The 2017 Honda NSX with its 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 offers an eye-watering performance that’s been made even better thanks to a plethora of clever technology.
The amount of technology found inside the 2017 Honda NSX is what defines the driving experience of the car. Some people might still miss the naturally-aspirated engine from before but the new turbocharged engine redlines at a 7,500 rpm. The seamless application of electric thrust gives the NSX one of the best throttle response of any turbocharged car we’ve had so far. If it weren’t for the occasional whoosh and the faint whine from its electric motor, you’d definitely say that this car has a naturally aspirated engine.
The new NSX’s main highlight is its ability to bend physics. Going into a corner, the car feels very agile and alert thanks to quick steering that delivers plenty of precision and even some meaningful feedback. Thanks to the variable ratio rack you never have to take your hands from the ten-to-two position either. All this talk of torque vectoring and variable ratio steering sounds a bit synthetic, but the end result feels utterly organic. It’s almost like two cars in one, with great low-speed agility mixed with a reassuring sense of composure.
Another good thing about the new NSX is that it also uses the electric motors to harvest energy under braking, but the pedal feel is exceptionally good for a hybrid. The initial bite is actually better than the McLaren 570S’s carbon ceramic system and stopping power is huge. The gearbox is also worthy of note. Honda calls it as a ‘7+2 DCT’, with seven closely spaced ratios for normal driving, plus a low gear for standing starts and what amounts to an overdrive top for motorway cruising. The 2017 Honda NSX shuffles the gears smoothly in auto and flicks between the ratios with lightning precision in manual mode. The only downside is the plastic paddles that feel like they’ve been lifted from a PlayStation steering wheel rather than a £170,000 supercar.
It’s a similar story for the rest of the cabin. Functionally it excels; the seats grip you in all the right places, the visibility out the front is exemplary and there’s a refreshingly simple layout to all the controls. The downside is that some of the materials in this Honda NSX do feel a bit out of their depth at this price point. As a result, the interior lacks that wow factor that you might expect.
Although the car has no plug-in capability and no electric-only mode, it does have a quiet mode that will use the electric motors instead of the combustion engine wherever possible. This also limits V6 to 4,500 rpm, which would no doubt be handy if you used the Honda NSX for your early morning commute.
It’s a tremendous cliché, but anyone could get in this car and drive it. You don’t have to be a superhero to extract a reasonable amount of the performance, either. You do have to be lucky to get your hands on one. Honda’s UK allocation is 60 cars for the first year of production and just 40 for the year after that.
It’s perhaps something of a paradox that one of the most accessible supercars ever made should be confined to such small numbers, but that might not be the end of the story. Although neither has yet been confirmed there are persistent rumors of both a convertible version and a hotter NSX Type R in development. Honda, it seems, is determined to keep us in suspense for a little bit longer.
2017 Honda NSX Press Release
A History of Innovation
When the original Acura NSX made its debut over 25 years ago, it forever changed the sports car world by combining exotic car styling and performance with a new dimension of quality, exceptional ergonomics and dynamic poise. The NSX introduced and defined Acura’s approach to “Precision Crafted Performance,” with its cutting-edge design and innovative technology that provided exotic car performance for real drivers in the real world.
“From the beginning, Acura has always been about performance,” said Acura NSX Global Development Leader Ted Klaus. “Not only speed or power, but elegantly designed and engineered products that stir the soul and harness innovative technology on a foundation of industry-leading quality and reliability.”
By making use of advanced new technologies, such as a lightweight yet rigid all-aluminum unibody and chassis mated to a mid-mounted, transverse V6 engine, the original NSX challenged conventional wisdom for an exotic car. Its high-revving V6 engine featured a number of innovative production-car technologies, including forged pistons, titanium connecting rods and a VTEC valvetrain.
First-generation Acura NSX
The first-generation NSX sought a more intimate connection between the car, the driver and the road, pursued through essential design elements—low vehicle mass and high power-to-weight ratio, a rigid body supporting a performance-focused chassis, outstanding visibility, exceptional ergonomics and accessible performance—creating a paradigm shift in what it meant to be an exotic car.
Importantly, the first generation NSX also exemplified Acura’s high standards of quality, durability and day-to-day reliability without compromising performance—something rarely found in exotic sports cars of the day.
Next-Generation Acura NSX
Respecting the foundational concepts of the original NSX, the 2017 Acura NSX pursues an altogether new and revolutionary idea for Acura supercar performance, melding timeless sports car values with next-generation technologies to create a New Sports experience. And much like Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA guided the creation of the original NSX, every aspect of this new NSX is a next-generation expression of those same values.
Based on the “man-machine synergy” approach that guides the development of all Acura vehicles, the company has created a driver-centered supercar, where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car—the driver.
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 realm. Marrying this cutting-edge and electrified new expression of Acura Super Handling performance with new approaches to vehicle design—including advanced body construction, component packaging and aerodynamic optimization—results in a supercar that faithfully translates the acceleration, steering and braking inputs of the driver with incredible fidelity and instantaneous response, thus amplifying the capabilities of every driver, while greatly elevating the dynamic experience in every driving situation—qualities that define the New Sports experience.
Sport Hybrid SH-AWD utilizes its electric motors to assist acceleration, braking and cornering. With electrically-powered torque vectoring provided by the front-mounted Twin Motor Unit, the NSX takes Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive technology to a new dimension—using the dynamic, instantaneous and continuous distribution of electric motor torque to enhance handling precision and cornering performance in all driving situations.
The revolutionary NSX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit and its advanced dynamic capabilities are supported by new concepts in supercar design and body construction. The NSX multi-material space frame is a clean-sheet design, utilizing a multitude of advanced materials and joining technologies, each chosen for its capability to deliver ultimate global and local body rigidity in combination with low mass, outstanding visibility and world-class occupant crash performance. The space frame integrates several world-first technologies, including three-dimensionally bent and quenched (3DQ) ultra‑high-strength steel A-pillars and ablation cast aluminum frame nodes.
Likewise, the design and packaging of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit’s components—engine, transmission, motors, batteries and control systems—are optimized to support and enhance its dynamic capabilities by lowering the center of gravity (CG) and centering the mass within the car.
The next-generation Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit consists of an all-new twin-turbocharged mid‑mounted V6 engine paired with an all-new 9-speed dual clutch transmission (9DCT) and Direct Drive Motor that supplements the engine with instant torque response. The Direct Drive Motor also operates as a generator, maintaining the state of charge of the hybrid batteries to consistently support driver demands.
These systems, which comprise the rear power unit, are supplemented by the revolutionary capabilities of the front-mounted Twin Motor Unit (TMU). Containing two electric motors that independently drive the left and right front wheels, the TMU provides “active AWD,” increasing forward acceleration and continuously varying torque—both positive and negative—supplied to the front wheels. The resulting “direct yaw control” effect enhances agility, stability, performance and response—it is true torque vectoring, available at any speed in both on-throttle and off-throttle situations. Finally, the TMU also provides regenerative braking force, supporting braking demands while also recharging the hybrid battery.
By taking advantage of the immediate and precise torque response of the power unit’s three electric motors, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system can elevate any driver’s confidence and performance while extracting more performance than could be obtained without it.
Like the original Acura NSX—the world’s first all-aluminum exotic car—the all-new NSX has a cutting‑edge structure. Its multi-material space frame utilizes new materials and construction methods to achieve unprecedented dynamic rigidity, outstanding outward visibility and world-class collision performance. Making use of a space-frame design, the new NSX is composed primarily of lightweight aluminum, with the strategic use of steel and carbon fiber in select areas.
Unmatched dynamic torsional rigidity – The NSX directly responds to the driver’s cornering demands, instantly transmitting those inputs to the chassis while maintaining perfect connection between front and rear axles, communicating both the driver’s action and any changes in the road surface with the utmost fidelity.
Ultra-high local chassis rigidity – Each chassis component is mounted to a rigid casting supported by extruded aluminum frame members that act like “truss structures” such that high local attachment-area stiffness is ensured in all directions, helping maintain the precisely‑designed chassis geometry at all times.
World’s first automotive application of ablation casting technology – Used both at front and rear, these ablation cast aluminum frame nodes serve as ultra-rigid mounting points for the suspension. Applied in key crush zones, these nodes link frame sections together and uniquely deform in a manner similar to a forged component but with lower weight, enabling shorter front and rear overhang, reduced vehicle mass and world-class collision performance.
A-pillars: Super strong, yet slender – In another world’s first, a new three-dimensional bent and quenched (3DQ) frame member was employed to create thin yet sturdy A-pillars. The resulting ultra-high-strength material allows a slender cross section to maximize forward visibility while meeting structural demands, including roof-crush requirements.
Other advanced construction and manufacturing techniques employed in the all-new Acura NSX include the world’s first use of all-robotic MIG welding of the space frame for uniform and precise joining of its aluminum components.
2017 Honda NSX Photos
2017 Honda NSX Specs and Features
Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Power Unit
Front wheels: mechanically independent from rear power unit components, two electric motors (Twin Motor Unit); Rear wheels: Twin-turbocharged V-6 gasoline engine with one Direct Drive Motor and 9-speed DCT
Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control7
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Location and Pressure Indicators
LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
PASSIVE SAFETY FEATURES
Single-Stage Driver, Dual-Stage Passenger, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)
Driver Knee Airbag
Front Side Airbags
One-Row Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
3-Point Seat Belts with Automatic Tensioning System
Upper Tether for Child Seat on Passenger-Side
Driver’s and Passenger’s Seat-Belt Reminder
DRIVER ASSISTIVE FEATURES
Corner and Backup Sensors
Available as part of Technology Package
Flush-mounted automatic power pop-out door handles
Auto pop out upon approach with keyless entry fob
Capless Fuel Filler
Integrated front windshield type
Acoustic Glass Rear Cabin Window
LED Brake Lights
Variable Intermittent Wipers
Remote keyless Smart Entry system
Body-colored power heated with reverse auto tilt-down and integrated LED turn indicators; Optional memory feature
Acura Jewel Eye™ LED type with Auto-On/Off
Aluminum or optional exposed-weave carbon fiber
INTERIOR & COMFORT / CONVENIENCE
Two-cup holder unit that slides into a slot in the center console on passenger side
Automatic Air Conditioning with air filtration system
Push Button Start
Active Sound Control (ASC)
Power Windows with Auto-Up/Down
Power Door Locks
Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column (manual)
Center Console Storage
Multi-functional storage system
Lockable Glove Compartment
12-Volt Power Outlet
Power Remote Fuel Filler Door Release
Rear Engine Compartment Window Defroster w/ Timer
Cargo Area Light
Cargo Area Tie-Down Anchors (4 Total)
Optional accessory cargo net
Illuminated Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls
Cruise / Audio / Phone / Display Audio / MID info
Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control System with Humidity Control and Air Filtration
HomeLink® Remote System
Frameless Automatic-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
Available carbon fiber trim
LED Interior Ambient Lighting
Leather–Trimmed Instrument Panel
Leather-Trimmed Door Panels
Alcantara Roof Lining
Perforated leather and Alcantara-trimmed with manual adjusters; Optional 4-way power adjusters with 4-way power lumbar and 2-position memory
Milano leather standard; Semi-aniline leather option
Available with power seats
AUDIO & CONNECTIVITY
7-Inch Display Audio with High-Resolution WVGA (800×480) Electrostatic Touch-Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
Standard Audio system: 8 speakers, including subwoofer
Optional ELS Studio Premium Audio system: 9 speakers, including subwoofer
Bluetooth® Streaming Audio
MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack
MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack
USB Audio Interface
2USB ports in car
(In glove box) 1.0 amp charge capability & USB connection without Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity
(In console box) 1.5 amp charge capability & USB connection with CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity
AcuraLink® Next Generation
SMS Text Message Function
Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic
Siri Eyes Free
Coolant Temperature Indicator
Fuel Level Indicator
DYNAMIC TFT GUAGE CLUSTER
4.2-Inch Color TFT Screen
8-Inch Color TFT Screen
Integrated Dynamics System-linked Dynamic Meters
Meter Graphics Color change: Quiet-Blue; Sport-White; Sport+ and Track-Red
Average Fuel Economy Indicator
Gear Position Indicator
Instant Fuel Economy Indicator
Odometer and Trip Meters (2)
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Tire Fill Assist and Location and Pressure Indicators
Exterior Temperature Indicator
Valencia Red Pearl
Nouvelle Blue Pearl
Casino White Pearl
Source Silver Metallic
Nord Gray Metallic
All interior colors are available with all exterior colors
Carbon Fiber Exterior Sport Package
Carbon fiber front spoiler, side sills, rear diffuser;
Dark chrome exhaust finisher
Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
Carbon Fiber Roof
Carbon Ceramic Brake Rotors
Includes choice of black, red or silver brake calipers
Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler
Exclusive Interwoven Aluminum Alloy Wheels
Choice of machined, painted or polished finish
Technology Package – ELS Studio Audio System
Includes 9 speakers, Navigation, AcuraLink, front and rear parking sensors
Technology Package – ELS Studio Audio with XM Satellite Radio
Same as above and adds XM Satellite radio
Interior Carbon Fiber Sport Package
Includes carbon fiber meter visor and steering wheel garnish, aluminum foot rest and sport pedals