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The Acura NSX concept car has been tantalizing us with its clean lines and promised performance for well over a year now, but what we’re most interested in is the final production version due out in 2015.
We’re glad to report that the new NSX has passed from concept to prototype stage and has since made its dynamic debut, wowing audiences during the past weekend’s Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The prototype lapped the 2.4-mile winding road course, driven by one of the car’s engineers.
Its debut at the Ohio race track is a significant one, as the Midwestern state is where this second generation of the NSX sports car is being developed and where it is destined to be produced. Why not Japan? The team behind the NSX explains that the car is first and foremast an Acura, and since the U.S. is the primary market for Acura it is only natural the car is developed here.
Compared to the previous concept versions, some of the details on this prototype have been simplified, or, as in the case of the side mirrors, brought into the realm of legal and practical reality. Some of the car’s lines are also likely to change as development progresses, all in order to optimize aerodynamic efficiency.
That means this isn’t the last we'll see of the prototype before it transitions to production. You can bet it will be taken to Germany to be honed on the grueling Nürburgring.
While the exterior is yet to be finalized, Acura tells us the car’s advanced hybrid powertrain is virtually done. The NSX's drivetrain will pair a mid-mounted V-6 with three electric motors and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, resulting in a through-the-road all-wheel-drive hybrid setup.
Called the Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, or Sport Hybrid SH-AWD for short, the setup will offer multiple driving modes, sophisticated torque vectoring and the ability to instantly deliver negative and positive torque to the front wheels during cornering to achieve a new level of driving performance unparalleled to current traction systems.
Can the reality of Acura's new NSX live up to the legend of the original as well as the hype of the concept? With an extended prototype development phase beginning now before market launch, expected sometime in 2015, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to find out.