• Can the Original NSX Keep Up With a Modern Civic Type R?

Even more, can old RWD beat new FWD?

As particular countries are relaxing protective measures against the coronavirus we are bound to see more car-related content flowing online, which is always a good thing to have.

Adhering to this trend is Mat Watson and carwow, who came up with a pretty interesting head-to-head between a 2005 Honda NSX and a 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

They say never meet your heroes...

Is the Honda NSX what you’d call a legendary car? Sure. Is the current Civic Type R worthy of the same acclaim? We think so, but let’s wait 10 or 15 years to see how that pans out. In the meantime, here’s a drag race, a rolling race, and a brake test that sees these two Hondas go head to head in what might not look like the fairest duel out there.

Can the Original NSX Keep Up With a Modern Civic Type R?
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So, some context first. The 2005 Honda NSX in the video is a manual. It packs a naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter V-6 with 280 horsepower that go exclusively to the rear axle. The Type R is also a manual, but it’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbo with 320 horsepower aimed at the front wheels.

Weight is also important here because it influences a car’s ability to zap from a standstill but it also affects how efficiently it can slow down. A 2005 Honda NSX weighs around 1,270 kilos (2,800 pounds), while the 2017 Civic Type R tips the scales at around 1,400 kilos (3,100 pounds).

Can the Original NSX Keep Up With a Modern Civic Type R?
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So while underpowered, the NSX has the lower weight advantage which lets it spring to a good start that is, however, almost nullified by the Civic towards the end of the race.

As for the rolling start and brake test, well, those are claimed by the Civic Type R, but the difference between the two is rather small. Nonetheless, that’s not bad at all for a FWD hot hatch, albeit of the modern variety.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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