The 2017 Acura NSX packs future tech and old-school fun
12:01

The 2017 Acura NSX packs future tech and old-school fun

Cars
[SOUND] The original NSX was built to take in the top cars out of Italy and Germany. And with a ton of research, some innovative engineering, and a little help from [UNKNOWN] himself, that's exactly what they did. It lasted 15 years out in the marketplace with just a few tweaks and alterations over its lifetime. And not only did it become the pride and joy of drivers who knew exactly what they wanted from a car, it also captured the hearts and minds of millions in the pages of magazines, bedroom posters, and video game Two screens. And what a car it was. This is one is a 2005, one of the last to roll off the production line. And I've had it all week, and it's been so much fun. The handling and performance aren't just great for the time. They still feel amazing today. And it's one of my favorite cars, and I'm sure one of yours as well. But The Honda that we know and love that made this car seems to be becoming more and more of a distant memory, instead favoring family saloons and hybrid hatchbacks. Until recently, there's been a couple of indications that that old Honda spirit is coming back. Honda reentered into Formula One. Last year they brought out a new Civic Type R and it It was unbelievable and this year 2016 there's a brand-new NSX. And this is it, it has an all new mid-mounted 3.5 litter twin turbo charge V6 that's good for 500 horsepower Beyond that there is 48 horse power electric engine, a nine speed dual clutch gear box and a further two 37 horse power electric engines up front. The total power is 573 horses. I know that's not the total of all the engine outputs, but that's just not how it works. If you want to know exactly how they came to that number I'm sure a very smart person will attempt to explain it in the comments. The electric motor behind the engine acts as torque fill and the starter motor to the internal combustion engine. And the two electric motors at the front assist in torque vectoring to give the car a much sharper turn in. Now if that kind of combination of electric motors and internal combustion engine sounds familiar. Well you would be right. That's what the current top crop of hypercars are currently duking it out over to see who's best. But in the supercar market, Honda's kind of out their on their own with this. There's the BMW i8, don't get me wrong, but there the hybridization has been more put in to bring out fuel economy, and it's more shop window for the BMW i3 in that respect. It's a fast car But it's not as fast as this. Zero to 60 time is sub three seconds. Now that's not to be sniffed at. The BMW is far more focused on the electric only driving and high fuel economy though where the i8 has a small displacement engine and a large electric motor With the ability to drive a decent distance in E.V. mode only, the NSX's electric motors are purely there to help that 3.5 liter, twin-turbo perform in a way that a traditionally engineered car simply couldn't. You can pull away from stand still in E.V. mode but pretty quickly, that internal combustion engine kicks in. This isn't a Prius. You won't be buying this to save the planet. You'll be buying this to have some fun. [SOUND] Now it's all well and good then having this wonderfully advanced driving And we appreciate all the technology research that's going into making all of them work in harmony. But really how does that translate to the driving experience out on the road? Well I'm here to tell you that on these twisty mountain roads, it's remarkable. Those two electric motors of those front wheels Allow the torque vectoring to be so instantaneous, so precise that this car can dip into a corner and grip and pull you round in a way that's different to any other car I've driven. But at the same time, doesn't feel artificial. And that is a remarkable thing, considering how much is actually going on. When I turn into this corner, and how quickly I can get back on the power, that it doesn't feel fake, that it doesn't feel otherworldly, too futuristic for its own good. Now what's even more remarkable than the steering is the brakes, or rather it's what's unremarkable about them, because they feel so analog That you forget how much technology is between your foot and the wheels. When I push the pedal it feels like I'm pushing a really old school brake. where everything between my foot and the wheel's mechanically connected. But they're completely disconnected. The really clever part is that the mechanical pressure that I'm Feeling under the pedal is being electronically managed based on what it thinks I want it to feel like and it feels exactly how I want it to feel, but what's more, because that pressure under my foot is being electronically managed it offsets for anything else that is causing the brakes to react differently. Difference in temperature, any kind of fade of any kind, any atmospheric conditions. Whenever I press the pedal, No a set amount I always get the same result back. That is amazing. That is how this kind of technology really should work. And one of the most interesting innovations in this car. Now if I had to mark the NX6 down on anything it would be the cabin. And don't get me wrong it's a great looking cabin. But it is still a Honda and that. Shines through. Some of detachable materials feel a little bit cheap for a car that costs as much as an Audi R8 and the infotainment system is not quite becoming of something in this price bracket. And the one thing that is the most heinous is the feel of these pedals. And the sound [SOUND] They make.>> [SOUND] I wouldn't even like my bathroom light switch to sound like that. But when you're hooning around mountain roads and you put your foot down and that's the worst thing you can think of [BLANK_AUDIO] And that's something I can live with. Exterior-wise, the NSX is a good-looking car, well-proportioned and some great little touches that are as functional as they are pleasing to the eye. Parts of the intake at the front, for example, vents out over the wheels to calm the turbulent air coming out of the wheel arches. And hidden vents over the rear lights calm the wake reducing drag. All amazing touches that do their job amazingly well, but the entire package doesn't feel as unique in the marketplace as its predecessor. It's hard to see how someone would pick this for their bedroom wall over lots of other cars out there right now. Largely though, you're going to forget all about that as soon as you put your foot down. The large windscreen, much like its predecessor gives you an incredible view, and some amazing metallurgy has allowed the [UNKNOWN] to be extra thin, giving you spectacular vistas of the road ahead. And that road is going to be coming at you pretty quickly. Aesthetics aside, and of course that is as much a personal taste as anything else The experience that this car has been giving me out on the short blasts of these mountain roads is really something. But windy mountain roads aside, there is only one place where you can take a car like this to fully experience everything it has to offer. We've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's time to hit the track. [SOUND] And todays track is Estoril, a 4.2 kilometer circuit and the former home of the Portuguese Grand Prix. Just to make me feel at home Honda has prepped a car with the steering wheel on the correct side. And fitted it with some more track focused Pirrelli [UNKNOWN] Rs. Us. I've the whole track to myself and an afternoon of driving ahead. Let's go. [MUSIC] [SOUND] Now, what's remarkable is just how confident I immediately feel to really push this car quite a lot. I've done a lot of track days and in a lot of fast cars and quite often it takes a lot for me to Get warmed up to the track, get warmed up to the car to really know where the limits are. And although I'm still far beyond the absolute limits of what this car can take, by a long shot, I have no qualms in [UNKNOWN] the throttle and hitting these corners pretty damn quickly. You can get all the power so much earlier coming onto the corners. That you feel in your shoes. The breaks, they're good. And this is the great thing, they feel so And it actually feels so real. [BLANK_AUDIO] All these electric motors, all these technologies, all these advancements, they're here to make you go faster, not here to hold you back, not here to stop you doing what you want to do. They're here so you can have fun. [LAUGH] I should, in all honesty, be shifting myself, but as we explored earlier, I I'm not a huge fan of the feel of these pedals. The nine-speed [INAUDIBLE] is just amazing! It just does the trick so well. Doesn't matter how many toys they've added. Doesn't matter how advanced it is, and this thing is hyper car advanced. You can still get in and drive it like you could drive any old school, magically aspirated super car from years gone by and get exactly the same kind of thing out of it. Just nail it up to your breaking point. Hard on the brakes, they feel so good. And I think I can in all honesty say I have never driven a track in as much anger with as much freedom. And here's a token of faith that Honda has in their car. They just handed me the keys. And they're letting me crack on with this. [LAUGH] That's a Gets back out. [LAUGH] Straight lines are overrated. I'm not wrestling with the car. I'm not exerting so much mental effort trying to second guess the car, figure out how it's going to respond, because I know how it's going to respond. I know that when I nail the brakes here, the car is going to slow down absolutely predictably. And that's not because I'm amazing. That's because the car is amazing, it gets to the point that you don't really mind. I don't think I've ever had this much fun in a car. [BLANK_AUDIO] [LAUGH] My god. I will really admit that I'm not even the best driver on the car for Action team, but today in this car, I feel Feel like freaking Superman. The confidence it gives you to just hit it harder and harder and keep going. This thing is amazing. What's truly remarkable about the NSX isn't the hyper-car level of engineering that's gone into it and it has It isn't how the electric engines fill in the gaps in torque for the internal combustion engine making it feel sharper and more responsive. It's not how the brakes marry authentic analogue feel with digital precision. It's not how the torque vectoring isn't just there to keep you safe, but to get you to lap faster and faster. It isn't even the performance figures, which are impressive but largely just don't matter. It's that all of that is invisible, it fades away the moment you put your foot down, and all you're left with is a car that feels like it does exactly what you tell it to do, no matter what the request It's as an analog a feeling you can get when this car is anything but. The original NSX was a supercar at half the price. This thing just might be a hypercar at one-tenth. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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