TopGear.com26 April 2012

I am…. A Honda Driver

Avengers Assemble opens this week in the UK, with the new Honda NSX front and centre…

From the big screens of the world comes news of the biggest defection in the world of fast cars since Ayrton Senna ditched his McLaren for a Williams. Here's Tony Stark in a... Honda. Yeah, Iron Man, who single-handedly made the Audi R8 the supercar of choice for 10-year olds has switched... to the new NSX.

Acura - posh Hondas in the USA - are saying only that Stark's car is a one-off prototype created for the new documentary about the playboy industrialist's life Avengers Assemble. But it sure does look like a new NSX, only with the roof missing. Stark, known for his passionate commitment to alternative power sources, is said to have be unimpressed with the rate of development of Audi's e-tron project.

"If I can build an Arc Reactor in a cave in Afghanistan with only rudimentary tools and my own genius, what's taking those suckers in Inglostadt so long?" said the chairman of Stark Industries.

Top Gear can exclusively confirm the NSX does not feature Arc Reactor power, but instead has a series of electric motors to compliment and boost the output of a high-revving, mid-mounted V6 engine. Two smaller motors in the front wheels make the car effectively four wheel drive (like the R8), but are designed to perform independently creating the same torque-vectoring characteristics as the best front drive cars and McLaren's MP4-12C (via brake application) and a small selection of all-wheel drive cars (with traditional and e-diffs).

Read about the new Honda NSX here

There's another electric engine squeezed in with the engine and transmission that operates more like a conventional hybrid. And the NSX is light, although it is not thought Stark Industries has shared the nickel-single crystal titanium alloy used in the Iron Man suit.

"As a extremely high-net worth customer - and we mean extremely - we cannot comment on Mr Stark's choice of cars," said an Audi spokesperson "But as a connoisseur of fine automobiles he'll still have his R8s tucked up in his garage" (Audi did actually say this to us).

The Avengers documentary also provides evidence that Stark's defection from Audi has caught the attention of Nick Fury, Director of the S.H.I.E.L.D operation. Fury has allocated a specially modified Acura MDX to all his agents, although it is believed he was unable to persuade Captain America to abandon his custom Harley-Davidson.

"We do have a supply deal with S.H.I.E.L.D," confirmed an Acura spokesman. "All its agents, including Mr Stark, now drive our cars. Well, I say all. We're struggling with the Hulk. Sometimes all he needs is a Jazz, other days...." (Acura didn't actually say this to us. Although we wish they did).

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