Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Running The Numbers On The Acura NSX

The Acura NSX was likely going to be the most anticipated debut at the quickly approaching North American International Auto Show and with the cat out of the bag on the Cadillac CTS-V and the Audi Q7, Detroit is Acura's playground. We are only a few weeks away from seeing the final product and hearing the specs for the first time but many months away from actual performance tests making now as good a time as any to run some numbers on Acura's upcoming supercar contender, virtually. Going from a front mounted V10 concept nearly a decade ago, the second generation returns with a more authentic mid engine layout but with twin-turbos for the V6 and electric motors giving all wheel drive capability. The brand new, and seemingly unrelated to any current Honda V6, twin-turbo V6 is rumored to be around 3.7 liters in displacement. Similar sized powertrains make anything from 500 to a shade over 600 horsepower in various performance applications. Given Honda's history with turbo engines and a potential desire to reach some MPG targets with the hybrid powertrain it is hard to see a heavily boosted engine so something around 525 horsepower out of the V6 is a good basis. Nothing wrong with getting more than less here though. The RLX hybrid setup is good for an additional 67 horsepower towards peak output so when all is said and done a number of 600 combined horsepower seems very logical. Seeing the inherent weight penalty on the RLX hybrid with this setup it is hard to see the NSX dipping much below 3,750 pounds. Given the all wheel drive grip and the electric motor torque the NSX should be as quick as anything not purely exotic off the line to 60. Figure a time of 3.2 seconds or even slightly better to 60 and anything over 3.5 seconds would be a pretty big disappointment. The NSX should lose some momentum as speeds pick up going through the 1/4 mile in around 11.5 seconds with a trap speed of about 125 miles per hour placing it right in the middle of some very established competition. Competition due for replacement or thorough updates around the same time frame. It is game on for Acura and only time will tell if the newest NSX can ultimately deliver what promises to be 458 Italia performance for Audi R8 price and how it will play with the Z06, GT-R and 911s of the world.

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