Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 12C, Audi’s R8, the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 and Corvette Z06. These are the super cars that Acura’s long awaited NSX coupe has in its sights when it launches in 2015. First seen at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the Acura NSX is a sleek, low, two- seater aimed at high performance buyers with acceleration, handling and braking aimed to be amongst the best in the world. With an exotic mix of carbon fibre, light alloy and other weight saving materials, the NXS is will be smaller than the McLaren 12C and Ferrari 458, but just as fast according to Acura engineers
The Acura NSX is set to return in mid-2015 as a four-wheel drive V6 gas-electric hybrid supercar. It has already been seen in prototype form as a pace car in at the IndyCar Series race in the US.
Developed in Japan, with input from Lotus in the UK, Acura is keeping pretty tight lipped about the final specs. However the NSX will be a strict two-seater powered by a mid-mounted, direct-injection V6 engine. Meanwhile a pair of electric motors driving its front axle are destined to be used for torque vectoring to sharpen handling. This will also form part of Acura’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system that’s fitted as standard to the NSX.
The rear axle is driven by the V6, but this is boosted by the third electric motor built into its newly developed dual-clutch gearbox. Acura is aiming for a power output of at least 400bhp, although rumors are that power could be as much as 500 horsepower. The eight -speed dual-clutch transmission and 3.7-liter direct injected and turbocharged V-6, helps power the rear wheels. Powering the three electric motors is a central lithium-ion battery, topped up with regenerative brakes.
According to Acura, this setup allows multiple driving modes, including electric- or gas-only modes plus a hybrid mode calling on both electric and gas power. The sophisticated setup utilizes a bilateral torque control system to instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering, helping with stability.
As well as the standard model, which spawned a host of special editions, the original NSX launched in the early 1990’s was boosted by a track-focused Type R, and the NSX-T, which featured a removable roof panel. Formula 1 racing driver Ayrton Senna helped develop the original NSX and original versions remain highly prized and collectible.
An open top Acura NSX Roadster may also be on the cards after a version was built off a 1991 NSX and seen in the 2013 Avengers movie. This would possibly arrives in 2017, two years after the coupe is launched and would be a proper folding top convertible, not the original targa type roof with its removable panels.
The NSX will be built at Acura/Honda’s new Performance Manufacturing Centre factory in Ohio. Acura predicts that over 50 per cent of NSX models will be sold in North America. Development of the new car remains on track, which means a production version should make the round of the Auto show circuit in 2015. The Acura NSX is likely to debut as a production model at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, before going on sale to the public.
2015 Acura NSX – Pricing to be announced