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2015 Acura NSX powertrain revamps revealed

By Bob Nagy on November 27, 2013 4:05 PM
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The latest version of the eagerly awaited second-generation Acura NSX supercar made yet another appearance in evolutionary concept form at the Tokyo Auto Show, but save for a new paint job, appeared virtually identical to the updated one-off displayed last January in Detroit. What's really new here is not visible and involves the fitment of an even more potent and performance-oriented version of the car's Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system. Although Acura divulged few specific details about this new final-spec setup -- which still features three motors, active torque vectoring and regenerative braking as did the original -- it did pull the wraps off several key powertrain components during an off-site presentation.

The biggest departure from the initial design brief involves reorienting the NSX's V6 engine from a transverse position - as it was in the Gen I car - to a longitudinal configuration that improves both packaging and dynamic balance. While it appears to have a wider V-angle than the 3.5-liter production unit found in the new Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, the automaker would not comment on the engine's design or its displacement, which is believed to be somewhere between 3.5 and 3.7 liters. In any case, this semi-revealing event did verify that the hot V6 matches direct injection and the latest version of VTEC technology with a pair of turbochargers to ensure a proper level of exhilaration on demand. Judging from their positioning, the intercoolers for these twin force-feeders will be high-mounted and draw cold air in through the inlets ahead of the car's C-pillar and exhaust hot air via vents that flank its back glass. 

Several other interesting factoids emerged from this Acura briefing session, although none dealt with things like total system output - which is believed to be in excess of 500 horsepower -- or potential acceleration times. For openers, the NSX's engine features a super-efficient dry-sump oiling system like a number of high-performance cars and is backed by a new dual-clutch transmission that will have "more than six gears." Although we still await word on the size and type of the car's battery pack, it's a fairly compact unit located transversely and low in the chassis between the passenger compartment and the engine bay. Finally, the new NSX will be able to travel short distances at low speeds in full EV mode using only its front drive motors.

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