|Data from rival models was plotted on the Milky Way diagram, with
the Y-axis representing power-to-weight ratio (running performance = vehicle weight/engine
output) and the X-axis representing wheelbase-to-weight ratio (turning and stopping
performance = vehicle weight/wheelbase). The NSX aimed to position itself outside
the conventional sportscar realm, at a point as close as possible to F-1 machine.
|What particular qualities would a sportscar
have in representing the Honda name? This was the ultimate question facing
the development team, and they repeatedly engaged in long discussions in the hope
of finding an answer. Eventually, once their direction had been identified through
the use of a conceptual diagram, they began to define key words in the development
of their new car, code-named the NSX. The diagram was a means of representing
power-to-weight ratio (running performance) along the Y-axis and wheelbase-to-weight
ratio (turning and stopping performance) along the X-axis in clear, accessible
terms. Moreover, the plotting of data from rival models directly over the diagram
resulted in a zone of latitude that stretched out like the Milky Way. Because
of this shape, the diagram was also called the Milky Way diagram.
Countless discussions centered around it, until at last the development team reached
What we need is a midrange, midship car that provides superior performance
yet requires equally superior driving skills in order to be controlled. We can
then maximize the dynamic performance of this car to a degree thats as close
as possible to an F-1 machine.
It was clear, however, that too much dynamic performance could result in compromised
cabin space, making the car difficult to control. That simply was not acceptable
to Honda, whose prime objective in manufacturing cars and motorcycles was to ensure
the comfort of drivers and passengers alike. To Honda, higher dynamic performance
had meaning only with the assurance of human compatibility, in which the driver
could operate the machine as desired and the vehicle exhibited excellent adaptability
to various road conditions.
To create a sportscar for a new era, we should balance human feelings and
vehicle performance at higher levels. Accordingly, that car will represent Honda
value; a benefit no one else can offer. This was the consensus of the development
staff, and it was to be the concept for their new vehicle.