In 1989, the baseball-loving Japanese dipped their bats in pine tar and came to the U.S. to take gigundous swings. That single year launched five legends: Lexus LS400, Infiniti Q45, Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Acura NS-X concept. The Chicago Auto Show (!) hosted the global debuts of the Mazda and the Acura. While Mazda celebrates the bygones with the 30th Anniversary Miata, Acura's reminiscing with a look at how the NSX — a car Motor Trend described in 1990 as, "[The] best sports car the world has ever produced. Any time. Any place. Any price ..." — came to be.
The development yearbook opened in 1984, a year after Honda returned to Formula One as an engine supplier for the Spirit team, and for the second Williams chassis in the last race of the season. For the first time in the automaker's history, Honda wanted to build a production car with the engine behind the cabin, one that would demonstrate Honda's engineering prowess and "deeply rooted racing spirit." The sports car would also serve as a halo for the not-yet-launched Acura brand. The engineering team built the first test vehicle in February 1984 on the bones of a first-generation Honda Jazz.