Honda, busy preparing its pricey Acura NSX supercar hybrid for sale sometime in 2015, trotted out over the weekend at the Indy 200 IndyCar Series race held in Lexington, Ohio a working prototype of its much hyped vehicle. The car took a lap around the 2.4-mile winding road course, driven by a member of the Ohio-based engineering development team.
The point of rolling out this prototype was to show consumers the NSX is not vaporware, but something indeed planned for an actual release date. The choice of Ohio of where to showcase it reflects the fact global development of this hybrid is being led by engineers at Honda R&D Americas in-state and that it will ultimately be produced in-state as well, using domestic and globally sourced parts, at a plant that’s still under construction.
The Acura NSX was first brought back from retired supercar status as a concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A more refined version of the NSX concept was brought to the Motor City the following year and, more recently, pre-orders started being taken.
The hybrid system this vehicle will mate to a mid-mounted, direct-injected V-6 engine is dubbed the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD and it is described by Honda as
an all-new, three-motor high-performance hybrid system that combines torque vectoring all-wheel drive with advanced hybrid efficiency through the use of three electric motors – one motor integrated with the V-6 engine and its all-new dual-clutch transmission (DCT) driving the rear wheels, and two independent motors driving the front wheels. The system enables instant delivery of negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering to achieve a new level of driving performance unparalleled by current AWD systems.
Rumors suggest the NSX will deliver a total of 400 horsepower, making it capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. It will likely carry a price tag of more than $150,000.
“With leadership from our R&D and manufacturing teams here in Ohio,” said Ted Klaus, chief engineer of Honda R&D Americas, in a statement, “we are developing a next generation sports car that will be equally at home on the street and on the race track, so it is natural for us to showcase the prototype vehicle here at Mid-Ohio. It is exciting for us to see the prototype running on the track.”