Honda’s Acura luxury division has finally debuted its long-awaited NSX supercar at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The futuristic Acura is the culmination of a decade’s worth concepts and design studies that gave fleeting glimpses of what the Japanese supercar could become.
Over the years, the NSX has built a cult following of supporters around the world. Celebrities ranging from comedian Rowan Atkinson of “Mr. Bean” fame to Oracle founder Larry Ellison are owners and true fans of the Acura.
In fact, during the first generation NSX’s 15-year production, Ellison was known to purchase a couple of examples every year to give out as presents and bonuses to friend and employees.
Although, rumours of a V8-, V10-, or even a V12-powered car had been bandied about, Acura has instead chosen to take a page out of the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 playbooks and settled on a hybrid powertrain.
The car that will eventually make it to dealer showrooms will be powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo charged V6 gasoline engine assisted by a trio of electric motors.
That’s right, it’s going to have one engine, two turbos and three electric motors. The new NSX should be a rocket.
One electric motor will be placed between the V6 engine and the rear-mounted trans-axle to help boost torque. The other two electric motors will power the front wheels.
Although Acura has yet to announce official performance figures, media reports indicate the hybrid NSX is expected to produce more than 550 horsepower. That’s a significant boost over the 290 horsepower 3.2-V6 engine that powered the final examples of the first generation cars.
All of this power will be harnessed by a 9-speed dual clutch gearbox.
“Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX — a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver,” said senior vice president and general manager Mike Accavitti in Detroit.
“The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate.”
In what could be the most protracted automotive teasing in recent memory, the car’s existence has long been rumoured since the first generation NSX was discontinued in 2005. In fact, for a while the new Acura supercar seemed to be an automotive white whale of sorts. Many fans had given up hope of its return and begrudgingly accepted that the NSX would be lost to automotive history like its Japanese compatriots — the Toyota Supra, Mazda RX-7, and Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4.
The musical equivalent would be Dr. Dre’s “long-delayed” follow up to his iconic “Chronic 2001.”
Fortunately, the dream of a new NSX was rekindled when Acura introduced the concept in 2012 that would spawn the new generation.
Although the new production NSX is a product of a Japanese brand, its American roots are undeniable. The new car is a completely original design, whose global development was headed up by engineers at Honda’s development center in Raymond, Ohio. The NSX will be produced by a 100-person team at the company’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.
For Ellison and his fellow fans, the Ohio-built supercar is expected to hit showrooms in all its glory later this year. Official prices for the NSX have not been announced, but reports from Detroit peg the sticker at more than $US150,000.
Here’s a up close look at the production Acura NSX courtesy of the good people at CNET: