Lots of effort goes into building this low-volume engine.
It pains us to say this, but it’s easy to overlook the Acura NSX. It’s been that way ever since the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where the NSX debut was rather dramatically overshadowed by the new Ford GT's sudden arrival. Admittedly, you don’t really see the NSX on the street either – less than 1,200 have been sold since it went on sale for the 2016 model year. As such, it seems Acura is keen to remind people that the NSX is here, and it has a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 worthy of your attention.
The automaker dropped a new video on YouTube that goes in-depth on the boosted mill, which is built at Honda’s sprawling Anna, Ohio engine plant. It’s actually Honda’s largest facility in the world dedicated to engines, pumping out 4,500 mass-produced mills every day. Obviously, the NSX engine isn't part of that daily grid – the video explains how it’s hand-built in a very small area of the plant that looks like a cleanroom at Area 51. Each mill takes five hours to assemble, and the engines are then broken in right there before going into the car. That means new NSX owners can go bonkers as soon as they leave the dealership.
Gallery: Acura NSX Engine Details
The video is chock full of various factoids that wrench heads and auto trivia buffs will love. The engine’s 75-degree bank angle, for instance, draws straight from Formula 1 and Indy racing designs. Coupled with its dry-sump oil system, the engine when mounted in the car is still lower than the top of the tires. Each engine is also balanced by hand after assembly. And of course, the twin-turbo mill is exclusive to the NSX.
One thing not mentioned in the clip is the car’s hybrid system, which uses a bank of electric motors in addition to the V6 for a combined 573 horsepower. 500 of those ponies come from the gas engine though, so it’s certainly the star in the NSX story. It’s also the star of this video, and watching the clip is definitely not a bad way to spend 10 minutes of your time.
Video: The Magic Behind Acura’s NSX Engine
Acura shares what makes the beating heart of the NSX so special in a new video released today. The video takes an up-close look at the development, construction, racing prowess and human connection that underpins the bespoke twin-turbocharged V6 engine that powers Acura’s one-of-a-kind hybrid supercar.
Hand-built in a specialized 4,000 sq. ft. facility within the massive 2.5-million sq. ft. Anna Engine Plant in Anna, Ohio, each NSX engine is meticulously assembled to exacting standards by a single master builder. In addition to the NSX road car, the NSX’s unique engine has powered the NSX GT3 race car to multiple championships with little-to-no modification. This ability to handle both road and race duties in virtually “bone-stock” form is a testament to the engine’s design and durability. Last weekend, two NSX GT3 EVO race cars completed the grueling 24 Hours of Daytona, with the Meyer Shank Racing #57 completing 762 laps for a total distance of nearly 2,713 miles at race pace.
“It’s here at the Anna Engine Plant, where the heart of the NSX gets to beat for the very first time,” said Jim Mankin, who served as the engine quality project leader for production of the NSX engine. “The NSX engine room is staffed with the best-of-the best talent from our assembly department who hand-build the engine that powers Acura’s American-made super car and who help the NSX make its mark on the world of manufacturing.”
In addition to highlighting the craftsmanship that brings the NSX engine to life, the video explores the background and development of the bespoke engine design, including an in-depth interview with Ted Klaus, who served as the global development leader for NSX. Klaus, now president of Honda Performance Development, oversees Acura’s multiple championship-winning North American sportscar racing program, including the Acura NSX GT3 EVO.
“The development leaders of the original NSX told us not to copy what they did. NSX is all about pushing into the future and going beyond,” Klaus said. “The core thing is that it’s not technology for technology’s sake – it’s technology in service to our customers, and it makes me extremely proud. This is an engine that is truly worthy of the name ‘NSX.’”