After years of rumors and false starts, Acura finally introduced a stunning new NSX concept at the Detroit auto show in January. The original NSX (produced from 1990 to 2005) was a groundbreaking sports coupe with an aluminum frame and extraordinary handling, which was tuned by Formula One legend Ayrton Senna. Its long-awaited sequel – due in three years – will be even more cutting-edge. Here are six facts you should know about it.
Like the original, the new two-door, two-passenger NSX will have its engine mounted midship, behind the driver and passenger seats, for ideal weight balance. The engine, powering the rear wheels, will be a VTEC-powered V-6. You can also expect modern technologies, such as direct-injection and a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Let’s hope a manual model will also be offered.
The new NSX features hybrid technology, but we’re not talking about the ho-hum stuff found in a Toyota Prius. Rather, the NSX concept uses electric motors to drive the front two wheels for traction-enhancing all-wheel drive. Each motor provides torque as necessary, improving handling in and out of corners. Acura calls it Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) and the innovation is likely to be passed down to Honda’s less-exotic cars.
The original NSX did not have a very powerful engine. Instead, it derived its performance from being lightweight and well-balanced. Takanobu Ito, the president and CEO of Honda, was on the development team of the original NSX. He recently hinted that the new NSX will not chase the gonzo horsepower numbers of the latest Lamborghini or Ferrari and instead share characteristics of the original car, or “high performance through engineering efficiency.” That likely means plenty of aluminum and you can bet you’ll find some carbon-fiber and carbon-fiber composite use.
Here are some stats regarding the new NSX: 170.5 inches in length; 74.6 inches wide; 45.7 inches high; 101.3 inch wheelbase. It’s about three inches shorter and wider and with a longer wheelbase (by about two inches) than its predecessor, with a slight increase in height.
5. Made in the USA
What? Yes, it’s true. Like Jeremy Lin of the Knicks, this bad boy is going to be Asian-American, as Acura said it will build the NSX in Marysville, Ohio.
6. Seinfeld Approves
If you watched the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, you probably caught the NSX commercial starring Jerry Seinfeld. Acura’s first Super Bowl appearance, in which Seinfeld (a well-known fan of Porsche) competes for the right to buy the first NSX off the production line, spoke volumes to enthusiasts – or, considering the second celeb car guy they chose for the final cameo, how much Acura spent on the clever ad.
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