Saturday, January 7, 2012

The NSX is coming !!! Part Two

The first time the new NSX was confirmed was just after the Tokyo Motor Show of this year, when Jeff told me he had to rush back to the U.S. for a very special preview. I did not know, nor expect the significance of that at the time. Previously, while Honda CEO Ito-san had publicly confirmed a new Honda supercar, he did not confirm it would be the NSX. In fact, from the many conflicting and chaotic reports on the media, many actually claims that their 'insider info' says that it will be the HSV-010GT FR supercar that Honda has been competing with in the Super GT competition over the past two years. 

The very first inkling of this new NSX was when a friend 'on the inside', mentioned how as an employee, he was elated when Ito-san announced that the new NSX would be made. Jeff was sharper than me then and when I related the news to him, he quickly grabbed on the word 'new NSX' and asked me if I can get any further details about it, because all other reports were harping on the HSV-010 instead. Unfortunately I wasn't able to.
For a long time, the HSV-010 was considered, assumed, and more or less accepted as the 'new supercar' that Ito-san announced. There were some other hints received by other TOV forumers 'with connections' and one forumer had in fact, kept pointing out that he was told of 'something very exciting' but which is -not- the HSV-010. But neither he, or we, could get anything further on it.

The momentous preview event that Jeff attend, where Acura confirmed that the new 'something very exciting' -will- be the new NSX took place early December last year and Jeff was amongst the very selected group of journalists who were shown a real life prototype of the new NSX concept. The TOV news and rumours report is in this link ->

Photos were not allowed to be taken at that preview. Most publications also honoured Acura's desire for secrecy by not publishing any 'artist rendering', which would have also blown the cover like an actual photo. In the meantime, Jeff tried his best to describe the new NSX. The excerpt from the NNR report is below:

NSX (Concept)
Alongside the flagship, a new "super sports car" shares the role as the range topper for Acura. Acura didn't officially call it the NSX during their presentation, but everybody we spoke with following the presentation said it was indeed the NSX successor. I took that as good news. UPDATE: In their press release released this morning, Acura is calling it the "NSX Concept". Some text below is updated to reflect that.

Acura showed us the actual NSX Concept which will be revealed in Detroit next month. Unfortunately there was no photography allowed, but I can tell you that this will be one of the biggest reveals for Acura in recent history. Basically this is the car that was spied on the "Avengers" set late in the Summer, but it's clearly been further developed and it's also in hard-top form. Finished in a sliver paint, the concept is absolutely stunning, and carries on the NSX tradition of a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. The design is muscular, futuristic, and sharp, and vaguely similar to the Audi R8.

Compared to the "Avengers" car, the front end on this concept actually has working LED headlights - there are 5 "squircle" projectors embedded within each headlight housing. The rear bumper is also virtually identical to the "Avengers" car but with a real roof and backlight and more "production-looking" taillights, the overall visage is considerably different. Like the "flagship", the exhaust finishers are integrated into the bumper. A really cool (but not necessarily original) styling element is the "flying buttress" C-pillars. The C-pillars feature a "pass-through" which appears to be designed to channel air smoothly around the cockpit and over the rear of the vehicle. It's like an elongated version of the flying buttress seen on the Ferrari 599 - the NSX has a much faster angle on the backlight, which naturally lengthens the C-pillar. The gap between the C-pillar and the glass is fairly narrow, however. For the record, this concept wore Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in 255/35ZR19 size up front, and 275/30ZR20s in the rear.

Acura wouldn't tell us anything about the engine or powertrain, but off the record they were quick to tell us that the announced Electric SH-AWD system with 3.5L DI V6 was clearly not potent enough for this car. It should be noted that THAT powertrain, with its 7-speed dual clutch gearbox and 3 electric motors, develops a peak output in the neighborhood of 400hp. Obviously with the MR layout, Honda has to engineer a very specific setup for this car, and we're assuming it will essentially be a reversed layout compared to the FF-oriented design which was revealed previously.

We are hopeful that it will receive a very special high output, high revving gasoline engine that is fitting of the NSX heritage, while leveraging the electric motors and onboard battery to deliver on the "smart luxury" promise of excellent fuel economy. Acura told us that they would be releasing more information and details about this car at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.

In the next couple of posts, I will take a look at some of the artist renderings of the new NSX and our (TOV) take on how accurate they are. Then readers will have a chance to check out the new NSX first-hand when we report direct from the floors of the NAIAS 'Detroit Motor Show' media preview session which will start this coming Monday.

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