Up until now, Acura has said its second-generation NSX sports car will feature a sophisticated through-the-road hybrid all-wheel-drive system consisting of a trio of electric motors and a 3.5-liter V-6 paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. At an event preceding the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show this week, Acura engineers confirmed that some significant changes in the design have been implemented.

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The big news is that Acura will be going with a longitudinally-mounted V-6 as opposed to the transverse layout originally planned and that which featured in the first-generation NSX. Acura says the switch was only made recently, with the reason being it would aid handling and packaging. Despite the change, Acura is confident the promised 2015 launch for the new NSX will go ahead as scheduled.

Other changes will include the addition of a twin-turbocharging system and a possible increase in displacement to around 3.7 liters. Direct fuel injection will remain, and the engine will be unique to the new NSX.

A direct-injected and twin-turbocharged 3.7-liter V-6 aided by a trio of electric motors could see the new NSX’s horsepower figures reach supercar territory. With Nissan’s GT-R now packing 600 horsepower in NISMO trim, a similar output for the new NSX is entirely possible.

If that wasn’t enough, we may even see the car feature up to eight forward gears on its dual-clutch transmission. Acura is only saying the transmission will have “more than six gears” but parent company Honda today revealed a new eight-speed dual-clutch ‘box and it’s possible this will be fitted to the new NSX.

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The highlight of the new NSX will be its performance-oriented hybrid system. Acura calls it the Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD) and the first iteration of it goes on sale next year in the 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.

In the new NSX, two electric motors will power the front wheels independently, while a third, integrated with the dual-clutch transmission and V-6, helps power the rear wheels. Powering the three electric motors will be a lithium-ion battery, topped up with regenerative braking. A bilateral torque control system instantly generates negative or positive torque at the rear wheels during cornering to aid handling and provide what Acura describes as an “on-the-rails-cornering” experience.

For more from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, click here.


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