2017 NSX New Car Test Drive
We talk a lot about generations here, but this time it's different: It's been a generation since there's been a new Acura NSX like this. A generation in people years.
Mechanically, it shows it. The original NSX was pure, while this one is wild: wildly synthetic in how it feels, but no less a masterful blending of modern mechanical parts, including electrical motors and batteries along with turbos, servos, clutches and gears.
It's one of the most complex cars ever made, a supercar with scorching performance that can drive like a grocery-getter. Acura says it can accelerate from zero to sixty in three seconds flat, and hit a top speed of 191 miles per hour.
The 2017 Acura NSX can compete on engineering levels with other off-the-chart supercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder, but its real-world rivals are more down-to-earth cars like the Ferrari 408GTB, Audi R8, Porsche 911 Turbo, or BMW i8.
The body structure is from aluminum and composite panels, with an optional carbon fiber roof. It was designed like a racecar, around aerodynamics, downforce and cooling, and has a front/rear weight ratio of 42/58 percent. It's 176 inches long, with a wheelbase of 103.5 inches, or less than a Honda Civic. It's way lower, at 47.8 inches, a bit wider, at 87.3 inches, and relatively heavy, at 3803 pounds, despite its lightweight structure, on account of all the mechanical and technological complexity and equipment.
The 2017 NSX is an all-wheel-drive hybrid, using a twin-turbocharged 75-degree 3.5-liter V6 making 500 horsepower, and a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine is direct injection and port injection; the turbos provide 15.2 psi of boost, using electric wastegate control. A 47-horsepower electric motor can add power to the engine or be a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery. There's another twin motor located in the front center between the seats, feeding 36 horsepower to the front wheels, varying the power between them; Acura calls it Super Handling-All Wheel Drive, and it helps turn-in. This power drive unit can bring the total horsepower to 573, and can drive the car on its own at a low speed.
The V6 is mounted longitudinally in the car's aluminum spaceframe (the original mid-engined NSX was mounted transversely), over the rear axle. The battery is mounted vertically behind the driver.
The suspension is aluminum double-wishbone with active adaptive magnetic-fluid dampers. The electric power steering is variable ratio. Front brakes are six-piston Brembo with 14.5-inch ventilated rotors and two-piece calipers, rears use four-piston monoblock calipers and 14-inch ventilated rotors. The standard tires are Continental Conti-Sport Contact 5P, 245/35R19s front and 305/30R20s rear. Pirelli tires are an option, as are soft Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for the track.
The engine uses a dry sump oil system that prevents oil starvation from centrifugal force in the corners during hard driving on the track.
The Integrated Dynamics System offers four modes: Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track. The driver can set the quickness of the steering, brakes (mechanical and regenerative), stability control, shock absorbers, engine, transmission, and SH-AWD. Quiet mode goes for fuel mileage and allows electric driving at slow speeds while restricting revs to 4000 rpm. It rates 21 miles per gallon, city or highway, by the EPA.
The NSX is hand-built at Honda's factory in Ohio, and only 800 are planned to be built for 2017. It hasn't been crash tested.
Starting at more than $158,000, the NSX comes with standard with just about everything luxury, including LED ambient interior lighting and an infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming, two USB ports, HD radio, Siri Eyes Free voice control, Apple Car Play, and Google Android Auto. But, strangely, not satellite radio.
Other equipment includes a multi-angle rearview camera, hill-start assist, front and front side airbags, curtain side airbags with rollover sensors, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and a tire-pressure monitor. High-tech safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings, or automatic emergency braking aren't available.
Still, if you want to spend nearly $200,000, it's possible by adding optional performance and technology features such as carbon-ceramic brakes; carbon-fiber roof, engine cover and rear spoiler; or Alcantara headliner. A Technology Package adds a nine-speaker ELS audio system, navigation, AcuraLink telematics service, and front and rear parking sensors.