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Old 04-24-2015, 10:15 AM   #1
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Geek out with new Acura NSX tech


At the core of it all is Acura’s aluminum-intensive space frame, which the company says is the stiffest in its competitive set. Photo by Acura



2016 Acura NSX to get advanced aluminum space frame, advanced all-wheel drive and 10 heat exchangers


The SAE 2015 World Congress is going on this week at Detroit’s Cobo Center; most of the talk is about buzzwords like connectivity, mobility and innovation. Acura was there, and the company used the opportunity to tell us more about the upcoming 2016 NSX supercar, which is inching ever closer to hitting our streets.

Hopefully, loads of tech and advanced engineering will make the long wait worth it. For the NSX, Acura says it’s made advancements in materials, construction techniques, aerodynamics and capacity of its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.


At the core of it all is Acura’s aluminum-intensive space frame, which the company says is the stiffest in its competitive set.
"For this new NSX development, anything and everything that could offer incredible base rigidity and lightweight design was on the table," said Shawn Tarr, principal engineer and Acura NSX body development leader. "We considered all-aluminum unibody, carbon fiber monocoque and space frame designs, and ultimately engineered a multi-material space frame because it offers the lowest weight and best rigidity, precision and hybrid powertrain packaging capability of any design."

The NSX includes Acura's first use of a revolutionary multi-material space frame design that delivers class-leading body rigidity while remaining lightweight. Photo by Acura






For some components, Acura is using what it calls the world’s first automotive application of ablation casting technology, a lost-mould casting method that permits the rapid cooling of newly formed parts. It offers the flexibility of casting with the energy absorption of an extruded material.

The heart of the NSX’s hybrid powertrain is its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. Its block is set at a rarely seen 75 degrees, which -- according to Acura -- optimizes engine rigidity and allows the components to be lower in the chassis. The engine has a dry sump setup to help provide lubrication at high speed, while a rear electric motor applies its torque directly to the crankshaft for less parasitic loss. The nine-speed DCT has been packaged to reduce weight and center more mass near the driver.


The SH-AWD system has torque vectoring that works even at low speeds, which is important considering the electric motor generates its torque from 0 rpm. A double-wishbone, double lower control arm front suspension setup isolates the front motor torque from the steering system, providing a “true sports car feel,” says Acura. We’ll find out when we test it … eventually.

The total system output will be rated above 550 hp. Photo by Acura






To keep everything from melting, Acura re-imagined thermal and aerodynamic solutions using computational fluid dynamics during the proof-of-concept stage and throughout development. The NSX uses 10 heat exchangers: three for the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, one each for the condenser and power drive unit, one for the rear electric motor and two for the nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. Two more are stuffed into the side intakes to cool the intake air.

The NSX doesn’t have any movable aero parts, but has undergone extensive testing in the wind tunnel using detailed scale models. It later went through the company’s full-size wind tunnel in Japan, and was wrung out on the test track. Six vortices flow to the rear, creating the highest downforce over the rear deck lid. Lower rear diffuser fins are narrower at the front and wider at the rear, which creates a low pressure zone and effectively sucks the car to the pavement.


The 2016 Acura NSX is making its case for being the most advanced supercar on the market, and from what we’ve learned so far, it’s a strong one -- except that Porsche and Ferrari have already hit the scene with similar tech.
Still, the last NSX was something special, even if it wasn’t the fastest thing on the street. Hopefully we get the same thing with this one. There’s still lots to learn, like output (it’s estimated to top 550 hp). We shouldn’t have to wait long to get all the details; deliveries will begin later this year.
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