The axe has swung on Honda’s hybrid supercar, at least in Australia.
The 2020 Honda NSX has been removed from the local range and there’s no dealer stock available, as Honda prepares to move from its current dealer franchise setup to a centrally-managed agency model.
UPDATE, 22/10/20 10:01am – We reported two NSXs were sold in 2019, not three. Honda will also move to a fixed-pricing model in July 2021, not June.
“The NSX model information was taken down from the website a few weeks ago, as it’s no longer possible to place a new order for NSX,” said a spokesperson from Honda Australia.
“These changes – and others that will come into effect as we continue the transition over the next six to nine months – were foreshadowed in the announcements we made back in March around restructuring our automotive business model, transforming local sales, customer service and dealer network, as well as rationalising the model line-up.”
The current generation of NSX, introduced in 2016, was always a special-order vehicle.
Honda hasn’t sold any examples of its $420,000 flagship this year, and sold three last year.
According to VFACTS data, the company sold two in 2018, two in 2017 and – you guessed it – two in 2016.
It remains on sale in markets like the USA, where it wears Acura badging. All NSXs received an update for 2019 that included larger front and rear stabiliser bars and a host of other mechanical tweaks and enhancements.
The return of the NSX was a long time in the making, with the first generation model ending production in 2005 and the current model being revealed in concept form in 2012.
The mid-engined supercar was reimagined as an all-wheel drive hybrid, with a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine mated to three electric motors, a battery pack and a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Total system output was 427kW of power and 646Nm of torque, though it weighed a substantial 1780kg due to the extra bulk of the hybrid components.
In comparison, an all-wheel drive Lamborghini Huracan Evo weighs just under 1400kg while costing just under $40,000 more. The rear-wheel drive Huracan Evo even undercuts the NSX.
The NSX’s axing comes as Honda consolidates its range and shrinks its dealer network, as part of a significant restructure to its local operations.
Honda will also move to a fixed pricing model in July 2021. All cars will wear a non-negotiable price tag set by Honda Australia, and dealers will be rewarded for each sale by head office. Dealers won’t buy and on-sell stock.
Honda expects its Australian volume to have fallen significantly by the time the restructure is complete. In December 2019 it sold more than 3600 cars. As of July 2021 it expects to sell around 1650 per month.
Honda sold 43,868 cars in 2019 according to VFACTS data, down from 51,525 in 2018 and its high of just over 60,000 annual sales.