|NSX at the reveal. Click to enlarge.|
Acura unveiled the production model of the next-generation NSX at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The high performance hybrid features a new twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with an Acura-designed 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system, all integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world’s-first material applications and manufacturing processes.
The NSX was introduced at the auto show under the theme of “Precision Crafted Performance.” The theme was the original tagline for the Acura brand, a guiding force behind the development of the original NSX and a critical component of its launch.
The development of next-generation NSX resulted in a clean-sheet design, which involved nearly three years of effort by a global design and engineering team led by engineers at the company’s development center in Raymond, Ohio.
The NSX body features classic low and wide proportions. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid-mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase downforce. To accommodate the new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 and 9-speed DCT, the production vehicle was lengthened (+3 inches) and widened (+1 inch) with a slightly more cab-forward package, compared with the proportions of the NSX Concept shown in 2012.
Every element of the exterior body was for airflow management for both stability-enhancing downforce and vehicle systems cooling. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company’s wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, leading to a number of changes from concept to final body design, including modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes, and an optimized deck spoiler.
The V6 engine employs a race-inspired compact valve train and dry sump lubrication system to help lower the center of gravity. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. The NSX’s front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution.
|NSX and powertrain, top view. Click to enlarge.|
The NSX uses its front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The NSX has undergone testing at some of the world’s most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nürburgring.
In keeping with the legacy of NSX—the first all-aluminum supercar—the new NSX features an innovative new multi-material body design realized with new material applications and construction processes.
The NSX body utilizes a space frame design—an internal frame constructed of aluminum, ultra-high strength steel and other advanced materials. Anchored by a carbon fiber floor, torsional and bending forces are taken up entirely by this ultra-rigid structure which also utilizes advanced joining technologies.
Innovative casting technology combines the design and manufacturing flexibility of a casting process with the strength and elongation properties of a forged material, enabling significant weight reduction. The body panels are composed of a combination of aluminum and sheet molding composite (SMC).
The NSX features an “Advanced Sports Package” with placement of key powertrain components—the mid-mounted engine, twin front motors and Sport Hybrid battery pack and power control unit—optimized to concentrate vehicle mass low and toward the center of the vehicle, to further enhance dynamic response. The combination of this packaging concept and the lightweight body give the NSX the lowest center of gravity in its class, according to the company.
Handling is enhanced by Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), enabling quick response to all driver inputs—steering, braking and throttle—along with the stability, control and launch performance of all-wheel drive. Agile Handling Assist (AHA) uses the subtle application of brake torque to further enhance yaw response and dynamic stability.
The NSX’s dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities.
The NSX also features a launch function to achieve the ultimate in zero-delay launch performance, aided by both the engine and three electric motors.
Acura will begin accepting custom orders for the new NSX starting in the summer, with customer deliveries expected later in the year.