Wow, the result was the spectacular NSX shown at Detroit’s motor show. The NSX embodies the latest possible in a 21st-century supercar, though it’s not from an exotic car maker. And not from Ford, either.
Ford’s GT super car, with its Kardashian rear end, also arrived in Detroit, yet it seems more Model T than GT compared with the slim-hipped NSX.
The rear-drive GT is powered by a twin-turbo V-6 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Nothing new or novel there. The NSX is an all-wheel-drive advanced hybrid with two electric motors at the front and a third between the gas engine and the nine-speed gearbox. Acura’s 550-horsepower drive technology is a generation ahead of Ford’s 600-plus hp, period.
Of course, both designs are sleek, but the Acura’s is an impossibly low creation wrapped around an aluminum-intensive space frame to which are attached an aluminum hood and doors. The feathery body panels are made of sheet moulding composite (SMC); the floor is carbon fibre.
Klaus will not confirm the 550-hp number, but promises performance to please the enthusiastic, sophisticated driver. The fact this NSX is a hybrid may be incidental to the car’s broader mission – the perfect integration of man and racy machine – but it’s nonetheless a step up from the GT. Klaus, however, won’t be drawn into comparisons with Ford’s super car.
“I am agnostic towards what type of [drive train] technology,” he says. “A modern NSX – the X stands for experimental – has to maintain the fundamentals of a light and rigid chassis, but then you have to still experiment with technologies. Just throw them on there? No, no, no, no, no. But if they prove to be good, then use them.” Will this new experiment pay off?