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Detroit Motor Show 2012: New Honda NSX revealed

Shown as an Acura, but it'll be a Honda here...

Honda has unveiled the much anticipated NSX Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. It has been shown as an Acura model, which is Honda's US luxury brand but in the rest of the world it will be sold as a Honda NSX. The concept shows what we can expect from the new NSX which is scheduled to be made in Ohio and launched sometime within the next 3 years.

Styling-wise, we think it’s a great looking car. It manages to look very stylish, sporty and classy without any obviously derivative styling cues from other cars in the genre. At a push we’d say there’s a hint of Audi R8 in the profile but they have managed to avoid the Audi’s overly long middle and awkward proportions. 

Just like the original NSX from the early 1990s, the next-generation supercar will have a mid-mounted V6 engine, make use of lightweight materials and have incredible handling, but this time there will be a technological edge as it will include a version of Honda's Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) hybrid system.

Honda hasn’t released any performance specs but previous reports have stated the NSX will have around 400 bhp from the V6 engine and the two electric motors will be placed in-wheel and contribute another 100 bhp bringing the total to 500 bhp. 0-60 mph should arrive in less than five seconds.

The hybrid drive unit will have a next-generation VTEC V6 engine with direct-injection and 2 Electric Motor Drive Unit as Honda refers to it. Transmission will be a dual clutch unit with a built-in electric motor to create the kind of acceleration numbers that are in supercar league but while offering excellent economy.

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show, Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd, who led the development of Honda's first NSX supercar, explained the values of the new NSX, "Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency. In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities."

One are that is a worry is the weight of the new NSX. The old NSX was a very lightweight car, meaning that it handled with pinpoint precision and gave very impressive performance even though it only had 276 bhp. The fact that the new car will have almost twice the power means that it will invariably weigh a lot more, though Honda have pointed out that they are intent on making it as light as possible.

Plus Honda know a thing or two about making a car handle well so we will have to wait a little while to see what they come up with. But after years and years of concepts we just hope that this really does turn into a production car. Honda really need an exciting car in their lineup again, and hopefully this may pave the way for a new generation of Type-R models.

Images courtesy of Honda

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more