The 2016 Acura NSX Is Here, Has Four Motors
Hello, Acura NSX. Welcome back; it's been a long time. Anything new? Six cylinders. Two turbos. Three electric motors.
You read that right. One of the most important cars of your childhood is not only back—it's been expected for-freaking-ever—it's back as a proper hybrid that's going toe to toe with the BMW i8. To quote one of Acura's execs, "It's just badass, in a luxury car sort of way." It's made right here in America, and there's a fair bet Germany's quaking right now.
First, a quick look at the lines. Yes, it's sleek, and yes, everything serves a purpose. By and large any complex shapes and ducts you see are designed solely to keep the car's various advanced electrical components cool.
That's a bigger challenge than you might expect, because the NSX is all about advanced electrical bits. Keen eyes will observe a compact V6 engine sporting a pair of turbos, as well as a pair of electric motors at the other end of the car to drive the front wheels. An even closer examination yields yet another electric motor between the engine and the transmission.
That third motor is the true game changer here, since it has the same effect as a supercharger, helping the engine move the car forward even faster while compensating for any turbo lag extant in the V6.
In other words, take the all wheel drive aspects of the Porsche 918 hybrid system, and toss in the power-boosting aspects of the McLaren P1 hybrid system, and you've got your Acura NSX in a nutshell.
There's even more technical goodness at play here, like the nine speed dual clutch transmission, and a suite of gyroscopically-controlled software that adjusts the power of the two front motors to help pull the car through a corner at the fastest possible speed.
It's a car that will require a ton of concentration to drive fast, so everything in the cockpit is aimed at being unobtrusive while getting the driver the necessary data. Neat fact—that center console is actually an exposed piece of the car's structure, giving off a sort of form-meets-function vibe.
Of course, the NSX is still an Acura at heart, so it can of course be softened. Changing from Track mode down to "Quiet" should enable one to note just how grippy the seats are, or to observe the various materials from which the car is made.
The frame is a combination of aluminum and steel, with much of the remaining structure comprised of carbon fiber. The body itself is part aluminum and part composite, keeping both weight and cost down.
And that leads to probably the most impressive thing about the NSX. It's not cheap, but at an anticipated price in the neighborhood of $150,000, it kinda feels like a bargain.
Production begins later this year, so if you want one, you'd best get going.