We’re huge fans of Japanese 90s cars and have a special place in our hearts for the Acura NSX. But did you know that there is no such thing as “Acura” in Japan? For those that don’t know, Acura is Honda’s luxury arm exclusive to the American market, which means that the NSX in Japan was labeled as a Honda. Speaking of NSXs, did you know that there was a Type S version that existed in Japan between 1997 and 2001? If not, we’ll tell you a little bit about it.
The NSX Type S was the Type R’s little sibling
For a little bit of context, there actually was a Honda NSX Type R, but of course, it only existed in Japan. Much like the current Civic model that we have in the U.S. that bears the same “Type R” moniker, the NSX Type R built upon the existing NSX at the time by adding a more race-oriented setup. Honda incorporated a lot of weight savings throughout the car including the removal of sound deadening material, the air conditioning system, and the power seats, which were replaced by a pair of carbon-kevlar Recaro race bucket seats. The suspension was also stiffened up and a higher final drive ratio was used for quicker acceleration.
But enough about the NSX Type R, the Type S is what we’re talking about, after all. The NSX Type S was given a lot of the same weight-saving treatments that Honda gave to the Type R, but this car wasn’t meant to be as “race-focused.”
What was so special about the NSX Type S?
Honda added some unique features to the NSX Type S to set it apart from other NSXs at the time. For starters, a set of lightweight, aluminum BBS wheels sat underneath the fenders and a stiffer suspension, a titanium shift knob, a MOMO Zagato-style steering wheel, and a lighter rear spoiler were also added. The Type S also underwent some of the similar weight-reductions that the Type R did including a pair of Recaro seats, a mesh engine cover, a single-pane rear glass, a manual rack-and-pinion steering setup, and a lightweight battery. All of the weight savings amounted to an overall reduction of 99 pounds compared to the standard NSX.
Although the NSX Type S was meant to be a little more race-car like than the normal version, Honda did allow buyers to add some creature comforts like navigation, electric power steering, and HID Xenon headlights. Under the hood, the stock 290-hp, 3.2-liter V6 remained, however, the weight savings and unique additional parts are what made the NSX Type S so special. To top it all off, Honda only made a limited amount of them.
How rare was the Honda NSX Type S?
The Honda NSX Type S was only produced in Japan from 1997 to 2001 and only 209 of them were produced in total. The orange example shown in these pictures is a pristine NSX Type S that is currently living its life inside the Honda Collection Hall located at the Motegi Racing Circuit in Japan. As you can imagine, finding an NSX Type S for sale is extremely rare, so you might be better off sticking to playing it in video games, or possibly buying a regular NSX and modifying it yourself.