Future Ride: 2012 Acura NSX Concept
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqt0wnbNUeA#! When the Acura NSX first hit the streets in 1990, it was one of the best driving cars ever made. That credit is due, in large, to Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna. Senna, who raced for Honda, had a heavy hand in the NSX’s design process. He worked closely with the engineering team and tested this visceral beast extensively on the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. The finished result was automotive perfection. It was the first car with an aluminum and unibody chassis, which made it among the lightest cars on the market at the time. The rest of the machine is instantly recognizable as a driver’s ride. From the ergonomics inside to the power-to-weight ratio, it was (and still is) just a very bright, simple, nimble car. Great in the turns, great in the straights with the throttle open wide. It had only a V6 VTEC engine, which was putting out less than 300 HP, but when you got it up in the revs, it would best a Ferrari 328. I was excited when Acura announced plans for the 2012 version of the NSX. But I was a little bewildered that it’s a hybrid, but I’m hopeful that Acura will do a hybrid right. The automotive industry needs cool hybrid rides, especially since there’s nothing fun about a Prius. I’ve never done anything responsible that was also fun, so the new NSX may be a first. Knowing very little beyond the NSX badge on it, I would entirely buy a new one. I think it’ll be expensive, but entirely worth it. It heavily resembles an Audi R8 or a McLaren, both of which are bold cars with beautiful lines. The interior looks the same as all the NSX predecessors, with a center sloping console and nice curves throughout. As for the particulars of the new NSX, weight may be an issue. If this is 4,200 lbs, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. All the batteries needed for the electric portion of the car add some serious heft. I’d suspect the design team swapped out current materials for lighter ones, to help it out on the scale. Instead of steel, they’ll likely use carbon fiber or titanium and shave hundreds of pounds this way. It’s not cheap, but neither is the car. I’d also imagine it has a much smaller gas tank because of all the electricity running through the thing. The most interesting spec measurement I’d be curious to see is the torque. You’ll never max that engine out on a speed run, but you will use the torque every time you want to get off the line quickly. Electricity gets such amazing torque that it can take a car over 4,000 lbs and move it extremely fast, since electric engines deliver power linearly. In a Tesla, the peak torque starts at 0 mph and remains until 14,000 RPMs. I’d think the NSX’s torque curve would be similarly aligned. That’s because Acura’s paid close attention to torque. The NSX has a SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system. This means two electric engines, which operate independently of each other, can generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels when cornering. The point of this is to effectively reduce and eliminate under or oversteer when pushing it through the apexes. Personally, I can’t wait to test that out.
Engine type: V6 V-TEC, Electric-Hybrid
Engine Position: Middle
Drive: Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
Category: Sport Car
See more of the 2012 Acura NSX Concept here