Acura NSX Concept Revealed At 2012 Detroit Auto Show

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After a development program that saw the original plan for the new NSX scrapped, the project abandoned, then revived in its current form,  the fact that Acura is showing the NSX Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show at all is something of a miracle. The fact that it looks as good as it does--and reminds us so much of the original is just icing on the cake.

The NSX that never came to fruition was a V-10-powered, front-engine, very expensive supercar of a different feather. The NSX Concept we see today is something that, while still high-tech and innovative, is far more production-ready and likely to see relatively widespread sales, as Acura intends to build this NSX for sale sometime in the next three years.

Powered by a direct-injection VTEC V-6 engine paired with a Sport Hybrid drive system that uses a pair of electric motors at the front combined with a Bilateral Torque Adjustable Control System and a dual-clutch gearbox-mounted electric motor, the NSX's mid-engine, SH-AWD all-wheel-drive layout is borderline supercar territory in specification, not far off Porsche's 918 Spyder. In fact, Acura is calling the NSX Concept a supercar, though in modern parlance, it's likely a few hundred horsepower short of the appellation.

Acura hasn't revealed the car's weight, power, or other specifications, but does says that "While most super cars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favorable power-to-weight ratio. Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency."

Though the original NSX (which also used a mid-mounted V-6) was a potent performer upon its release in 1990, the Nissan 370Z, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and many other affordable mid-range sports cars of the last few years offer similar or better performance for much less expense--and without the supercar aspirations. The new NSX will have to be a significant upgrade, which means more power than the original, less weight, or both.

Acura's power-to-weight statement bodes well for the NSX being a lightweight, road-hugging special, but at the same time, packaging a V-6 engine with an all-wheel-drive hybrid drivetrain is likely to weigh well in excess of 3,000 pounds--perhaps as much as 3,600 or more. Given that Chevy's Corvette Z06 and ZR1 both weigh in at the middle of that range and pack 505-638 horsepower, and the Italian and German exotics add exclusivity and extreme high tech to the mix, defining the NSX as a "supercar" may be a bit of a stretch.

But we don't care. The NSX is finally coming back, and it looks great.

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Comments (5)
  1. it will be standard honda. All promise and then nothing on delivery. the concepts oveall have been great for hondas but their production vehicles are below the styling shown or the engines promised. The only one that comes close-ish is the Civic Type R with the Euro styling and the perky little engine !

  2. Wizardslore. The original NSX was hailed as one of the best car ever designed, hailed by some of the most inspirational auto designers. Just ask Gordon Murray. In fact, the suspension system on the all conquering McLaren F1 was copied directly from the NSX. Honda also pioneered certain technologies followed by their European counterparts. If you think the Civic Type R was their crown achievement, you really have very little knowledge of the automobile industry.

    As for the author of this article, while Hyundai Genesis and Nissan 370Z may have the power to accelerate, the design and workmanship will never match the attention paid into the NSX. In fact, NSX-R in today's standard, still is one of the best handling car in the world.

  3. ss

  4. Ohio not having the manufacturing capability? Ever hear of GE Aircraft?!

  5. 370Z and Genesis Coupe are capable of sub 8 minutes at Nordschlife?

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