The Honda NSX – often regarded as one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time. It was originally developed by the late Formula One driver Ayrton Senna and has since been praised by professional racers and expert car commentators throughout its 15-year life cycle (1990-2005). Rumour has it that Honda is in the process of resurrecting the flagship model, packing it with traditional NSX character and also modern technology, such as hybrid technology and a sophisticated all-wheel drive system.
Sources say the upcoming Honda NSX will be powered by a 3.5-litre V6 producing upwards of 300kW (one source says that a patent application has already been made by Honda for the engine). This would just about be enough for the NSX if it remains true to its form of being very light. But the car is also said to be powered with the help of an electric motor. These two motors will then power an all-wheel drive system – a first for the top-shelf Honda model.
Apparently, much of the running gear will be based on the SH-AWD system seen on the American-badged Acura models of Honda, such as the Accord (Acura TL) and Legend (Acura RL). This ‘Super Handling All-Wheel Drive’ system incorporates a complex torque split technology that allows the car’s computers to calculate where best to send power – front to rear and side to side – at any given time, even during hard acceleration and cornering. Since the NSX is a true sports car though, the inclination of the SH-AWD system will be to send most of the power to the rear wheels, reports say.
It’s unknown at this stage just how much power the electric motor will add, but it will be a versatile system, allowing the car/driver to select between electric power alone, or the petrol engine alone.
Reports say we could expect to see the new Honda NSX by 2014, featuring the hybrid technology and an all-wheel drive system. We just hope it sticks to its roots and is unveiled as a true sports car with little compromise.