The Honda NSX: A hybrid supercar that combines speed and efficiency

The NSX: Honda’s take on the ultimate supercar

When developing the current Honda NSX engineers set a goal of creating something altogether new and exciting, that advances the concept of a next generation supercar in the spirit of the original NSX.

When launched the NSX challenged conventional beliefs about supercars, just like the first generation did a quarter of a century ago. This approach was realised through an innovative power unit in the form of a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a nine-speed dual clutch transmission and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system, integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body.

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Developed under the concept of a human centred supercar the NSX puts the driver first in every aspect of its design and leverages its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.

The NSX represents the convergence of timeless sports car values and advanced technology  in the ultimate supercar. Timeless sports car values include classic goals like a rigid and light chassis with a low centre of gravity that is near that of the driver. Advanced technologies are in place to enhance the driving experience like never before.

Pushing the boundaries

The result was that the NSX is based on a multi-material space frame design that delivers class-leading body rigidity while remaining lightweight. The body was manufactured using new ablation casting technology that results in world-class body rigidity and includes an internal frame constructed of aluminium, ultra-high strength steel anchored by a carbon fibre floor.

The body features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design and taillights that pay homage to the original NSX. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase downforce.

Every element of the exterior body design was carefully fashioned for total airflow management of both stability enhancing downforce and vehicle systems cooling via elements such as modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes and an optimised rear boot spoiler.

An innovative powertrain

When designing the NSX, engineers leveraged the company’s expertise in both high-performance engines and hybrid electric drive technologies as well as experience with industry leading dynamic torque vectoring including Super-Handling All-wheel drive, to create the most sophisticated, technologically advanced and intelligent powertrain in the supercar universe.

At the heart of the NSX’s performance capabilities is a mid-mounted 75-degree, DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers paired to a nine-speed DCT transmission that utilises a motorsport inspired compact valve train and dry sump system to help lower the centre of gravity. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. In addition, the NSX’s front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors that deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left to right torque distribution.

The NSX uses these front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The result is almost instantaneous launch performance and handling response.

The NSX utilises fully independent, all-aluminium front and rear suspension and puts considerable power down through ContiSportContact high performance tyres. Powerful braking performance is ensured by six-piston front and four-piston rear monoblock callipers squeezing high-performance carbon ceramic brake discs.

Driver focused interior

The interior boasts exceptional forward visibility, simple and intuitive controls and class-leading ergonomics, including the seat, which features top-class retention performance along with outstanding comfort

The instrument cluster features a dynamic TFT display that responds to changes in the driver selectable Integrated Dynamics System with pertinent graphics and information. The centre console houses the Power button that readies the sport hybrid powertrain, nestled in the centre of the Integrated Dynamics system control dial. Interwoven under the handcrafted leather dash panel is the exposed midframe, a functional structural member that reflects the design aesthetic of a naked motorcycle. An ultra-thin, yet super strong A-pillar design and low mounted instrument panel minimise obstructions to the driver’s view of the road.

Delivering on the promise

When Honda set out to build a new NSX they set a goal of building the ultimate sportscar, while showcasing technology that is performance focused but also integrates the company’s move to greener vehicles, such as hybrid technology and the NSX perfectly executed that brief.

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