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Acura Unveils Its New NSX

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On: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 5:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

Acura Unveils Its New NSX

The Acura NSX has long stood as the ultimate Honda vehicle. Unfortunately, for over half a decade, it's stood as but a memory because Honda stopped building it in 2005.

As of today, the NSX is back. Or at least a concept version previewing what should become a production model brings the NSX nameplate back to Acura. As anticipated, Acura unveiled an NSX concept on the first day of the North American International Auto Show.

The NSX of the 90s and early 2000s used a mid-mounted V-6 engine worth south of 300 horses. While that was enough to keep it competitive with many of the high-end sports cars of the day, the sports car market is continually defined by more power, more performance. So a 290-hp V-6 engine falls far short of a 'supercar' or even 'flagship sports car' these days. Just across the island, Japan's other mainstream sports flagship--the Nissan GT-R--packs 530 horses worth of twin-turbo V-6, and even the 370Z is far more virile than the original NSX.

Honda had a few options when resurrecting the NSX: a bigger, more powerful gas engine, as it planned for the last NSX successor that was canceled in 2008, a superlight build with a more modest engine or a modest gas engine assisted by an electric motor/hybrid system. Since even supercars are going green these days, Honda chose a combination of the latter two items.

Like the original NSX, the new concept uses a mid-mounted V-6 engine. But this one gets some assistance from Honda's new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system. That system uses two electric motors to deliver a negative or positive torque fluctuation to the front wheels for increased cornering capabilities. The NSX's dual-clutch transmission features an electric motor, which Honda says helps the car deliver "supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency."

Honda chief Takanobu Ito explains the duality of the car: "Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency. In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities."

Unfortunately, Honda doesn't list output, weight or acceleration figures for the NSX concept, but it does state that it plans to get it to market within three years. The automaker says that it worked to maximize power-to-weight ratio.

We'd expect the car to borrow a lightweight aluminum build philosophy from the original NSX. Previous rumors point to a total output of around 400 horses. Whether that combination fulfills Honda's claim of "supercar" or not remains to be seen.

As was rumored, the car's design is influenced by the Acura concept used in the upcoming Avengers movie. Both the front fascia and rear fascia of the official concept are clearly influenced by the movie car.

The new NSX also repairs what I'd argue was the most obvious styling flaw of the original NSX: its long, awkward rear-end. The cabin on the new NSX is extended farther back, which makes for a more proportionate rear. The overall look of the car is tighter as a result.

Take a look at the Honda News source link for a video of Acura's Detroit presentation, which includes a closer look at the NSX along with two other new concepts.



RoadKill | 10:10AM (Thu, Jan 12, 2012)

I have always loved the NSX! it was an affordable supercar....


Stephy21 | 10:19AM (Thu, Jan 12, 2012)

I like the design and the way they have changed it from 2005, it looks a lot better.

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