The NSX is back ...

2012-01-14 00:00

ONE car stole the auto show in Detroit last week and no wonder, as this supercar’s launch have been anticipated by petrolheads for over two decades now.

Its predecessor, the first Honda NSX, impressed keen drivers with its quick acceleration and go-cart handling. Since then, veteran car collectors have also came to value the NSX’s bulletproof engineering and that very rare thing in a Japanese car — soul.

Acura Motors, Honda’s performance division who builds the NSX, expect their stand at Detroit to be surrounded by petrolheads eager to drool over the second generation — and with those lines, who wouldn’t?

These fans will only learn they are looking at an almost production-ready concept hybrid. It moulds a direct-injected, mid-mounted V-6 with a dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels. Two electric motors drive the front wheels, giving the NSX hybrid dynamic all-wheel drive.

Honda did not share any other performance or capacity figures, apart from saying that the second NSX will be lighter, stronger and on a longer wheelbase. They did boast that their Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (for Super Handling All Wheel Drive) will “instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels under cornering” for handling performance “unmatched by previous AWD systems”.

It is a brave boast which drivers in Nissan’s GT-R — that other Japanese wonder that gives Xbox-game handling in real life — will be keen to test ... in 2015, when the new NSX coupe is scheduled for production. A sportster is likely to follow soon after.

There is some consolation in the long wait however: Acura’s concept NSX Hybrid concept will be built by Honda’s engineering team in the States’ most boring state — Ohio.

A road trip there is an event “without even the tiniest of pleasures,” as Bill Bryson wrote in The Lost Continent. So just imagine how fast those Ohio techies will be able to make the NSX go on those long, flat roads... Hee-HA!

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