The 2016 Acura NSX was one of the highlights of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but Acura kept a lot of the details about its hybrid supercar under wraps.
Acura decided to let a little more information slip at the 2015 SAE World Congress, showing just how advanced this new mid-engined flagship is.
As previously confirmed, the NSX powertrain consists of a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, working with three electric motors fed by a lithium-ion battery pack.
Acura now says that engine displaces 3.5 liters, but it’s not like the 3.5-liter V6 used in other Acura models, as previously thought. The carmaker says it’s a “clean-sheet” design, with a racing-style dry-sump oiling system meant to work in the high lateral-g conditions of fast cornering.
One of the three electric motors applies its power directly to the V6’s crankshaft. The entire assembly is mounted low and in the middle of the chassis for a low center of gravity, and drives the rear wheels.
The other two electric motors power the front wheels, giving the car all-wheel drive. They can also vector torque by sending more power – or even cutting power – to one wheel, helping to guide the NSX around corners.
Acura says the electric motors’ instant torque will also help with acceleration, although it’s still not willing to discuss performance figures.
That high-tech powertrain is wrapped in bodywork that stays remarkably close to the original 2012 NSX concept car, but it’s more than just a pretty face.
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Acura says it achieved a “top-class” balance between aerodynamic drag an downforce with the NSX.
These properties are essentially two sides of the same coin. Downforce pushes a car into the road, ensuring stability but requiring a design that makes it harder for air to flow over the body smoothly. That increased drag negatively effects speed and efficiency.
Acura claims to have achieved this perfect balance without any active aero aids. That means you won’t see the moveable spoilers and flaps many other modern performance cars are festooned with.
What you will see are a lot of scoops and ducts. To cool all of those powertrain components, Acura equipped the NSX with 10 heat exchangers. That’s a lot of cooling power.
Stripping things down even further to the chassis itself, Acura employed a “multi-material” construction method that uses aluminum, carbon fiber, and high-strength steel to keep weight down.
The chassis is mostly aluminum, with a carbon-fiber floor and steel bits in key areas, including the A-pillars.
Those pillars were made using a new three-dimensional technique, which Acura says allowed designers to keep them nice and thin. This improves forward visibility, and it’s a rare feature on modern cars.
In terms of technology alone, it looks like the 2016 Acura NSX will do its name proud, but we won’t know for sure until Acura releases some performance figures, and until we get to drive it.