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Acura NSX Benchmarked Against Ferrari 458 & 911 GT3

All-new twin-turbo V6 plus EV motors power the NSX

Alex Nishimoto
Oct 27, 2014

Carrying on a legacy can be a huge burden, but it’s a burden Honda's engineers are willing to bear when it comes to development of the new Acura NSX. The successor to the car many consider to be among the greatest sports cars ever built has a lot riding on it, and we've heard a couple stories that suggest that it might just deliver.

2015 Acura NSX prototype testing right rear view action shot Photo 2/14   |   2015 Acura NSX Prototype Testing Right Rear View Action Shot

An insider confirmed what we had heard before: that the new NSX was originally supposed to use the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 from the RLX, mounted in a transverse configuration like the first-gen model. But because the performance just wasn't there with only 310 hp from the engine and another 75 hp from the electric motors, Honda engineers made the expensive decision to develop a clean-sheet powertrain. The NSX will use an all-new twin-turbo V-6 mounted longitudinally and mated to a new transmission, and will be supplemented by three electric motors. There's no word on displacement for the engine or total output, but we've previously heard a combined 560 hp is possible. Our informant also told us that Honda's decision to go with a clean-sheet twin-turbo V-6 was not prompted by its return to Formula 1.

Acura NSX Concept front three quarter.JPG Photo 3/14   |   Acura NSX Concept

During development, Honda R&D used two Ferrari 458 coupes for benchmarking purposes. One was torn apart to gather manufacturing intel, while the other continues to be flogged in testing. Engineers loved the 458 at first, but they've since shifted their attention to the McLaren 12C. The Porsche 911 GT3 was also benchmarked for its performance and reliability, while front-engine performance cars like the Nissan GT-R and C6 Corvette Z06 were considered benchmarks early on, but then dropped soon after.

We last saw an NSX prototype (pictured above) testing at the Nürburgring, and the bodywork very much resembled the concept that bowed in Detroit two years ago. That is, before the test mule was unfortunately engulfed in flames. A production NSX is due in mid-2015, and from the sound of things, we can't wait to see what it can do.

2015 Acura NSX prototype testing right rear view Photo 4/14   |   2015 Acura NSX Prototype Testing Right Rear View
Acura NSX Concept front end.JPG Photo 14/14   |   Acura NSX Concept
By Alex Nishimoto
195 Articles
Acura NSX Benchmarked Against Ferrari 458 & 911 GT3
  • New NSX will use a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6
  • A production NSX is due in mid-2014

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