In Detroit, during an evening event in conjunction with the SAE International World Congress, Honda laid out a tonne of details about their newest creation. They are clearly proud of it. The press release is chock-full of buzzwords and flowery phrasings that border on hyperbole such as “three-dimensionally formed, ultra-high-strength steel A-pillar,”. Which is a shame because it masks some truly impressive points. A lot of the information is quite in-depth, but here are some highlights in plain(er) English.
Space frame: Honda is very pleased about this one. The main structure of the car will be housed within a multi-material structure made using an advanced ‘ablation’ casting process. According to the project’s principal engineer, this approach was chosen over a single material monocoque such as carbon fibre or aluminium as it allowed the lowest overall weight and highest rigidity.
Powertrain: The NSX will be primarily powered by a V6 engine, this time confirmed to a 3.5-litre twin turbo with a 75-degree vee angle and dry sump lubrication system. Mounted longitudinally and as low as possible for optimal centre of gravity, the engine produces at least 550hp. The petrol power plant is aided by a hybrid system comprising of dual front-mounted electric motors (one for each wheel) and a rear-mounted direct drive electric motor that is connected to the nine-speed dual-clutch transmission to send power directly to the crankshaft and the rear wheels.
Aerodynamics and Cooling: Through the use of the NSX’s Total Airflow Management allows efficient cooling of the 10 heat exchangers to regulate the thermal load around the electric motors, petrol engine, turbochargers and transmission while at the same time avoiding the weight and complexity of a water-cooled solution.
The NSX also achieves all of the development teams’ drag and downforce requirements to achieve their target of “on-rails handling” without the use of active aerodynamic components through extensive use of computational fluid dynamics technology and testing.
All-Wheel Drive and Torque Vectoring System: In full, Honda has named it Sports Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive and is the company’s best foot forward following two decades of research and development in this area to deliver the aforementioned “on-rails handling”. Honda says the high level of integration between the petrol engine, electric motors and transmission deliver instant torque vectoring capability and is has the highest torque capacity of any All-Wheel Drive system. The setup also includes variable gear-ratio steering as well as a double-wishbone, double lower control arm front suspension that decouples the electric drive motors from the front wheels to deliver a purer driver connection to the road.
Production begins of the second generation NSX later in 2015 at the Honda Performance Manufacturing Centre in Marysville, Ohio, USA. In the US, the NSX will be marketed under the Acura badge, just like the previous NSX.