Acura NSX Second-generation (NC1; 2016–present)
The Honda NSX (second generation), marketed as the Acura NSX in North America and China, is a 2-seater, all-wheel drive, mid-engine hybrid exotic sports car developed and manufactured by Honda Motor Company in the United States. It succeeds in the original Acura NSX that was produced in Japan from 1990 to 2005.
Acura NSX Second-Generation
In December 2007, Honda America’s CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura, confirmed to the automotive press that a new sports car powered by a V10 engine would make its debut to the market by 2010. The new exotic sports car would be based on the Acura ASCC (Advanced Sports Car Concept) introduced at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. With Honda’s CEO Takeo Fukui challenging the developers to make the car faster than its rivals, prototypes of the vehicle were seen testing on the Nürburgring in June 2008. On December 17, 2008, Fukui announced during a speech about Honda’s revised financial forecasts that, due to poor economic conditions, all plans for a next-generation of the Acura NSX had been cancelled. In March 2010, the name of the Acura NSX project was changed to the Honda HSV-010 GT and a car was entered in the Japanese SuperGT Championship. The HSV-010 GT was powered by a 3.4-liter V8 rated at a power output of more than 500 hp (373 kW) and was equipped with a sequential manual transmission from Ricardo. The HSV-010 GT never made it into production stage.
In April 2011, Automobile magazine reported that Honda Motor Company was developing a new sports car to be a successor to the original Acura NSX. The magazine reported that the car would be exhilarating to drive but also environmentally friendly. It was expected that the vehicle will incorporate an electric drivetrain to give the petrol engine a boost of power. In late 2010, Motor Trend reported that Honda was developing a mid-engine hybrid electric sports car to be an Acura NSX successor.
In December 2011, Acura announced that they would unveil the next generation of the Acura NSX in concept form at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. On January 9, 2012, Acura unveiled the 2012 Acura NSX Concept to the general public.
The new concept retained a 2-door coupe, mid-engine layout but with all-wheel drive. The use of a high-tech platform made from lightweight materials permitted the weight to be low. Power came from a 3.5 Liter V6 engine mounted behind the cockpit, sending its power to the rear wheels. Acura’s SH-AWD incorporates one electric motor in a dual-clutch transmission to augment the thermal engine thus forming a hybrid setup. Additionally, two more electric motors able to instantly send negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering also formed part of the powertrain.
Acura claimed the resulting all-wheel drive system would provide better handling and matching acceleration while offering greater efficiency relative to the naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 engine in the Ferrari 458, the Acura NSX‘s main competitor at the time.
Acura NSX Concept 2012 North American International Auto Show
Marketing and reception
In September 2011, during filming of The Avengers, Robert Downey, Jr. (playing the role of Iron Man) was spotted in an exotic sports car similar to the new Acura NSX, made specifically for the film, rather than the Audi R8 he previously drove in Iron Man and Iron Man 2. The car itself was built by Trans FX using an existing 1992 Acura NSX. Its design was an altered form of the new Acura NSX’s final design in order to avoid leaks and speculations about the new sports car by the media.
A Super Bowl advertisement for the vehicle began airing in early February 2012, featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.
In 2013, Acura launched an online configuration tool for the new Acura NSX on Facebook. Later that year, the car was featured in the video game Gran Turismo 6.
Referring to the second generation Acura NSX, noted automotive design critic Robert Cumberford said that its “very hard to mess up the styling of a mid-engine sports car… but Acura has managed it.”
Although the original name was retained—which stood for “New Sportscar eXperimental”—the second generation model’s name has been defined as “New Sports eXperience”.
In addition, as opposed to the first generation of the Acura NSX, the second generation of the Acura NSX is described by its lead designer, Michelle Christensen, as “An American muscle car in an Italian exotic car’s body.”
Acura NSX Concept 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show
Official launch and production
On December 27, 2014, Honda Motor Company announced that the second-generation of the Acura NSX flagship sports car would debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The introduction of the 2015 Acura NSX on January 12, 2015 was broadcast live on YouTube.
In December 2015, the North American pricing was announced from US$156,000 for the base specification, to US$205,000 for a fully equipped model..
At the same time, Honda Motor Company announced the European debut for the Acura NSX at the 85th Geneva Motor Show, alongside the FK2 Civic Type R.
The first production vehicle with VIN #001 was auctioned off by Barrett Jackson on January 29, 2016. NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick won the auction with a bid for US$1,200,000. The entire proceeds from the auction were donated to the charities Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground. The first Acura NSX rolled off the production line in Ohio on May 24, 2016.
2016 Acura NSX 2015 Detroit Auto Show
Mechanically, the second generation of the Acura NSX represents a significant departure from the first generation since it features a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC 4 valves per cylinder 3.5-litre V6 engine generating a maximum power output of 500 hp (507 PS; 373 kW) at 6,500-7,500 rpm and 550 N⋅m (406 lb⋅ft) of torque at 2,000-6,000 rpm, mated to a three electric motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system and a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The combined total output is 573 hp (581 PS; 427 kW) and 476 lb⋅ft (645 N⋅m) of torque. The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, and has a top speed in excess of 307 km/h (191 mph). The Acura NSX completes a quarter-mile run in 11.2 seconds. Structurally, the body utilises a space frame design, which is made from aluminium, ultra-high strength steel, and other rigid and lightweight materials, some of which are the world’s first applications.
Production of the second generation of the Acura NSX commenced in 2015 at the Honda Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, which is housed inside Honda’s former North American Logistics facility and located in the midst of Honda’s existing R&D and production engineering operations. The powertrain is separately assembled by Honda associates at its engine plant in Anna, Ohio.
Honda Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio
The table below indicates the change in dimensions, relative to the original second generation concept car presented in 2012:
|Second-Gen NSX||2012 NSX Concept||Difference||2005 NSX||Difference|
|Length||4,470 mm (176 in)||4,390 mm (173 in)||+80 mm (3.1 in)||4,425 mm (174.2 in)||+45 mm (1.8 in)|
|Width||1,940 mm (76 in)||1,915 mm (75.4 in)||+25 mm (0.98 in)||1,810 mm (71 in)||+130 mm (5.1 in)|
|Height||1,215 mm (47.8 in)||1,200 mm (47 in)||+15 mm (0.59 in)||1,170 mm (46 in)||+45 mm (1.8 in)|
|Wheelbase||2,630 mm (104 in)||2,610 mm (103 in)||+20 mm (0.79 in)||2,530 mm (100 in)||+100 mm (3.9 in)|
|Front track||1,655 mm (65.2 in)||–||–||1,510 mm (59 in)||+145 mm (5.7 in)|
|Rear track||1,615 mm (63.6 in)||–||–||1,540 mm (61 in)||+75 mm (3.0 in)|
Road & Track named the Acura NSX as its 2017 Performance Car of the Year. The magazine lauded the Acura NSX for its use of hybrid technology in the service of an emotional driving experience. The Acura NSX also won the AutoGuide.com Readers’ Choice Car of the Year Award for achieving high performance with a natural driving feel. The Acura NSX was the Business Insider 2016 Car of the Year on the strength of its striking styling and its unique drivetrain for a car in its price range. The Green Car Journal 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year award went to the Acura NSX for its combination of performance and efficiency. Automobile staff voted the Acura NSX to its list of 2017 All-Stars; the car won the honor “by consistently putting a grin on drivers’ faces” during testing.
In August 2018, Honda Motor Company announced improved specifications for the 2019 model year. The improvements include newly developed special tires, stabilizers, rear control-arm bushings, optimized setting of “Integrated Dynamics System”, and matured setting of active damper system and “Sport Hybrid SH-AWD”. Regards to body color, new color “Thermal Orange Pearl” became able to choose.
The Acura NSX Concept-GT, a race car based on the Acura NSX concept, made for the GT500 class of the 2014 Super GT season, was unveiled in Round 5 of the 2013 Autobacs Super GT at Suzuka Circuit. The Acura NSX Concept-GT received its first pole by Keihin Real Racing at Fuji Speedway in August and the race was won by the Weider Dome Racing team. The car initially featured a hybrid system to match the road car, but the system was phased out mid-way through the 2016 season.
In 2017, Honda launched the Acura NSX-GT, replacing the Acura NSX Concept-GT. The NSX-GT is Honda’s first production car-based GT500 competitor in eight years. However, unlike the NSX Concept-GT and the road-going NSX, the NSX-GT lacks a hybrid system. Due to regulation changes, the NSX-GT will use the front-engine layout for 2020 Super GT season.
No.16 Motul Mugen Acura NSX-GT at 2017 Suzuka 1000km
Echoing the exploits of the first generation, Honda Motor Company announced plans to develop a GTE racing version of the new Acura NSX to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, starting in 2015. In an interview with Racer magazine in July 2015, HPD Vice President Steve Eriksen hinted that the changes in LMP2 regulations proposed for 2017 – which would rule out manufacturer-linked entries such as HPD’s ARX-04b – could prompt them to use the Acura NSX in the USCC or WEC. At the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Honda Motor Company announced the Acura GT3 version of the Acura NSX, to begin competition in 2017.
In September 2016, Acura confirmed their factory support for the Acura NSX GT3 during the 2017 season. Michael Shank Racing would field two entries in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class, whereas RealTime Racing would also enter two cars in the Pirelli World Challenge GT class, the latter replacing the Acura TLX. During its first season of racing, the NSX GT3 scored its first race victory at Belle Isle, followed by another win at the following round of the championship, the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen.