Production of the Acura NSX Has Been Officially Confirmed, Set for 2015
The long awaited next-generation Acura NSX is finally completely approved for production in 2015, and it will be built in America right next to the upcoming Accord Hybrid. An official announcement has been a long time coming, as few development updates have leaked out of Honda since the most recent concept bowed in 2011. It will be produced in Marysville, Ohio, in early 2015 for release later that year or early 2016.
As in the previous NSX, the new sports car will be powered by a mid-engined V6, although Honda will attach three hybrid motors to the gas-fed engine this time around. That power will also be routed to all four wheels courtesy of the company’s new Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, or SH SH-AWD (are you serious?). The V6 and an electric motor will turn the rear wheels, while two more electric motors turn the front wheels and can actually provide negative torque to either to aid cornering ability (similar to the torque vectoring system in the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive). Rather than the five- and six-speed manual transmissions that drove the original NSX (or the four-speed auto that makes any NSX so equipped practically worthless), a seven-speed dual-clutch will be the sole transmission offering in the new NSX. I could bitch and whine about the lack of a three-pedaled sports car like I usually do, but doing so is completely worthless and repetitive and wouldn’t make a bit of difference anyway.
The NSX is desperately needed at Acura dealerships to bring some attention to the brand. The range-topping RLX sedan has already sold about twice as many units this year as its predecessor managed in the entirety of 2012, but is a far cry from the sales of the full-size German luxury brands or its Lexus rivals. Acura’s sales are led by the RDX and MDX SUVs, which combined total roughly 1/2 of the luxury brand’s total volume; meanwhile, the oddball ZDX SUV coupe thing continues to be outsold by nearly everything in the US market outside of boutique supercar and luxury manufacturers. The NSX is the first performance-oriented model in Honda’s range since the S2000 was discontinued in 2009, and its name invokes a now-classic Japanese sports car that has a multitude of fans the world over.
Honda cannot afford to botch the NSX, but it is also unrealistic to keep enthusiastic buyers waiting in line for so long. Between 2007, when the NSX was first teased, and the car’s official unveiling in 2011, every bit of news was pounced upon and devoured by the Honda faithful. Even the Chevrolet Camaro relaunch had a quicker gestation period, and that one seemed to last forever. We (and Acura) need the NSX, stat! And if one of those delightful machines worked its way over to Downshift Autos…well, I don’t think we’d complain.