What feels like dozens of concepts and promises of greatness later, Honda is ready to produce its 2016 Acura NSX … or, rather, it was, until the Japanese automaker was forced to delay manufacturing until the spring of 2016.
Due to a change in engine layout during development, Acura has announced the NSX successor will go on sale as a 2017 model. The production version was original revealed at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show with a production quote of fall 2015; the sports car will be assembled at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Centre in Marysville, Ohio.
As a refresher, the 2016 (now 2017) NSX will use a hybrid powertrain, pairing a twin-turbocharged V6 with three electric motors for all-wheel drive performance. The hybrid system will be paired with a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Official power figures have yet to be announced but it’s estimated the new NSX will develop about 550 horsepower.
To keep the center of gravity low, the NSX uses a dry-sump oil system and compact valvetrain for lower engine mounting. One of the electric motors is placed between the engine and gearbox to improve acceleration, braking, and faster shifting. The other two motors are mounted at opposite ends of the NSX’s front axle, driving each wheel for “instantaneous torque” and torque vectoring.
Also on board are four driving modes, including Quiet, Sport, Sport Plus, and Track.
“We are looking to do more than chase numbers on paper,” said Acura NSX chief engineer Ted Klaus, referencing the successor. “As with the original NSX we won’t have the most powerful car in the category, for instance, but we believe the human element is more important than that. Whatever we do, the driver must be at the centre of the experience, not the car.”
That all sounds promising, but while the Acura NSX sorts out its engineering feats, the rest of the performance vehicle market is heating up, and the NSX’s high-tech powertrain and construction may be far less novel by the time it goes on sale. At least it looks phenomenal!