Honda debuts new hybrid NSX

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Twenty-five years after the debut of the original NSX supercar, Honda has revealed the production version of its highly anticipated successor – the next-generation Honda NSX, developed and produced in the US – to the world’s auto media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.

Honda will begin accepting custom orders for the new NSX starting in the summer, with customer deliveries expected later in the year.

Specifically created to bring a ‘new sports experience’ to the supercar segment, the NSX features an all-new power unit – a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system – integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body. Developed under the concept of a “human-centered supercar,” the next-generation NSX will leverage its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.

“Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX – a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver,” says Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura division. “The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate.”

The development of the next-generation NSX, driven by precision crafted performance, has resulted in a clean-sheet design, which involved nearly three years of intensive development effort by a global design and engineering team led by engineers at the company’s development center in Raymond, Ohio.

“The NSX reflects Acura’s American roots and makes a powerful statement about the strong role being played by our North American operations in envisioning and building the future of Acura,” says Erik Berkman, executive vice president of the Acura Business Planning Office.

“Our global team embraced the challenge to create a new sports car experience, leveraging new technology to deliver incredibly vivid performance in a vehicle that responds intuitively and immediately to the will of the driver,” adds Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX. “The NSX delivers pinnacle supercar performance, with zero-delay acceleration and exhilarating, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics.”

The NSX body features classic low and wide proportions married to modern surfacing, an aggressive front design, and tail lights that pays homage to the original NSX. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid-mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase downforce. To accommodate the new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 and 9-speed DCT, the production vehicle was lengthened by three inches and widened by an inch, with a slightly more cab-forward package, compared with the proportions of the NSX Concept shown in 2012.

Every element of the exterior body design has been carefully fashioned for total airflow management for both stability-enhancing downforce and vehicle systems cooling. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, leading to a number of significant changes from concept to final body design, including modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes, and an optimized deck spoiler.

The next-generation NSX is designed to provide a new sports car experience that maximizes the capabilities of the driver, delivering exceptionally intuitive and confidence-inspiring response.

Honda engineers leveraged the company’s expertise both with high-performance engine and hybrid electric drive technologies, as well as its two decades of experience with industry-leading dynamic torque-vectoring technologies, including Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), to create a sophisticated, technologically advanced and intelligent powertrain.

At the heart of the NSX’s performance capabilities is an all-new mid-mounted, 75-degree, DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to a Honda-developed 9-speed DCT. The V6 engine employs a race-inspired compact valve train and dry sump lubrication system to help lower the center of gravity. The all-new 9-speed DCT delivers synapse-quick gear changes and rev-matching downshifts. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. The NSX’s front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution.

The NSX uses its front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The result is an instantaneous ‘zero delay’ launch performance and handling response. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at some of the world’s most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nurburgring.

The NSX features an Advanced Sports Package with placement of key powertrain components – the mid-mounted engine, twin front motors and Sport Hybrid battery pack and power control unit – optimized to concentrate vehicle mass low and toward the center, to further enhance dynamic response. The combination of this packaging concept and the lightweight body give the NSX the lowest center of gravity in its class.

The NSX’s dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities.

The NSX also features a ‘Launch’ function to achieve the ultimate in zero delay launch performance, aided by both the engine and three electric motors.

The NSX will be manufactured exclusively at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, where approximately 100 highly-skilled associates will conduct full body construction, paint, and final assembly using domestic and globally-sourced parts.

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About Author

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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