Sunday, January 27, 2013

TOV talks to Erik Berkman on the new NSX

For readers who are not members or a regular at our forums, TOV principal Jeff Palmer met up briefly with Erik Berkman, one of the lead designers of the new 2G NSX during the recent NAIAS. As the conversation was informal, Jeff did not put it in a formal article but shared it in our forums. Extracted and quoted below are Jeff's quick summary of his conversation with Berkman.

Basically he re-affirmed some of the stuff that been out there, particularly the 'reference list' of 3 or 4 performance targets (458, GT-R, McLaren MP4-12C, R8 GT). Said they have very rigid targets on power to weight ratio (which implies performance bogeys) and are very serious about meeting or surpassing those targets, but said top fuel efficiency is #1 target. Acknowledged that the competition is pretty stiff and they love the challenge. Hoping to beat the targets but noted something to the effect of 'even if we fall short, it won't be by much and it will still be one HELL of a performer' (that's paraphrased). I indicated that to me a 10th of a second here or there wouldn't matter as long a the overall driving experience was one of the best, as the past NSX offered a very rewarding driving feel/connection that other 'faster' cars couldn't touch. I said it needed stay true to Honda/NSX's roots, and to have a visceral element (high revs, high hp/l, etc...). Low mass very important to me (I DEFINITELY don't want a fat TECHNO-tank like the GT-R). He didn't comment much but seemed to be in general agreement with my sentiments. Indicated that there's a LOT of work to be done. Oh, I suggested that since they boxed themselves in with the V6 hybrid decree that a turbo would almost be a necessity to meet their performance targets and I didn't really get much of a denial, nor any sort of confirmation on that. Now I'm wishing I remembered his exact words there but several times during our conversation he indicated I should probably see if I could get any more info from some of the team members. We have a pretty good relationship with Erik, and I told him I'd like to speak to him more formally at a later point and he said he'd love to talk to us some more, but we'd obviously have to go through the proper channels to get it set up. (PR gatekeepers).



CRV9 said...

First of all, I'm not sure how much he really knows the engine spec's. I don't mean his general knowledge of technical side of the car. But he is a car designer. His full time job is to design and manage or over see his entire design team. I'm sure he talks to the engineering team to coordinate necessary technical/engineering spec's, like how big rear air intake is or where, etc. But those he can be given without knowing what exactly is going on in the engineering team.

"He didn't comment much but seemed to be in general agreement with my sentiments(high revs, high hp/l, etc...)."
I read this as he 'personally' agree with Jeff's 'sentiments'.

Among the thses 4 target super cars, Ferrari and GTR, it's about 7lbs/hp, R8 6.4/hp, MacL 5.4/hp.
I'm pretty sure Honda will not get into a horse power race. So it going to be 7.0lbs/hp-ish.
Every public info, not inside scoops like someone seems to be getting;),says it's going to be their next generation V6. That means they use the same ED V6 block from the RLD. I'd guess they'd use regular headers instead of intergrated ones. And I wish they already knew of NASA's low yemp catalytic converter.
My previous guess of 3,200lbs/442hp(combined), 7.3lbs/hp is not that bad.(By the way, 442hp would be a tribute to the legendary 442nd infantry Regiment.)
Have I depressed you enough? If so my job is done.

TOVA said...

Hi CRV9,
As usual, many thanks for your continued support. When the launch comes nearer, there will be more and more info and I suspect a significant amount will be in japanese. When that time comes, I hope you will be around to help with some of the translation. Looking forward to your continued support.

Have you tried to get back into the forums again recently ?

CRV9 said...

Thia probably is old news though HSV-010 is about to retire after this year. They'll use the ones based on the new NSX for 2014 and beyond, and will debut 'before' its commercial version.
GT300 gets two teams this year.

One disturbing thing is about the new IMA-II. Honda web site says it is with a 1.5l atkinson cycle ED engine. It will be 30% better(mpg, I suppose). I don't think we could expect more powerful engine.

(ps. tried but didn't work but it's ok because i'm not interested. Thank you, you're always kind.)

TOVA said...

Thanks for your continued support. You are actually a very valuable source of information and I am sad what they did in the forums. I can ask for you when you are interested to get back on. The guy who did it actually says he did not remember why he did it, or even that he did it.

TOVA said...

The information about the 1.5l atkinson cycle on the new IMA-2 is interesting. Is there any further infor ? And is this 1.5l engine mentioned to be for the new NSX or could it be for the normal models ? Surely the new NSX should get something more substantial. Can you point me to the source of this info ?

CRV9 said...

Don't read too much into it. I was flipping through like flipping through TV channels. I can't remember where now. It simply said the new IMA2 will be a 1.5l Atkinson cycle ED engine with a clutched CVT, and will be 30% better. That's all.
I thought it'd be possible, probable considering nobody buys CRZ and Toyota sells tons of Prius. Dual mode(Atkinson-Otto) and IMA would be redundant and too complecated. I was kind of disappointed though.
This is nothing to do with NSX.

CRV9 said...

I don't like to contradict RolledaNsx because he has his friends in Honda. But I don't think Honda is ready to commit in to F1.
I didn't see their Q&A so I have no idea. My impression from 2/8th presentation was that they're already participating more than enough motor sports. If the tradition holds true F1 participation is placed at the highest in their order in their hearts. It's like all-going-in kid of thing for them. I don't think they're financially ready for it. Of course, if young, new generation of engineers wants it it may change eliminating some other motor sports activities. I don't see it though.

The another impression I got was, not in words. they're really interested in GT300 hybrids. I could sense excitements in his voice when he talked about GT300 cars. It's just my impression though, that is really nothing.

CRV9 said...

Well, rollethatnsx's comment of they'll change the side-radiators at TOV prompted me to look up at Mr. Mastumoto's comment for '13. Here is a brief translation.

Mr. Masahiko Matsumoto preview for 2013.
(born Feb 10th' 1963. started at Honda in 1986. involved in the original VTEC engine development; in 2nd F1 engine development, 1987-92, V6 1.5l turbo, V10 3.5l, V12 3.5l; stayed with Mugen F1, V10 3.5l, V8 2.4l; in 3rd F1 since 2005; in GT engine devlopment; became a LPL in GT project.

Their/his aim next year/'13 is an ease of drivability(an ease of wider ability of car's settings).
He said that they straggled with car's settings with handicapped weights in the second half of the season. They had found that the car had narrow windows of optimum settings(sweet spots) with the handicapped weights. And at the same time, since the previous LPL, Mr. Taki, they had been aiming to improve all their teams' performance together, not just few of them.(it'd have been easier to pick few to excel, I guess)

Also the differences in tires from two tire makers, Bridgestone and Dunlop as they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Bridgestone's performance is stable and strong throughout the season and even in lower temperature but a bit weak in wet, whereas Dunlop lasts longer but a bit weaker than Bridgestone in dry yet do better in wet.
So what they feel they need to do in '13 are to make their machines(cars) easier to get better settings in a shorter time, and easier for the drivers to understand(? accustomed to, adapted to???).
It became obvious that it took time to set up the cars after we had incorporated the side-radiators. The current HSV-010 is basically good in aerodynamics. Though it became too sensitive to different conditions due to pursuing the optimum performance too far.

I guess rollethatnsx was right. It seems they will change to the front-mount radiator this year.

CRV9 said...

One more thing. I just saw that rolledansx is saying that they're testing the (next) nsx gt at Daytona. I just don't see how. Isn't Super Gt is in Japan? And isn't it mainly developed by JP R&D? I don't think it's one of HPD projects and they must be too busy with the new NSX.
Ohhh... he meant the next NSX, didn't he?

I don't think JP R&D is even ready to run the next NSX Super GT car, yet.

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