NSX concept combines supercar performance with environmental responsibility

The latest iteration of Honda's Acura supercar will turn heads but the company insists it's too early to get excited as the design is yet to be finalized  -- despite the fact that seven years have already passed since the original NSX ceased production.

Honda first unveiled the concept NSX in 2012, but it was nothing more than a shell, with no interior fittings and no clear indications as to its powertrain other than it would be driven, like the original, via a V6 engine. One year later the car is back, at the North American International Auto Show, this time complete with a full interior package and full hybrid V6/three battery powertrain. However, although it looks as if it is ready to set a record time at the Nürburgring, Honda insists that the vehicle on display represents only one possible future direction and that the finished supercar is still two years away from becoming a reality.

The interior harks back to the original NSX in that it has been developed to ensure maximum all-round visibility and minimal distraction, while the V6 engine will be mid-mounted for perfect weight distribution. To ensure superior handling and road-holding the car will have all-wheel drive. The power from the gas engine will be diverted to the rear wheels, while two batteries, mounted behind the front axle, will drive the front wheels. Honda claims that this set-up, which it calls its Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system, will also ensure environmental as well as supercar performance.

The original NSX (sold as the Acura NSX in North America and Hong Kong), which was launched in 1990 and remained in production until 2005, was designed and built to challenge Ferrari and drew on a number of Formula One technologies as well as the expertise of a number of the sport's leading lights. Chief among them was Brazilian F1 racing icon Ayrton Senna, whose input and testing of prototype versions led to the finished car's firmer, more responsive chassis design and set-up -- among the original NSX's best features.