Published January 10, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
Unveiled at the ongoing Detroit Auto Show, the Acura NSX Sport Hybrid Concept has been said by Honda to be slated for Ohio production within the next three years.
As you might guess, an all-wheel-drive supercar like this is not aimed at dethroning the Prius.
Instead, it intends to provide balanced high performance with enough environmental consciousness to not turn buyers away in this decade’s greening marketplace.
“In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities,” said Honda’s President and CEO Takanobu Ito.
A responsible supercar Honda style in this case relies on Acura's hybrid super handling all wheel drive (SH-AWD) system. The powertrain utilizes two independent electric motors turning the front wheels combined with a direct-injected, mid-mounted, V6 VTEC engine and dual clutch transmission. This two electric motors generate positive or negative torque as needed to the front wheels during cornering.
Honda said the namesake vehicle has lost weight since its predecessor went out of production in the middle of last decade. The reduced mass is attributed to Acura’s race-inspired philosophy with reliance on lightweight materials to produce a well-balanced power-to-weight ratio.
Styling-wise, the new NSX Hybrid is definitely a supercar; close to the ground, aggressive and purposeful looking. Sharp angles and a low-profile, swept-back look leave no ambiguity as to whether the car means business.
This top-of-the-range vehicle’s appearance is also said to signal a more bullish stance toward the market ahead by the conservative company, which diverted earlier plans for an NSX redux during the Wall Street meltdown a few years ago.
That it is hybrid of some sort fits with the thinking of other high-performance automakers whose creations will sneak through tame emissions tests while still letting the horses come out to play when desired.