Electric Honda sports car in the works?

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Acura’s 2017 NSX sports car will make 573 HP and top out at 191 mph.

The waiting game continues for Honda/Acura’s NSX successor, but now we at least have some official data to chew on as the Japanese automaker has revealed the 2017 model year sports car’s performance figures.A new report coming from Auto Express tells us the Japanese company will use its electric Pikes Peak race car as a base for its project and a road-going prototype has already been developed. The production NSX was revealed back in January at the Detroit Motor Show before the brand announced it would be delayed to go on sale in the spring of next year, instead of the fall.

The all-new bespoke twin-turbocharged, longitudinally mounted V6 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 500hp at 6,500-7,500 rpm and 406lb-ft (550Nm) between 2,000 and 6,000 rpm. But that’s only half of the story, as the conventional gasoline engine is assisted by a Twin Motor Unit (TMU) which drives the front wheels, rated at 72hp and 108 lb-ft (146Nm) of torque. And finally, after four years of development and the show-car circuit, the long-awaited Acura NSX from Honda, born of the original and much-loved NSX from 1990 to 2005, is back.

A mid-mounted 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 will make 500 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, while a rear-mounted electric motor and two front-mounted motors will add a combined 73 hp and 70 lb-ft of torque to the mix. A torque figure hasn’t been provided yet, but Honda claims the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration will take no more than 3.5 seconds, while top speed will be around 210 km/h (130 mph). A single battery charge should provide a range of 402 km (250 miles). “We are making every possible effort to make it to the market,” a Honda insider told the magazine. “We now have to think about the commercial aspect.” The final production car will also feature Honda’s Precision All-Wheel Steer system, controlling both the front and rear wheel in different manner according to the cruising speed.

Mounted midship is a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-litre V-6; an electric motor is mounted on the driveshaft, with it all going through a dual-clutch nine-speed gearbox. While the all-aluminum supercar’s curb weight of 3,803 lbs (1,725 kg) may not impress you, it’s a remarkable result considering the high level of technology the NSX packs – let’s not forget it has three electric motors on board, plus a lithium-ion battery pack. The brakes are electrically operated, and pressure can be adjusted depending on the style of driving, from softer for around town, to harder for more aggressive driving. The NSX Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) integrates all of the vehicle’s dynamic chassis and powertrain systems – steering, brakes (mechanical and electro-servo), throttle, vehicle stability assist, magnetorheological dampers, engine, transmission, and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD control systems. Weight isn’t everything, though, and Acura’s proven Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system will almost certainly convert the NSX’s mass into a corner-carving dream.

Pricing is a mystery at this point, but since the NSX will be competing in a supercar league of performance machines, it’s estimated to start at $170,000 before tacking on things like a carbon fiber roof, engine cover, and rear spoiler, or technology goodies. While two laps on the banked oval at Honda’s Tochigi Proving Ground is sadly too short to properly get up to speed on how the NSX performs, it is good enough to display the brutal-yet-controlled torque from the AWD car – at least up to 180 km/h, to which the tests cars were limited. Honda is hoping its halo car’s handsome design, sophisticated powertrain, and elite all-wheel drive system will lure buyers who might otherwise be eying Porsche’s 911 Turbo, Audi’s R8 V10, BMW’s i8, or the upcoming Jaguar F-Type SVR. Sport mode is the default setting in normal vehicle operation – it eliminates the 4,000 rpm limit on the engine and provide a more aggressive throttle map for quicker response. Ted Klaus, chief engineer on the project, says one of the aims for the NSX was zero-delay acceleration and, with the help of the torquey electric motors, that job is a success.

Finally, Track mode is optimized for circuit driving, using the most aggressive settings and parameters to deliver the fastest and most consistent lap times possible. Despite a portly weight of 1,725 kilograms, turning traction is phenomenal and the two electric motors at the front help the car power out of a corner sooner. The NSX has a lot of expectations to live up to, considering its first iteration was such a success, but this brief drive shows the new one has more than plenty of promise to deliver.

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