2017 Acura NSX Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Jan 16, 2015
FAST FACTS
  • Twin-turbocharged, mid-engine sports car
  • Sport Hybrid, all-wheel-drive powertrain
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes, aluminum suspension
  • Quiet, Sport, Sport+, Track driving modes
  • Steel, aluminum, carbon fiber construction
  • Larger than the NSX concept vehicles shown in recent years
  • Custom ordering starts in the summer of 2015

Introduction

Designed, engineered, and built to custom-order specification in Ohio, the production version of the 2017 Acura NSX has been revealed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. During the presentation, Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura, said: "The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate."

Exterior Features

Longer, wider, and taller than both the original NSX and the NSX Concept vehicles that Acura has been showing during the past few years, the 2017 NSX's final production form is slightly more cab-forward in terms of packaging. Body detailing is also revised from the car's conceptual forebears based on the results of wind tunnel testing, and the new NSX gets Acura's Jewel Eye LED headlights.

Exterior body panels are composed of aluminum and sheet molding composite, affixed to a space-frame body structure made primarily of aluminum, high-strength steel, and carbon fiber. For dramatic effect, the car's engine is visible through the rear glass.

Interior Features

With seating for two people, the Acura NSX places occupants in substantially bolstered leather seats that the company claims are nevertheless easy to enter and exit. Acura also says that the low-mounted dashboard features handcrafted leather and exposed structural elements, and that the windshield pillars are as thin as possible for greater forward visibility.

The driver faces a thick-rimmed steering wheel with long, slender paddle shifters, as well as dynamic instrumentation on a Thin Film Transistor display screen, the contents of which change depending on the driver's Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) selections. The IDS control knob is a dominant design element, and contains a red "Power" button right in the center of it.

Optional Features

Acura has not announced what equipment is standard or optional for the new NSX, but does plan to initially offer the car only as a custom-order and custom-build program.

Under the Hood

Reportedly developing more than 550 total horsepower, the NSX's Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) powertrain contains many moving parts.

A twin-turbocharged V-6 engine resides at the heart of it, mounted behind the cabin and forward of the rear axle in a midship-mounted location. It is paired with a 9-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission featuring rev-matching downshifts.

Three electric motors contribute to the NSX's performance capabilities. The rear-mounted direct-drive electric motor enhances acceleration, braking, and transmission shifting. Dual independent front electric motors powered by a battery deliver all-wheel drive, enhancing acceleration and producing dynamic torque vectoring for what Acura calls "zero-delay launch performance and handling response that seems to anticipate the driver's desire."

Acura says that all powertrain components are placed within the structure in such a way as to concentrate vehicle mass as low and toward the center of the NSX as is possible, producing the lowest center of gravity among its main competitors. The standard IDS includes Quiet, Sport, Sport+, and Track driving modes. Quiet mode is for electric-only driving at low speeds and for short distances. A Launch function is also a part of the NSX's performance software, and the engine features a dry-sump lubrication system for maximum stamina on a track.

Carbon-ceramic brakes employ 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers, and Agile Handling Assist technology uses the brakes to improve yaw response and dynamic stability, Acura says. The new NSX sits on an aluminum independent suspension, and rides on staggered-width 19x8.5-in. front and 20x11-in. rear aluminum wheels wrapped in high-performance tires.

Safety

Acura offers several safety technologies on its lineup of sedans and crossover SUVs but has not announced whether features such as a collision-mitigation braking system or a road-departure-mitigation system will be offered for the new NSX, let alone lane-keeping assist or a blind-spot information system.

Technology

Keen eyes will notice that the NSX's transmission features the same touch-control gear selection design as the TLX sedan. An AcuraLink touch-screen infotainment system is present, too, almost certainly paired with a navigation system and a premium audio system.

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