Stretching 176 inches long, 76 inches wide and just 47 inches tall, Acura's newest sports car wears an aggressive look that is heavily inspired by the NSX Concept that was presented at the 2012 edition of the Detroit show. The design breaks all ties with the original NSX thanks to styling cues like long, sharp headlights, a fastback-like silhouette and a tapered rear end.
Billed as a human-centered supercar, the NSX boasts an ergonomic cockpit with a fully configurable digital instrument cluster and a function-oriented center console designed to keep button clutter to a minimum and let the driver focus on the road - or the track - ahead. The NSX offers excellent visibility thanks in part to a thin A-pillar, a trait that is not common in the supercar world but that it shares with the original NSX that was introduced 25 years ago.
Sport-Hybrid SH-AWD system
The NSX makes use of Acura's Sport-Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system which teams a mid-mounted VTEC V6 engine with a trio of electric motors - one located between the engine and the nine-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. They can add or dial back torque as needed for optimal grip and instantaneous performance.
Acura is not ready to publish the system's total power output but the NSX is rumored to pack at least 550 horsepower. Lightweight components such as a carbon fiber floor and body panels made out of a combination of aluminum and sheet molding composite (SMC) promise to help offset the weight added by the hybrid system.
A dial located on the center console lets the driver select one of four driving modes called Quiet, Sport, Sport + and Track, respectively. The NSX can run on electricity alone for short distances and at low speeds in Quiet mode, while Track mode unleashes the hybrid drivetrain's full potential.
Fuel economy figures have not been disclosed. Although 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 supercar 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."
Designed in the United States, the NSX will be built at Acura's new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio. The automaker will start taking orders for the car next summer and the first deliveries scheduled for later in the year. Pricing is expected to kick off in the $150,000 range.
Live Images by Brian Williams.