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11 January 2012

Acura revives the NSX with a jolt in Detroit

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
It’s been five years since Acura first revealed the Advanced Sports Car Concept (ASCC) - a front-engined V10 NSX. And though plans to revamp the concept were made, they were cancelled just a year later due to “poor economic conditions,” killing all hopes of an NSX successor with it. But against all odds, we're glad to announce that hope has been restored when Acura revealed a new NSX Concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the best part is that they've gone back to the legendary mid-engine V6 formula. And did we mention that it's a hybrid?
Acura's latest supercar has grown quite a lot of curves over its predecessor and now looks more like its modern Italian and British counterparts. Take a moment to appreciate the beautifully sculpted rear end, complete with a diffuser and dual trapezoid exhausts mounted on either side. The characteristic popup headlamps, however, were traded in for a pair of slender LED units. The side air dams were also relocated higher up just behind the quarter glass window for improved airflow. 
The next-generation NSX will again be powered by a mid-mounted VTEC V6 with the addition of Acura's new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) technology. By using a two electric motor drive unit, the all-wheel-drive system can adjust the torque sent to the front wheels during cornering, which should give it a leg up over its competitors. All we know is that anything worthy of the word 'super' must be that good. 
The NSX Concept will stay true to the Japanese racing philosophy of using a small engine in a lightweight body to achieve the maximum power-to-weight ratio. They're keeping mum though on the new V6 engine's power output, but according to Acura, it will be packing quite a punch with its petrol and electric combo plus a dual clutch transmission to boot. 
Developed by a team in Honda R&D Americas Inc., it worries us if the new NSX can keep true to its Japanese heritage and live up to its name. I guess we'll all have to wait 'til it hits the streets in three years to find out.