of races for Plato, but he was in the lower reaches of the top 10. At that moment, it felt like the championship momentum swung firmly towards Shedden. (more…)

More Info – The 167 mph 2015 Honda Civic Type-R

Honda, please, enough! We’ve been teased with videos, titillated with photos, and fed various factual tidbits for what seems like forever. The end is in sight, with the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show, but Honda is still keen to tantalise us up until the big reveal.

2015 Honda Civic Type-R 202Given how we were tormented with details and sneak peeks of the new NSX, we shouldn’t really be too surprised at Honda’s little games. The global PR team has done a fine job of building suspense and intrigue – along with securing over 100 deposits for the new car in the UK alone. Not bad for a car nobody has officially seen, let alone driven, yet.

2015 Honda Civic Type-R 201

The big news today is, of course, that headline top speed of 167 mph. Yes, that’s right, one-hundred and sixty-seven miles per hour. Faster than 155 mph limited German saloons; faster than the original NSX; and, most importantly, faster than any hot-hatch rival at present. Whilst people will trot out the “straight-line speed is meaningless” line, it proves just how much engineering effort has gone into the latest Type-R.

2015 Honda Civic Type-R 203

Redline kicks in at 7,000rpm – lower than previous VTEC cars. Note R+ mode engaged.

Honda has invested substantial time in the wind tunnel, to ensure the turbocharged VTEC engine can power the Type-R to that mad top speed. The underside of the car is almost completely flat, (more…)

Detroit 2015 – New Acura NSX is finally here

We’ve been teased for months, but now the all-new second-generation Acura (Honda) NSX is finally here. So, has it been worth the several years of waiting?

Next-Generation Acura NSX ExteriorIt’s taken a long time to get here. Having first been aired in 2007, the Acura ASCC (Advanced Sports Car Concept) was killed off in late 2008 as the global recession took hold. Before that we’d seen the HSC concept as far back as 2003, such has been the length of time Honda has deliberated on how to replace the NSX. It wasn’t until the Detroit Auto Show in 2012 that the NSX Concept, in the now familiar mid-engine format, finally surfaced.  But, at last, we can now see it in full production glory.

Next-Generation Acura NSX ExteriorOverall the car is little unchanged from the concept versions we’ve seen, save for some additional detailing to bring it into line with the rest of the Honda model range. It’s certainly not a bad-looking car, although some have derided it for appearing too generic, or like a Grand Theft Auto creation, rather than having its own unique personality. Others have also suggested the new NSX looks a few years old already; the long gestation period potentially being the cause of this. Compared to the new Ford GT it’s a lot less dramatic, although it does seem to share the floating buttresses and huge vents in front of the rear wheels, with the American car. Frankly, it looks like a modern Japanese supercar; whether that’s your bag is personal preference, but we at ESM like it.

Next-Generation Acura NSX ExteriorLike it’s predecessor, the new NSX is built out of an aluminium space frame chassis, with a mid-mounted V6 engine. However, that’s about where the similarities end with its older brother end. (more…)

Friday Video – Civic Type R Concept ‘Engage Race Mode’

The new Civic Type R is being teased quite substantially by Honda at the minute, ahead of a 2015 launch date. 

We’ve had photos, concept models, teasers and press releases already to promote the latest Civic Type R, but this time Honda has upped the ante with a genuinely impressive video known as ‘The Other Side’. You can see the short trailer right here:

For the full effect you either need to click-through the YouTube video, or visit to see the full length feature. At ESM we’re generally cynical, but we’ll accept this is actually quite a cool piece of marketing. Most importantly, don’t forget to press ‘R‘ on your keyboard to engage the full ‘Race Mode’ experience.


2015 Honda Civic Type-R Video – R-Rated

Along the Goodwood Festival of Speed, this week also seems to be the one for teasing trailers of forthcoming hot hatches. Following on from Ford, and their revised Focus ST, is this video from Honda.

2014 Honda Civic Type R Concept 001

When we first saw the concept for the new Civic Type-R Concept at the Geneva Motorshow, we knew it was going to be a fairly sinister car with that huge rear wing. Honda UK have commissioned a dramatic trailer video called “Disruption” which is meant to suggest just how much the new, mean, Type-R will challenge everything we think of Honda:

Dramatic stuff. Not much car action admittedly, but Honda is clearly in the game of building anticipation ahead of the Type-R’s launch in 2015. Yeah, that’s right we don’t get to see the finished article until next year. However, if you’re at the Festival of Speed this weekend, you’ll be able to see the Type-R Concept in the flesh on the Honda stand.

Friday Video – Honda Civic Tourer BTCC Trophy Challenge

There’s no BTCC action this weekend, but instead Honda has released a video to promote the link between the Honda Civic Tourer road car, and the successes of its racing counterpart. We’ll be honest, it’s a little bit cringeworthy, but probably no more so than that Rockstar energy hat Shedden usually wears around the paddock.


Don’t call it an estate, it’s a ‘Tourer’ but the load-lugging version of the Honda Civic packs a sizeable space for cargo; up to almost 1,700 litres with the seats down. So, the obvious question was how many trophies can you fit inside it. Perhaps don’t try to compare it to some of Honda’s greatest marketing hits, such as ‘Cog’ or ‘Impossible Dream’ as you might be disappointed. But anyway, here’s the video:

Yeah – make of that what you will. Safe to say none of those trophies in there are probably Academy Awards for acting, but now at least you know just how much silverware will fit in the rear of a Civic Tourer.  (more…)

Geneva 2014 – Honda Civic Type-R Concept – Photo Gallery

Today’s Geneva Motor Show was seemingly a bit of a hot-hatch fest. After much speculation, here’s the concept version of Honda’s latest Type-R hatchback, with one of the craziest rear wings ever.

2014 Honda Civic Type R Concept 001

We’ve been without a Type R version of the Honda Civic since January 2011, when EURO V emission regulations killed off the high-revving 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine. But after three long years, we’re closing in on a replacement that the development team have described as being like ‘a racing car for the road’ which is a real statement of intent.

2014 Honda Civic Type R Concept 003

Honda is very much emphasising (more…)

New – Honda S660 Concept for Tokyo Motor Show

Seemingly creating a theme of small white open-top sports cars on EngageSportMode this week, today with have photos of a new mini Honda roadster concept.

Honda is being pretty tight-lipped when it comes to details about the S660, only briefly mentioning that it is an “open-top sports-type mini-vehicle” which will be one of the highlights on its Tokyo motor show stand. Beyond that we’re in the murky world of estimates and assumptions to try to work out the technology underneath the S660’s shrunken new NSX styling. (more…)

BTCC Round 10 – Brands Hatch GP Review

Although we already know the main outcome from last weekend’s final round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship, there was still plenty of action to be covered by our correspondent.

Jordan takes his first BTCC crown!

BTCC 2013 Brands Hatch GP 000

Andrew Jordan secured his first BTCC Drivers’ Title after another pulsating weekend of action. However, it wasn’t as easy as I’d previously predicted as he went in to the final race still needing a good points finish to clinch the trophy.

The weekend’s major talking points started in FP1, where Airwaves Racing driver Aron Smith had a massive smash. Smith was taking evasive action from the cars in front of him before he found the barrier, turning over his Focus. Later on in qualifying, Matt Neal also found the barrier with a heavy hit. Neal put a wheel wide on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend and spun across the track before going head-on into the barrier. The crash left Neal visibly shaken and sore from the on-board shots and it will have not helped his broken finger one jot.

However, one man with no such problems in qualifying was Jason Plato, who led home yet another MG 1-2 from Sam Tordoff. Jordan had a positive qualifying result taking third from Gordon Shedden, Adam Morgan and Colin Turkington. The atrocious weather conditions that met the teams on Sunday morning meant that Race One was delayed by around 25 minutes.

BTCC Brands Hatch GP 2013-001

When the race eventually got underway, Plato and Tordoff made excellent starts off the line and held position initially, before Shedden soon took Tordoff for second. The ever unfortunate Turkington was slightly tagged from behind by one of his teammates, Rob Collard, which sent him into a spin, where he was duly collected head-on by his other teammate, Nick Foster. Turkington’s now probably lost count of the amount of times he’s been tagged this season, I certainly have. Lap 1 also saw Neal make good progress through the field following his Saturday incident, but Frank Wrathall was once again out. (more…)