New for 2017
The NSX is all-new. This is the first time Acura has offered the model since 2005, and if you haven't had a chance to experience yet, now is the time.
Over two decades ago, the Acura NSX helped redefine the supercar. No one thought a car from Honda’s luxury division could go toe-to-toe with the best from Ferrari and Porsche, but the NSX put the best European metal to shame with great performance, combined with ergonomics and reliability previously unheard of in the supercar realm.
Now, with the all-new 2017 NSX, Acura is once again seeking to redefine the supercar. Not only is the new NSX designed to be just as approachable and easy to live with as the original, but it also features a sophisticated hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive system. With the 2017 NSX, Acura proves that efficiency and performance aren’t mutually exclusive.
One area where the 2017 Acura NSX departs radically from its namesake is the powertrain. While the original NSX used a standalone V6 engine and rear-wheel drive, the reborn 2017 model uses Acura’s latest Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.
Motivation comes from a combination of gasoline and electric power, including a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 500 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque on its own. It works with three electric motors and a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the entire powertrain produces a combined 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque.
Needless to say, the all-new NSX is powerful and fast. It features a top speed of 191 mph and can rocket from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds.
The way the V6 and electric motors work together is very intricate and allows the NSX to muster more than just raw power. One motor is sandwiched between the engine and transmission and helps to power the rear wheels. It also uses instantly available electric power to enhance engine braking and smooth out the transmission’s shifts. The electric motor’s torque helps make acceleration more immediate, and the motor can also act as a generator to charge the onboard lithium-ion battery pack.
There are also two more motors that power the front wheels, giving the NSX its all-wheel drive capability. They can also vector torque between the left and right front wheels to improve handling. Torque vectoring—a technology already used on other Acura models—varies the speed between wheels, helping the car turn in more easily. Acura says using electric motors for this purpose provides an even greater degree of control.
The advanced powertrain is packaged in an equally high-tech body. It makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including aluminum and Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) for the body panels, and aluminum and high-strength steel for the chassis. There’s also a carbon-fiber floor, which not only saves additional weight, but also boosts structural rigidity.
Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System also allows the driver to fine-tune the car’s behavior with four selectable dynamic modes: Quiet, Sport, Sport+, and Track. Quiet mode allows for all-electric driving at low speeds, Sport and Sport+ engage the hybrid system for on-road performance, and Track is optimized for circuit driving.
Another area where the 2017 NSX shines is fuel efficiency. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the all-new sports car is 21 mpg combined (21 city/ 22 highway).*
The 2017 Acura NSX is a mid-engined two-seat supercar. The NSX may be all about performance, but it still comes fairly well equipped. Like the original NSX of over two decades ago, Acura wants the new model to be as ergonomic as one of its luxury sedans.
Standard equipment includes automatic air conditioning, push-button start, Active Noise Control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, LED interior ambient lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with secondary controls, leather seats (with optional power adjustment) a Display Audio system with 7.0-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, navigation, Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay™, and Siri® Eyes Free voice recognition.
The NSX first appeared as a concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, and the production model remains remarkably close to the original design. The NSX makes the most of its mid-engined layout with a sleek design, but also retains recognizable Acura styling cues like the beak-like grille and LED headlights.
The shape of the body was designed to maximize downforce, but also balance the amount of downforce acting on the front and rear axles. Engineers actually found that placing approximately three times the amount of downforce on the rear of the car compared to the front was the optimal arrangement, and they managed to achieve their goals without any active aero aids or tacked-on spoilers.
Most supercars are a headache to drive and own, but the NSX is just as comfortable to be in as any of Acura's luxury sedans. In fact, Acura designed the cabin around a “Human Support Cockpit” concept that was developed using a wide range of test drivers, from average consumers to professional racers.
Materials like leather and Alcantara are selected and placed to give the NSX a luxury feel worthy of the brand (and its premium price tag), while instrumentation is designed to be as easy to read as possible, minimizing distraction so drivers can focus on, well, driving. Rounding things off, the seats feature heavy bolstering but are designed to be comfortable even on long drives.
The 2017 Acura NSX is equipped with the usual complement of airbags (including side-protecting airbags and a driver knee airbag), plus a rearview camera and front-and-rear parking sensors. The AcuraLink™ system is also standard and includes automatic collision notification, emergency assistance, and stolen vehicle locating.
The 2017 Acura NSX is a radical reinvention of the supercar, thanks to its combination of high performance and new-age hybrid powertrain, and deserves a spot on your must-drive list.
*Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid models only) and other factors.
Image Credit: Acura