The Spoon Sports NSX Type-R GT. For months we had been hearing about its assembly and pending arrival on US shores. The car was supposed to be a revelation. Spoon Sports, one of the most noted Honda tuning companies, was building its very first turbocharged project car and it would be a NSX Type-R GT. With only five copies ever produced (reportedly), the NSX Type-R GT was designed and built solely to meet then-JGTC homologation rules, so that the racing cars could make use of the modifications that the road car possessed. The roof scoop is just one example. The mere fact that a company of Spoon Sports' caliber was modifying a car as rare as the NSX Type-R GT was big news, and this Honda supposedly would be sporting a 500bhp+ turbo engine. We heard from one lucky passenger that it was a monster through the thick traffic of the Tokyo streets.
And, as with most mythical beasts, the legend spread. Without any delay, the Spoon NSX Type-R GT was all over the Internet. Before long, as the stories go, the car was packing 700bhp, manufactured out of full carbon fiber, substantially lighter than the standard Type-R, and was available for purchase for a mere $125,000. Few questioned the fact that, among others, the NSX Type-R GT should cost at least four times that amount due to its rarity. But we here at SCC love to ask questions. Sometimes too many, in fact.
The car arrived in the US and we piled into Project SRT-4 for the 7-hour drive up to Infineon Raceway. Before hooking up the telemetry system, we gave the car a once over. After some poking, prodding, and questioning, we discovered that the car shipped to the US is in fact not one of the fabled five original Type-R GTs, as previously reported by other media outlets. Ichishima-san, head of Spoon Sports, apparently has connections within Honda of Japan that are strong enough to procure OEM Type-R GT parts direct. It's true; we've seen the part numbers and parts boxes. If you're interested, you can buy a Spoon Sports NSX Type-R GT (read: not a Spoon Sports modified NSX Type-R GT), which is a NSX modified with Honda factory parts to Type-R GT spec. You can even get it with a turbo and an automatic transmission if you want, you weenie.
And, after going over the Honda brochure, you'll even find that the Type-R GT possesses no real substantial performance improvements over the regular second-gen Type-R. The roof scoop is non-functional, funneling air directly on to the rear glass hatch, which has no hole cut into it. The GT doesn't weigh any less and it doesn't make any more power than a Type-R. Honda built the car to gain an advantage in a racing series and used a successful marketing campaign to play up its limited production status.
This then begs the question - what is more important to the Internet legions, the badge or the performance? By modifying a NSX to Honda's original spec and going from there, Spoon has built a car that's, in all essence, exactly the same as a Type-R GT, only faster. It has all the same basic parts as the GT, along with a new suspension and turbo thrown in for good measure. Should the Spoon Sports NSX Type-R GT be categorized with like company and bear the name of Honda's ultimate mid-engine sports car? With all of its non-functional homologation special parts, should the original NSX Type-R GT even be considered that great, especially in light of what Spoon has done to the formula? Our front cover NSX should be one of the fastest and most refined road going Hondas ever made. Does that count for something?