By Nat Shirley
Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 7:15 pm
One year after unveiling the NSX hybrid sports car concept at the 2012 Detroit show, Acura has returned to the motor city to show off a revised, closer-to-production version of its upcoming mid-engined performance flagship.

Outside, the NSX concept has been updated with an enlarged central grille and a more complex, three-dimensional version of Acura's trademark "shield" motif. The front bumper is also more angular than before, and a new carbon fiber splitter has been fitted.

The bigger news comes inside - unlike the last year's concept, the car revealed today features full-functional cabin trimmed in leather, carbon fiber and suede. The layout is said to afford excellent visibility, and a "Simple Sports Interface" keeps button clutter to a minimum and lets the driver focus on the road ahead.

Sport-Hybrid SH-AWD system
Underneath the revised sheetmetal, little has changed. The new NSX concept continues makes use of Acura's Sport-Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system, which teams a mid-mounted VTEC V6 with a trio of electric motors - one integrated into the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and two mounted at the front wheels.

The V6 and the gearbox-mounted electric motor power the rear wheels, while the other two electric motors motivate the front wheels and can add or dial back torque as needed for optimal grip and performance.

Athough the car will certainly use less fuel than most similarly-powered cars, its eco-friendly credentials aren't likely to please the typical hybrid crowd. Still, Honda's CEO says that the NSX represents the future of performance under the Acura banner, a move that should allow it to comply with emissions and economy standards while still delivering track-inspired driving dynamics.

"Consistent with the spirit of the original NSX, our intention is to support the psychological and emotional aspects of driving a super car at the limit, because we are insistent about delivering on the synergy between man and machine," said Jon Ikeda, chief designer, Acura Design Studio. "Importantly, this will be true of all Acura vehicles moving forward."

Acura is developing the NSX in the U.S., with production expected to take place in a new facility in Ohio. The NSX will hit the market in 2015.