2012 Detroit Auto Show: Acura NSX Concept previews an awesome supercar

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 9, 2012

The all-new Honda/Acura NSX Concept was finally unveiled today at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and we must admit that we are impressed… the vehicle is not inspired by the previous NSX but by the Audi R8. Don’t get us wrong, we like the new concept but we love the original NSX. Anyway, according to Honda, the new concept uses lightweight materials and a mid-mounted V6 engine but also new technologies such as Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) hybrid system.

The new system uses an unique 2 Electric Motor Drive Unit with a bilateral torque adjustable control system and can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering. Acura expects the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD to deliver Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.

In addition, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will be helped by a powerful next-generation VTEC V-6 engine with direct-injection bolted to a dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor in order to create a supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency. The Japanese manufacturer says that the new NSX supercar will debut within three years and will be developed by engineering team led by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and manufactured in Ohio.

With the NSX Concept, Acura is able to showcase many of the underpinnings that it hopes to release to the market shortly. Even then, it continues to have the attractive and dynamic proportions with the wide and low stance first displayed through the original NSX Concept. This time however, the design is highlighted by the edgy details and the contemporary, simple, and clean surfacing ensuring that it conveys a high-tech feel to it in addition to having the attitude of a supercar. The NSX Concept was originally shown during the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

The company had earlier revealed that powering it will be the direct-injected mid-mounted V6 engine, which will be paired to its very own Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system or Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. This was to make sure that the NSX Concept would be able to deliver on a sports car experience that had superior environmental performance mixed in with the next-generation in dynamic capabilities.

Acura Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is a high-performance three-motor hybrid system which utilizes the efficiency of an advanced hybrid, combined with the torque vectoring ability of an all-wheel drive. This is made possible by the three electric motors and the dual-clutch transmission.

With regards to the motors, one has been integrated with its V6 engine while the remaining two are tasked to drive the wheels in the front. As a result of this configuration, the front wheels can immediately be supplied with positive or negative torque especially when cornering. This gives it a level of driving performance that is unmatched even by many of today’s all-wheel drive systems.

Acura Design Studio Chief Designer Jon Ikeda shared that in line with essence of the first NSX, the objective was to be able to support not only the emotional side of driving a super car and bring it to its full potential but also to cover the psychological aspect as well.

This is because the company, he continued, is committed to build a vehicle that proves how well machine and man could work together. This will be part of all models coming from Acura in the future, he added. Indeed, what is another interesting thing about the Acura NSX Concept is that it shows a possible direction on where the interior design of the NSX could go.

For the NSX, the concept for the design used the theme called Human Support Cockpit. This is because the company wanted its products to emphasize the “synergy between man and machine”. As such, the interior offers excellent visibility and delivers a striking driving position. It even makes use of the Simple Sports Interface in order to help minimize the clutter inside. Overall, these features combine to help the driver get that incredible driving experience.

Press Release

Acura NSX Concept

The dynamically-styled NSX Concept gives an indication of the next great performance vehicle from the Acura brand. Making use of lightweight materials and a mid-mounted V-6 engine, the NSX Concept employs several new technologies for Acura, including application of Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All Wheel Drive™) hybrid system.

Utilizing an unique 2 Electric Motor Drive Unit with a bilateral torque adjustable control system, the all-new hybrid all-wheel-drive system can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering. Acura anticipates the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous AWD systems. In addition to the handling benefits of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, a powerful next-generation VTEC® V-6 engine with direct-injection works in concert with a dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor to create supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency.

"This Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system will make NSX the ultimate expression of Acura's idea to create synergy between man and machine," said Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "The NSX will make the driver one with the car to enhance dynamic driving abilities without getting in the way."

While most supercars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favorable power-to-weight ratio.

"Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency," added Ito, who led the development of Acura's first NSX supercar. "In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities."

The new Acura supercar, expected to debut in the next three years, will be developed by an engineering team led by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and manufactured in Ohio, at a yet to be named facility.

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