RAC Cars News


Latest Honda NSX will be a hybrid supercar

By raccars Published

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Honda has confirmed more details about the upcoming NSX supercar, revealing information on its hybrid engine and immense horsepower.

NSX info emerges

The NSX has been Honda’s flagship supercar for a quarter of a century, with a new model slated for release in 2016. And while it has been delayed from its original late 2015 release date, the additional data provided about its engine and powertrain goes a long way to explaining why it has taken a few more months to make it to market.

The new NSX is a hybrid supercar, meaning that as well as featuring a V6 petrol engine it has not one, not two but three electric motors mounted to its chassis. This gives it a total output of roughly 550hp, in addition to a host of other performance and economy benefits. Honda has been spending some time making last minute changes to the way in which the engine and motors are configured, which according to AutoCar accounts for the delay in the NSX’s arrival.

The three electric motors fulfil different roles, with one taking charge of acceleration and braking while the other two are assigned to each of the car’s front wheels. This set-up means that theoretically there should be absolutely no delay when the driver hits the accelerator or brake pedals; the NSX should instantly be able to launch them forwards or reduce the speed without any of the lag involved in traditional analogue alternatives.

A range of drive modes

Because the NSX is expected to be so technologically advanced, Honda has revealed that there will be four different modes for driving, each of which will result in significant changes to the set-up that will modify the way in which the car responds to driver inputs. The basic ‘Quiet’ mode is so named because it is a setting that utilises only the electric motors and on-board battery, although the range before a recharge becomes necessary is likely to be fairly limited. The next three modes involve the twin turbocharged petrol engine, with the 'Track' setting offering a performance-optimised chassis set-up that serious enthusiasts will embrace.

Although the NSX has some impressive technical features, Honda spokespeople have been keen to emphasise the idea that this supercar has not been built to offer an overly controlled or technology-led driving experience. Instead it is attempting to create a vehicle which will compete with the likes of the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, evoking passion in drivers while also looking good on paper.

Cutting edge materials

A combination of steel and aluminium are used in the construction of the new NSX, while there is also liberal use of carbon fibre to help in reducing the overall weight. Honda has developed a new process of casting metals which make the body panels as light as possible without compromising on strength. And in fact this upcoming generation of the NSX is larger in every dimension than its predecessor, giving it a more substantial footprint which should help it remain planted in the corners.

The battery pack itself is located centrally in the car to help with weight distribution, following the same approach taken with traditional mid-engine supercars. And although Honda has not as yet confirmed the official pricing of the new NSX, it has said it is hoping to target it in the same range as the Porsche 911, which starts at just over £76,000. The hybrid credentials of the new NSX certain help it to stand out, especially as the added eco-friendliness may also lead to better performance.

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