What do Acura and golf have in common?
Well, the car manufacturer’s sleek, powerful sports car, the Acura NSX, could be considered a hole-in-one when it comes to being the future face of the company — and it’s expected production date of 2015 could make it the Rory McIlroy of the sports car circuit.
Golf analogies aside, Acura is giving away a trip for two to golf’s biggest stage, the Masters in Augusta, Ga., this year at the Canadian International AutoShow while presenting its newest models and a little look into what the future of the company may look like.
The NSX was unveiled last year at the auto show, but this year’s version is a little closer to production, said Hayato Mori, manager of product planning for Honda Canada.
“Last year, we showed an exterior mock-up model to show what the design looked like and it was quite a big hit,” Mori said. “We’ve showed one itineration of the interiors. This isn’t the interior, but it gives an idea of the direction of what it’s going to look like. It’s a simple design but very modern and high-tech design.”
Equipped with a gas V6 engine in the rear of the car and three electric motors — one in the rear and one at each front wheel — reduces the bulkiness of the vehicle and provides better handling.
“We have an electric motor in each wheel at the front wheels and it helps the car go around corners,” Mori said. “It’s instantaneous torque because it’s electric and it doesn’t eat into the interior space.”
And while the horsepower hasn’t been revealed, Mori said it will be more than enough for the vehicle he described as “very clean and modern yet the surfaces are angled in a way it gives it a supercar-like feel.”
“It’s becoming a monster,” he added.
For Acura, the NSX represents the manufacturer’s philosophy: synergy of man and machine.
“We’re trying to make the driver and the car into one piece,” Mori said. “A lot of manufacturers have tried to do this but we’re trying to do it where you don’t need to be a professional driver to control the car with your body.”
The NSX is designed in a way that, including the cockpit, “you don’t feel the car is in the way,” Mori said.
“The super handling all-wheel drive allows you to control the car at will,” he said. “We want to make the car an extension of the body. It’s the symbol of what we’re trying to do.”
The MDX concept vehicle, which is expected to be tweaked a little before production begins in May or June this year, has a V6 engine with the company’s Earth Dreams engine technology in it.
This technology will be a big part of the future of the company’s engine design, said Mori.
“We’re trying to come up with engines that are efficient yet powerful, so we’re trying to get the best of the two worlds,” he said. “The Acura RLX, which uses a 3.5-L engine, has more HP but almost 20-per-cent fuel savings.”
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