The original NSX was an all-aluminium, slender, super-focused masterpiece of automotive engineering. Still is… Everything was optimal: corner weight, centre of gravity, weight distribution, suspension set-up, and the power to weight from a 3.0-litre V6 was just fine for the day. In fact, it was good enough to take on, and beat, rivals like the Ferrari 348, Porsche 911 and Chevy Corvette.
This here concept, unveiled in Detroit on Monday, is a hybrid all-wheel drive sportscar with a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and three additional electric motors. That just sounds like an awful lot of lard to us, whereas the old NSX did away with all unnecessary gimmicks.
Badged as an Acura – America’s upmarket Honda – the new NSX concept houses its V6 engine in the middle of the chassis, which is at least one aspect true to the original. The previous NSX concept showed up with a front-mounted V10, and we all went, “Huh, what?”
The internal combustion engines drives the rear axle, while electricity silently springs the front into action. Honda promises a serious effort with weight-saving, and says it will ensure nimble NSX-like handling thanks to some kind of torque vectoring. The thing is, the original did it all with skill, not with the aid of electronics.
We’re left with a conundrum: NSX stands for New Sportscar eXperiment. There was only ever one NSX. Couldn’t Honda come up with a more fitting name for what’s basically a lardy, AWD, hybrid?