Rumor roundup: Everything you’re dying to know about the next-gen Acura NSX

When the last Acura NSX left showrooms in 2005, the automotive world waited with baited breath to see if there would be a successor. But in the nine years on, the mighty Acura is still stuck in complete development purgatory. Now though, the iconic Japanese supercar appears set for a return and we want to tell you all about it.

The Acura NSX – or as it is known everywhere that’s not America, the Honda NSX – has long been an odd-man-out in the supercar world. On paper the first-gen NSX, with its restrained-ish styling and demure V6, never seemed up to competing with the Porsches and Ferraris of the time. But those who drove the car, loved it. Better still, because it was built by Honda, you could actually drive the NSX every day without your butler in tow. collecting parts that fell off. The new one, though, looks to be a bit more … aggressive.

With that aggressiveness at the forefront of your mind, let’s delve into everything we know so far about the next-gen Acura NSX.

Powertrain

With three electric motors and a gasoline engine, the Acura NSX’s powertrain can charitably be called: complicated. Why the superabundance of motors? Well, like the marvels of modern science, the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder, the NSX is a hybrid.

The NSX has one electric motor at each of the front wheels and one on the rear axle. With all those motors the NSX is, as you would expect, all-wheel drive. Unlike mechanical AWD systems, which are limited by the petty constraints of friction, the NSX will be able to respond at the speed of light. And because it uses separate electric motors for the front wheels, the AWD drive system can actually assist with not just handling but steering by sending continuously variable amounts of positive and torque to the wheels during hard cornering.

Acura-NSX-concept-20

Like the original NSX, the majority of the power will come from a special race-derived twin-turbo V6. Even for a race-derived engine, this 3.5-liter is unusual. It purportedly uses an extremely wide angle between the cylinder banks, almost like a boxer motor. While this makes it less compact than narrow angle engines, it reduces vibration and allows the engine to rev higher, which is an important feature in an engine that has to both provide power directly to the wheels and charge batteries.

The supercar is likely to feature a dual-clutch transmission with at least seven gears. Though Acura isn’t releasing specifics the box, it is expected to be unique to the NSX. 

So what does all this mean in terms of actual power? Acura has been cagey on releasing anything close to specific. The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid puts down 377 horsepower from its powertrain. I would be shocked if the NSX produced anything less than 500 hp.

Engineering & Production

If the next generation NSX ends up being anything like the original, it may be more about lightness than power.

The first concept for an NSX successor used a big-displacement V10, and seemed to be geared more towards power than lightness. But that car got the axe in 2010, thanks to a combination of doubts about its potential and Acura’s financial problems.

As a hint about the focus on lightness and agility, Acura has developed a Super GT racecar based on the new NSX, which uses a hybrid drive train and a miniscule 2.0-liter four-banger gas powerplant rather than a V6.

Acura-NSX-concept-6

While the construction of the current car is still being kept secret, with the same sort of verve normally reserved for encryption codes, we can say a few things. Images show that the car makes ample use of carbon fiber and other composites more typically found in space programs than car factories. Acura has suggested that the target weight is around 3,200 pounds, less than a Ferrari 458 or an Audi R8.

In fact, an entire new facility has been chosen for the assembly of this space-aged car, the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville Ohio … right down the street from the demanding Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

At Marysville, Acura will be doing something that Honda almost never does: making a convertible. Unlike the last NSX, which was only available as a targa or t-top, the new one will be available as a true drop top.

Comparisons

One of the big questions about the NSX is just where exactly it fits in the hierarchy of cars, is it a supercar, a hypercar, or just a sports car? Well to answer that question as best I can, I am going to take a leaf out of the sports journalists book, draft comparisons. In trying to evaluate the potential talent of athletes about to enter the league, analysts like to compare them to existing players.

So which existing car is the Acura most like? The Audi R8, and thats not just because Iron Man switched from an R8 to an NSX concept.

A lot of the speculation around the NSX has compared the car to the Ferrari 458 Italia or the McLaren MP4 12-C, which, despite the name, is a supercar rather than a fax machine. And while the NSX might actually approach or even supersede these cars in terms of performance, it is a very different sort of car.

Acura-NSX-concept-25

Like the Audi R8, the NSX comes from a luxury carmaker rather than a company that exists solely to produce performance vehicles. When everyday automakers craft a supercar, they utilize technology use in the production of normal consumer cars.

And as a halo car, an NSX like the R8, will be intended to show off what Acura is doing elsewhere. An example of this is the Sport-Hybrid Super-Handling AWD badges that have shown up on the concept NSX.

The end result is likely to be a car that doesn’t just put down insane performance, but is also a car that you can live with. This is a speculation that is backed up by the rumored price, some outlets have speculated that the car might start at around $110,000, but this seems low to me.

If you can get an NSX for that little it will be a steal, or as much of a steal as anything that costs $110,000 can possibly be. I would expect the NSX to cost to be closer to that of an R8, or around $140,000. A lot of money to be sure, but still cheaper than its direct competitors.

Conclusion

So when will we actually know more? The running rumor is that the new NSX will finally be available in 2015, but after the long and painful development process, it is possible it might be longer.

Regardless, the NSX has every indication of being worth waiting for. The original car was something special, as indicated by the fact that you still see more of them on the road than just about any supercar from the period.

With its electric all-wheel drive and fire-breathing race car V6, the new one could be not just special, but better than anything else out there.

Product Review

Hyundai’s luxurious Tucson suffocates you with more – in a good way

The refreshed 2019 Hyundai Tucson may be one of the more affordable compact SUVs on the market, but there are more safety features than before as standard, as well as a hint of luxury.
Cars

Parents will never miss soccer practice with BMW’s new 523-horsepower SUVs

BMW is launching M Performance versions of its biggest SUVs, the X5 and X7. While not full-on M models, they do pack 523-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engines, allowing both SUVs to sprint from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds.
Cars

Don’t trust Tesla’s new autonomous lane-changing feature, Consumer Reports warns

Consumer Reports warns that last month's Autopilot updates that enabled automatic lane changing may put you at risk of a ticket or accident. Reaction times lagged what a human could do, testers say.
Cars

Texas awaits one signature to put a statewide stop to red light cameras

When Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs state House Bill 1631 into law, he will bring a halt to red light cameras in the state. The central issue in the bill's passage is the presumption of guilt of the registered owner of the car.
Cars

EV owners may still need to stop at a Chevron station, but not to buy gasoline

EVgo, the operator of a sizable network of electric car charging stations, has partnered with Chevron. Five Chevron stations located in California will install EVgo chargers that electric car owners can pay to use.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV tries to balance power and efficiency with mild-hybrid V8

The redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLE will get a V8 mild-hybrid powertrain when it launches in the United States later in 2019. The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 makes 483 hp on its own, but can also get a 21 hp electric boost.
Cars

Audi TT will get the ax to make way for electric cars — and the R8 may be next

Once a design leader, the Audi TT will meet its demise to make room in Audi's lineup for more electric cars. Audi executives confirmed plans to kill off the TT at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting.
Cars

Honda recalls 119,000 2019 CR-V crossovers over fears of airbag deployment

A manufacturing defect in select 2019 Honda CR-V crossovers could cause the airbag to malfunction and unexpectedly deploy, leading the automaker to recall some 137,000 vehicles worldwide, 118,598 of them in the U.S.
Cars

Cadillac confirms V-Series performance versions of the CT5 and CT4

Cadillac will unveil CT5-V and CT4-V sports sedans in Detroit May 30. They will be the latest cars in the General Motors luxury brand's V-Series performance line, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
Cars

Watch Cruise Automation’s driverless car perform one of the trickiest maneuvers

Unprotected left turns in urban environments are one of the trickiest maneuvers a driver has to perform — and the same goes for self-driving cars. Autonomous-vehicle company Cruise Automation appears close to nailing it.
Mobile

Lyft’s wallet-friendly Shared Saver option arrives in six more U.S. cities

Lyft is expanding its wallet-friendly Shared Saver option to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle after launching it earlier this year in Denver, New York City, and San Jose.
Cars

How Verizon and Team Penske are using 5G to make Indy 500 race cars faster

Team Penske, the most successful race team in Indy 500 history, is using Verizon 5G in its bid to win the 2019 Indy 500. Modern race cars generate tons of data, and a 5G connection lets teams harvest that data faster.
Cars

Leaf electric-car batteries can outlast vehicles by up to 12 years, Nissan claims

Nissan Leaf batteries have roughly twice the lifes pan of the cars they're installed in, according to an executive from the automaker. Nissan is investigating alternative uses for those batteries.
Cars

You can operate this BMW on a busy sidewalk without getting arrested

Forget driving: BMW released the ultimate riding machine. The German company teamed up with Switzerland's Micro to design a trio of scooters designed for last-mile mobility in crowded city centers.