With much bated breath, the Acura NSX (Honda NSX for the rest of the world) made its production debut today at the Detroit Motor Show, in a little less than a month after releasing several teaser pictures of what’s to expect of the Japanese icon.
|Engine||Twin-turbocharged V6 , DOHC; with 3 electric motors|
|Transmission||9-speed dual clutch automatic transmission|
|Max Power||over 550 hp|
|Price||est. above USD 150,000|
The NSX, when first conceptualised, was an object of marvel. It was such a competent car, to the extent that it could take on its Italian rivals when nobody thought a car of such talent could spring out of the Land of the Rising Sun. Like it or not, this mid-engine Japanese legend is back with looks to kill – in every sense of that word.
Long story short, the NSX challenged every conventional beliefs about supercars, ticked every single checkbox there is to tick and achieved a god-like status among enthusiasts. Heck, even the late great Aryton Senna had a hand in refining its dynamics. So, big shoes to fill. Very big shoes. No pressure.
Come next month will be the 25th anniversary of the NSX. Over the past three years, we have seen several concept cars that came and went. Not forgetting the NSX SuperGT concept that ran on the 2014 Japanese Super GT Series. That, as well as the specially homologated HSV-010 GT that ran the years before it. This final production version was lengthened by 76mm and widened by 25mm, and is slightly more cab-forward packed, compared to the NSX Concept shown in 2012.
Utilising advanced joining technologies, the NSX features an innovative new multi-material space frame design composed of aluminium, ultra-high strength steel, carbon fiber floor and other advanced materials to add torsional rigidity. The body panels are a combination of Sheet Molding Composite (SMC) and aluminium.
Not much was announced in terms of the specifications, but we did learn that there will be a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine paired to a nine-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT), producing upwards of 550 bhp. Also, get this: a three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system, just like the La Ferrari, Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 hybrid supercars. One for each of the front wheels to help provide more forward traction, as well as vector torque to improve handling; and one electric motor for the rear to aid accelerating, braking, and transmission shift quality.
The car was developed under the concept of “human-centered supercar”, a car that puts the driver first in every aspect of its design, employing state-of-the-art hybrid body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.
It will also feature the carmaker’s sophisticated drive system, known as the Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), as well as Agile Handling Assist (AHA) which uses the subtle application of brake torque. This applies the brake on the inside front wheels to enhance yaw response and dynamic stability. Sort of like torque vectoring, if you will.
Four driving modes are to come as standard: Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track are prominently featured on the dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System found right in the middle of the centre console that adjusts the engine, motor, transmission, chassis response and engine sound level. Quiet mode for electric-only driving at lower speeds, Sport and Sport+ mode for that extra performance and Track mode that, well… is pretty self explanatory.
Couple all that with a launch function and all that translates into – as Acura puts it – an instantaneous, zero delay launch performance and handling response that anticipates the driver’s style.
Production will start in summer this year at Ohio, USA; a departure from its longstanding home in Tochigi, Japan. It took Acura three years to turn the NSX concept into this production-ready version you see here in these pictures. In comparison, it took Bugatti almost double the time to produce the Veyron from when its concept was first shown. That’s mighty quick for the guys at Acura. Let’s see if it’s as quick to shred its tyres.