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Honda’s iconic NSX supercar returns to the market in a hybrid avatar. Performance with a green heart? Read on


Story: Gaurav Nagpal

A decade is a long time in the ever-changing automobile world, more so when an icon goes off the radar. Honda’s New Sportscar eXperimental – better known as the NSX – was discontinued in 2005, and enthusiasts have long awaited its return. Environmentalists have become a force to reckon with in this time, and it is perhaps fitting that the NSX returns in a leaner, meaner and greener form – as a petrol-electric hybrid.

The NSX has grown in all dimensions. The body length at 4,470 millimetres is about 40 mm more, width has gone up by 130 mm, and the car stands 45 mm taller than the previous generation. The front track is wider by 145 mm and the rear one by 75 mm.

The car rides on 19” tyres at the front and 20” tyres at the rear, mounted on aluminium double wishbone suspension front and rear. Braking is via a carbon-ceramic disc set-up using six-pot callipers on the front tyres and four-pot ones on the rear.

The engine is a twin-turbo V6 petrol-powered unit, mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission system. Along with this, two independent electric motors are mounted on the front axle and each drives an individual wheel, delivering “instantaneous torque” (as claimed by Honda) and dynamic torque vectoring. A third electric motor is positioned between the engine and transmission, sending power to the rear wheels and claimed to support “acceleration, braking, and transmission-shifting performance”. The T-shaped battery pack is positioned along the centre tunnel and behind the seats.

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The driver can choose from among four switchable chassis modes. The ‘Quiet’ mode allows the car to be driven on pure electric power (off the battery) for short distances. The other modes – in increasing order of dynamism – are ‘Sport’, ‘Sport+’ and ‘Track’, with Honda claiming that ‘Track’ “reveals the full spectrum of the NSX’s capabilities”.

Exact figures about engine capacity and output, electric motor output, and battery pack capacity and weight have not been revealed, but Honda have confirmed that total system output will exceed 550 PS, par for the course in the field that it shall do battle. In the ‘Quiet’ mode, the NSX is a zero-emission vehicle, with emissions in other modes claimed to be very low as well.

The NSX will be launched in the US this summer at an expected price in the vicinity of USD 150,000 (about Rs 1 crore). Built at a new facility in Ohio, this revival is being awaited eagerly by enthusiasts across the world; hopefully, we will see it in India too.

 

 

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