It's yet another NSX concept. Is this finally the long-awaited successor to the legendary original?
Haven’t we been here before? Since Honda/Acura ceased production of the NSX in 2005, we’ve seen seemingly countless concept cars that have heralded the return of the NSX. Most recently there was the rather pretty HSC concept from 2003 and the Advance Sports Car Concept in 2008. The latter came very close to a production reality but its new V10 engine did not fit in with Honda’s paradigm shift toward efficient alternative-power drivetrains.
However, none of these previous concepts have looked as promising as the one unveiled by Acura this week at the Detroit International Auto Show. It’s simply call the Acura NSX Concept and Honda says that it will be on the road in three years time.
Unlike the front-engined V10-powered car being developed towards the end of the last decade, this car will be more inline with the philosophy of the original NSX. It’s powered by a mid-mounted direct injection VTEC V6 with assistance from two electric motors powering the front wheels. The two motors will operate using a system called Bilateral Torque Adjustable Control and will be capable of applying positive or negative torque to each front wheel individually during cornering. It’s a new system that Honda calls the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system. Power will be distributed to all four wheels through a dual clutch transmission.
Honda was cagey on giving too many numbers, but Honda president and CEO Takanoku Ito has said that the new NSX will derive its performance “through engineering efficiency.” "The NSX will make the driver one with the car to enhance dynamic driving abilities without getting in the way."
Perhaps surprisingly, development of the new NSX will be lead by Honda R&D Americas Inc. and be manufactured in Ohio. Despite the distance from Japan, one gets the impression that this is a project that Ito holds close to his heart. He was after all the chassis developer for the original. Expect him to take a close interest in the development of the new one.