Posts Tagged ‘NSX Concept’

New Honda S2000 or CR-Z to Sit Between S660 & NSX

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 1st, 2015

Pikes Peak Honda CR-Z

Honda has been perhaps the most exciting Japanese automaker to follow in 2015. First it was the news of the S1000, a ‘hot’ version of the turbocharged S660 roadster kei car that’s currently available in Japan. Then it was the new Civic Type-R. Then it was the Acura NSX Concept which previewed a new hybrid supercar that’s likely to make its production debut at the beginning of next year.

Now, according to Motoring, we’ve learned that Honda plans to introduce not one, but possibly TWO more sports cars in the near future. The first will be a successor to the S2000 that got axed back in ’09. The second will be a performance-tuned CR-Z. Both cars could sit between the S660 / S1000 and the NSX as mid-level sports cars. They’ll be bigger and faster than the kei car roadster, but much more attainable than the six-figure supercar.

Let’s start with the S2000. According to the report, the new S2000 would feature a mid-engine hybrid layout that’s similar to the one showcased in the NSX. Motoring’s Honda informant says that their engineers “are currently evaluating a detuned version of the Civic Type-R’s 2.0L turbo.” He went on to say that a more efficient 1.5L turbo is on the table, and that he believes that such a car could output a minimum of 300hp with a price tag somewhere in the mid $60k. This would put the car in prime position to take on the likes of the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z4 and even Nissan’s Fairlady Z.

As for the CR-Z, details are even sparser. Motoring’s insider offered barely two sentences about the possibility of the compact coupe’s return: “We still need to evaluate exactly where a new CR-Z would fit into our sports car hierarchy … We are looking at the potential of electric 4WD [like] the Pikes Peak CR-Z.” However, he went on to say that, “The powers that be in our R&D section are leaning strongly towards channeling development funds away from the CR-Z and into an S2000 successor.”

Either way, the good news is that another sports car is definitely on the table for Honda. We just don’t know exactly which one it’ll be. And, we should make it clear that neither car is anywhere close to production. Honda’s first priority is boosting sales of their high-volume models in two primary markets – the US and China. They believe that a focus on those markets is the key to higher profits, which would then allow them to devote research and development into lower-volume models like a new CR-Z coupe or S2000 roadster.


New Technical Details Released for 2016 Acura NSX

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 24th, 2015

2016 Acura NSX

Without a doubt, the Acura NSX is one of the most exciting cars from the 2015 spring auto show season. Ever since the NSX Concept’s original debut at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year, we’ve been eagerly awaiting any extra details we can get about the upcoming new supercar. Today, we got those extra details from Ted Klaus’ presentation at the SAE 2015 World Congress & Exhibition.

Ted Klaus is the chief engineer and global development leader for the new Acura NSX. In his presentation, he and his team showcased new technical details, many of which we’d suspected, but hadn’t confirmed.

2016 Acura NSX turbo engine

For example, we already suspected that the Acura NSX’s all-new powertrain would feature a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 engine. What we didn’t know is that Acura engineered the 75° V-angle to simultaneously optimize engine rigidity and lower the powertrain components in the car’s chassis. This will allow the NSX to offer the lowest center of gravity in its class AND maintain peak performance even in extremely grueling turns (which Klaus’ engineers called “high lateral-G conditions”).

2016 Acura NSX hybrid layout

Similarly, the brand-new 9-speed dual-clutch transmission was also engineered to keep a low center of gravity with the majority of its mass centered around the driver, while a variable gear steering ratio allows confident drivers to push the NSX to its limits without fear.

Acura also confirmed details about the hybrid system. We now know for sure that the NSX will utilize a three-motor hybrid system. The rear motor will apply its torque directly to the crankshaft for instant rear-wheel power delivery, while the two front motors will be responsible for the NSX’s dynamic torque vectoring system. Since the hybrid system is designed to handle more combustion power and more torque than any other Acura powertrain to date, they’re ensuring the engine stays cool with a full 10 heat exchangers (pictured below) and an airflow management strategy that both maximizes aerodynamics and minimizes overheating.

Acura NSX Total Airflow Management

But, Acura’s mechanical prowess doesn’t stop with powertrain… The chassis has been perfected as well. Klaus tells us that the NSX boasts the world’s first automotive application of new ablation casting technology and the first-ever use of three-dimensionally formed ultra-high-strength steel. Basically, all that equals out to class-leading chassis rigidity and crash performance without sacrificing agility or curb weight.

If there is one key takeaway from Acura’s presentation, it’s that the new NSX will represent the pinnacle of on-track precision. Everything about the NSX is designed to fuse car and driver into one being, and it’s clear that Acura has placed an enormous focus on accurately and immediately responding to all driver inputs.

At the end of the day, all these tech. specs really do is confirm what we already knew about the 2016 Acura NSX – it’s going to be really, really fun to drive. We’re still waiting to hear official performance details such as powertrain output and top speed, but hopefully we won’t be waiting long.



New Performance-Tuned Honda CR-Z to Come in 2017

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Honda CR-Z part earth lover part adrenaline junkie

Honda has been on a performance streak this year with both the Honda Civic Type R and the Honda NSX Concept making their debuts.

However, it hasn’t always been so… Just 5 years ago, the CR-Z was Honda’s newest attempt at a performance-oriented model. Except it didn’t work out quite so well.

The CR-Z in its current form aims to be a budget-friendly hybrid sports car, and it’s arguably a little too ahead of its time. The image at the top of this post says it all; the car suffers from identity crisis. Environmentalists would rather have a Prius, while performance enthusiasts on a budget would rather have a BRZ/GT86, or anything with more power than the 130 hp combined system output offered in the current CR-Z.

Yeah… We’re not really sure how Honda hoped to attract anyone remotely interested in a sports car with numbers like that.

To be fair, Honda is well aware of their mistake. That’s why the Honda CR-Z has already been dropped from the Japanese automaker’s European and Australian lineups. Even if Honda decides to keep it going in the US, it’s not doing particularly well, and it’s certainly not well-known as a performance model.

That’s all going to change by the end of 2017.

2015 Honda CR-Z

An insider report from AutoExpress revealed that Honda is planning to launch a faster and more performance-focused iteration of the CR-Z in 2017, likely at the end of the year as a 2018MY.

Apparently, their source is an anonymous member of Honda’s Research and Development team near Tokyo. “Remember the CR-Z,” the insider asked. “It’s disappeared from Honda’s lineup in Europe and Australia, but it’s due to make a comeback in 2017. The old model’s weak street-cred and lack of performance have been addressed – the new coupe will be a force to be reckoned with.”

To be more specific, it sounds like Honda plans to completely strip the hybrid powertrain out of the CR-Z. Instead, they plan to put their energy into accomplishing two of their three original goals – great performance at an affordable price.

The report claims that Honda will utilize the all-new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that debuted earlier this year in the Honda Civic Type R. That engine will be tuned to produce 276 hp – more than double what’s available in the current model. However, there is a possibility that Honda will continue offering a hybrid version of the CR-Z in Japan, but even then it’ll be outputting northwards of 200 hp.

Either way, we’re thrilled to have another true sports car coming from Honda. It’s expected to make its debut at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show before going on sale at the end of the year. If you’d like to learn more or to see an exclusive projected picture of the new Honda CR-Z’s possible design, head over to AutoExpress and read the full report for yourself.


New 2016 Acura NSX Previewed Ahead of Detroit

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Acura is going to kick off the new year with the debut of their most highly anticipated car of the past decade – the revived, second-generation Acura NSX sports car. The Japanese automaker’s new supercar will be shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in full, production-ready form. In the meantime, we’ve been given a few teaser images (like the one above) and a video preview, complete with an audio sample of the engine. Hear it for yourself below:

Ominous, isn’t it? And it should be, this is shaping up to be a truly epic car. That high-speed rev you hear in the video comes from a twin-turbocharged hybrid powertrain. We won’t have official specs until Detroit, but most rumors tell us to expect a 3.5L V6 engine paired up with no less than three sport-tuned electric motors, all working in conjunction through Acura’s acclaimed Sport Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.

2016 Acura NSX Teaser rear

Now, to give you an idea of just how much demand has been drummed up for the 2016 Acura NSX, Honda actually started taking pre-orders – and lots of them – all the way back in 2013, just one year after the original NSX Concept’s debut at the beginning of 2012. Before that, Honda had developed a custom sports car based on the NSX Concept to be driven by Robert Downy Jr. (playing Iron Man) in The Avengers.

If you dig deep enough, you’ll find that the second-gen’s roots can be traced all the way back to 2007 – just two years after the original car ceased production – when Honda’s NA CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura, confirmed that they would eventually manufacture a hybrid supercar based on the then-new ASCC car (Advanced Sports Car Concept).

2016 Acura NSX Teaser

All that to say, it’s been a long wait for Honda’s motorsport enthusiasts. By the time the new NSX hits dealership floors at the end of 2015 as a 2016 model, NSX fans will have been waiting through almost a full decade of concepts and prototypes, all teasing this new model. But, we think it’ll be worth the wait, and Honda does do.

Acura’s senior VP, Mike Accavitti, believes that the new NSX will live up to the name of the original. “The next-generation NSX will deliver a ‘new sports experience’ true to its heritage and to the supercar concept that originally gave rise to the name NSX.”

Unfortunately, we don’t have much more than hype for you today. As we said of the beginning of this post, Acura has remained completely tight-lipped about technical specs. However, the teasers lead us to believe that the production car will closely resemble the 2013 NSX Concept in shape and form. Stay tuned at the beginning of January for the car’s full reveal in Detroit.