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Honda kicks off right-hand drive NSX production

Honda has finally launched right-hand-drive production for its $420,000 NSX ahead of the hybrid supercar's Australian launch early next year.

The news arrives on the same day Honda Australia officially open the order books for the 427kW, 646Nm NSX, with the brand's local arm already holding seven "substantial" deposits from eager (and wealthy) Aussie customers.

Every NSX will be built in Honda's Performance Manufacturing Centre (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio before being shipped to one of five approved dealers in Australia. Don't expect a test drive, however – the most expensive Honda ever will arrive on a strict on a per-order basis.

"Not only is the NSX an example of precision Honda engineering and design, the Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio is a state-of- the-art facility that defines the brand," said Honda Australia Director, Stephen Collins.

"Everything about the NSX has an air of exclusive craftsmanship and Honda precision about it. The master technicians at the Ohio facility embody the company's commitment to ensuring the NSX is truly worthy of its title as the world's most exciting hybrid supercar.

Honda says the production process for the NSX has been designed to blend complex engineering with hand-built craftsmanship. So while lasers are used to pinpoint the vehicle's edges to ensure exterior panels align perfectly, for example, a human technician is tasked with hand-starting every single bolt in the car and manually fitting the exterior body panels. All up, 16 technicians spend a total 14 hours helping assemble every NSX by hand.

the NSX promises to be not just the fastest Honda, but among the fastest supercars on the planet, with a zero-to-100km/h sprint of just 2.9 seconds.

If Honda's decision to build what it describes as its "state-of-the-art hybrid supercar" in rural America rather than tech-obsessed Japan seems an unusual choice, the reasoning can be found in the PMC facility. Once the brand's logistics centre, a $100 million investment transformed it into Honda's most advanced manufacturing facility – and one that is designed to produce just 10 cars per day.

Powered by a 3.5-litre, twin-turbo V6, which is paired with three electric motors and mated to a nine-speed automatic, the NSX promises to be not just the fastest Honda, but among the fastest supercars on the planet, with a zero-to-100km/h sprint of just 2.9 seconds.

That monstrous V6 is also assembled in the USA at an engine plant in Anna, Ohio, where Honda says standards are just as exacting. The plant's master builders have at least 24 years' experience, and every engine takes up to six hours to assemble, with workers plucking components from chests made of specially designed plastic that's resistant to scratching, ensuring no shavings accidentally drop onto the parts. The Honda NSX will arrive in Australia ready to rumble, too, with every engine already run-in to the equivalent of 200km.

Honda Australia is expecting a handful of right-hand drive, first-look vehicles to arrive by the end of the year, with customer cars to follow early in the first quarter of 2017.

"We're very excited about the first customer cars arriving next year. The NSX will be exclusive, but an important halo car for the brand," Mr Collins said.

Are you lining up to buy an NSX? Tell us what you think in the comments below.