09 Jun 2016 ID: 73881
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Unique power unit and body innovations promise ‘Instant response’ for Honda NSX drivers

Unique power unit and body innovations promise ‘Instant response’ for Honda NSX drivers
  • ‘Instant response’ concept gives NSX a driver-focused experience
  • Advanced power unit technologies deliver instant response performance
  • Multi-material body provides class-leading rigidity for instant translation of inputs


A holistic approach to vehicle design, technology and manufacturing for the new Honda NSX has resulted in a supercar that faithfully translates the inputs of the driver with unprecedented fidelity and ‘instant response‘ – qualities that together define the New Sports eXperience. The new NSX challenges prevailing beliefs about supercars, just as the first generation NSX did so comprehensively over a quarter of a century ago.


Advanced design and engineering fundamentals combine with advanced technologies to allow the NSX to respond directly to the driver’s demands, whether accelerating, braking or turning, delivering a vivid and intuitive driving experience. Of greatest significance are the most sophisticated and advanced power unit in the supercar segment, active all-wheel drive, a bespoke nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, and an ultra-rigid chassis.


“Our engineers explored new technologies to create a car that redefines supercar performance, delivering a vivid and intuitive experience that places the driver at its centre,” said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX. “As a result, the NSX epitomises the new sports experience, delivering class-leading performance with instant acceleration and exhilarating, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics."


Most advanced power unit in the supercar segment


Foremost among its many innovations is Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), a first-of-its-kind technology in the supercar arena. The combination of technologies incorporated within the NSX’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit delivers virtually zero-delay performance. At the heart of the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 gasoline engine, mated to an all-new nine-speed dual clutch transmission (9DCT) and a Direct Drive Motor. This is augmented by the front-mounted Twin Motor Unit (TMU), which provides independant drive force to each front wheel meaning the NSX benefits from active all-wheel drive.


The new nine-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (9DCT) produces almost instantaneous gear changes with the Twin Motor Unit maintaining drive during the shift to create a direct and seamless shift quality.


In order to provide instant throttle response, the Direct Drive Motor acts directly on the engine’s crankshaft. Working in unison with the engine via a sophisticated algorithm, the direct drive motor contributes to a direct, linear, and continuous acceleration performance that is unmatched in its class.


The TMU contributes significantly to the NSX’s amazing traction, supports regenerative braking, and “pro-actively” generates a yaw moment in support of steering inputs through Honda’s Direct Yaw Control.


From a standing start, the TMU provides instant torque as well as all-wheel drive traction, enabling direct and controlled acceleration. When braking into a corner, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD uses the TMU to decelerate, working in conjunction with the NSX’s mechanical brakes, while Direct Yaw Control delivers immediate and precise turn-in performance. When exiting a corner, Sport Hybrid SH-AWD enables the throttle to be applied earlier and with more confidence.


The use of these systems together conveys the sensation that the car is anticipating the driver’s inputs. The system is able to elevate the driver’s confidence and their perceived driving capabilities, thus maximising the NSX’s man/machine performance and dynamic enjoyment.


The character of the NSX’s dynamic performance can be tailored to the driver’s preference via the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS). Four selectable dynamic modes – Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track – unlock a wide range of new experiences by adjusting the vehicle’s dynamic responses , including the steering, brakes , throttle, active dampers, intake and exhaust sound and notably the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit.


Body structure innovations enhance torsional rigidity


Honda’s engineers were challenged with creating a structure that provides the optimal platform for its advanced power unit. They employed world-first engineering and production techniques for the multi-material body to provide class-leading structural rigidity that supports the dynamic handling of the car, and to meet targets for driver visibility, crash safety performance, durability and reliability.


For example, ablation cast aluminium frame nodes enable shorter front and rear overhangs, and reduced mass while providing superior collision performance. Meanwhile, three-dimensional bent and quenched frame members create thin yet strong A-pillars that maximise forward visibility while meeting structural demands, including roof-crush requirements.


The result is a body with more than twice the rigidity of the nearest class competitor in both dynamic and static torsional stiffness. Adding this to the power unit innovations provides the driver with a package that interprets inputs into vehicle responses with incredible fidelity and enhances the confidence of the driver. The rigid chassis working in conjunction with the advanced power unit- translates the driver inputs (steer, brake, and throttle) with incredible precision and fidelity- enhancing driver confidence and delivering a new sports experience.


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