2017 Honda NSX – full technical rundown on Honda’s AWD twin-turbocharged 573 hp hybrid supercar

2017 Acura NSX

If you count yourself as a car enthusiast, the Honda NSX (or Acura NSX depending on where you are in the world) should require no further introduction. Widely regarded as one of the few seminal sports cars of the 90s, the original NSX set the bar for levels of everyday usability and heart-thumping performance all wrapped up in, arguably, one of the most iconic automotive shapes.

Fast forward to the present and we are now staring at its replacement – the 2017 Honda NSX. Yes, we know that it is officially dubbed the 2017 Acura NSX but we’re not in the US so go with us on this one. Following in the footsteps of its ancestor, the 2017 Honda NSX – “New Sports eXperience” – was developed with ease of use, reliability and, of course, performance in mind.

So then, where exactly do we begin with such a tech-laden car? For starters, the 2017 Honda NSX is fashioned out of plenty of exotic materials – the original model was the first all-aluminium supercar – with the entire structure dubbed the “Multi-Material Body.” The aluminium-heavy space frame employs extruded and cast parts for improved rigidity and lower weight.

Elsewhere, the front floor panels are constructed out of carbon-fibre while an all-new (and world’s first in the automotive industry) material application technology, dubbed “ablation” casting, was employed to help maintain the levels of energy absorption in key areas for crash tests and at the same time, ensure the levels of desired structural rigidity.

2017 Acura NSX

Ablation casting technology is used in the creation of six joining members or “nodes” – two upper and two lower nodes in the front frame with two rear nodes. Said nodes serve as an “ultra-rigid suspension mounting point.” Aside from that, the formation of the A-pillar is also done via another world’s first procedure – a “3D bent and quenched” method allows the pillar to be bent robotically while being tempered with water jets.

Next up is the Sport Hybrid Power Unit – basically the entire engine, electric motors and drivetrain setup. Providing the main source of propulsion is a bespoke mid-mounted 3.5 litre DOHC twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine with dry sump lubrication – the mill itself pumps out a total of 500 hp at 7,500 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from 2,000-6,000 rpm. Additional power comes from the front-mounted Twin Motor Unit (TMU).

The latter arrangement puts out 72 hp and 146 Nm. The entire setup, along with rear-mounted Direct Drive Motor which aids in acceleration, braking and gear changes, allows for a combined power output of 573 hp and 645 Nm of torque. Powering the electric motors is the Intelligent Power Unit-Power Drive Unit (IPU-PDU) setup which integrates the lithium-ion battery and the high-voltage distribution bus bar.

2017 Acura NSX

2017 Acura NSX

Transmission is a nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox with ratios spread out for “optimal gear selection in all driving conditions.” As expected then, gears number two to eight are “perfectly matched to make the most of the power unit’s power band” while the final ninth gear “has been optimised for fuel efficiency.”

All that power gets transmitted to the road by said nine-speed gearbox via Honda’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system – said to be the “first of its kind in the supercar realm.” Honda claims that the system is able to provide “zero delay” in performance in “virtually any driving scenario.”

For starters, the trio of electric motors are said to provide “instantaneous torque” when accelerating from a standstill or out of a corner. When trail-braking into a corner, the TMU system augments retardation by working with the mechanical brakes while the Direct Yaw Control system serves up “immediate turn-in performance”, therefore allowing drivers to keep their eyes towards the apex.

2017 Acura NSX

Suspension wise, the 2017 Honda NSX features fully independent front and rear suspension with active magnetorheological (MR) dampers. The front units are that of the double wishbone variety with double ball joint lower arms included to help eliminate feedback from the TMU system. The rear suspension, on the other hand, features a multi-link geometry.

Elsewhere, the NSX is equipped as standard with Y-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels in front with 20-inch units at the rear – wrapped in 245/35 and 305/30 Continental ContiSport Contact 5 tyres, respectively. Behind the front wheels, six-piston calipers that clamp down on 14.5-inch ventilated discs are to be found while the rear setup employs four-piston calipers with 14-inch ventilated discs. Regenerative braking is also present.

As for the interior, Honda has employed what it calls a “Human Support Cockpit” philosophy that emphasises a “human-centric ergonomically-enhanced design theme for both the driver and passenger.” To facilitate the construction of an interior that would appeal to both professional drivers and casual enthusiasts, Honda employed a team of test drivers comprised of both aforementioned groups to help shape the various aspects.

2017 Acura NSX

The result is an interior trimmed in both leather and Alcantara for “the perfect combination of luxury comfort and dynamic driving support.” The centre console, dubbed as the “Simple Sports Interface”, has been specifically designed to “minimise the potential for distractions.” Also, the design of the steering wheel itself features a more ergonomic shape with increased surface contact for the driver’s hands.

An electric power steering system (EPS) was adopted for the NSX. To help improve feedback, dual ball joints were included in the front suspension lower arms for better “oneness with the road,” according to chief chassis engineer, Chris Dundon. The EPS system features a variable gear ratio that allows for increased stability with no lock applied – off center, the gear ratio speeds up for improved turn-in and manoeuvrability.

Last but not least is the introduction of the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) on the 2017 Honda NSX. Said drive system provides the driver with four distinct modes – Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track. As expected, Quiet mode allows for full-electric operation at low speeds. When taking off, only the TMU system is engaged – the combustion engine can be brought into play but is limited to 4,000 rpm.

2017 Acura NSX

In Sport mode, the 4,000 rpm limit is removed while the Intake Sound Control and the Active Exhaust Valve systems are activated – the latter allowing for a more raucous exhaust note. Idle stop function (start-stop) is still active in this mode. This is also the vehicle’s default setting in “normal vehicle operation.”

Engaging Sport+ mode allows for even quicker upshifts and downshifts of the nine-speed gearbox while the throttle map switches over to its most aggressive setting. The onboard electronics (the EPS, electric motors and Direct Yaw Control) are all tuned for maximum performance in this mode – a yellow “con-trail” appears on the TFT rev counter while the Simple Sports Interface is now bathed in a red glow.

Finally, Track mode unshackles the electronics completely with focus now zeroed in on performance and nothing else. Meant for circuit work, Track mode allows for the “most aggressive settings and parameters to deliver the fastest and most consistent lap times possible.” The lithium-ion battery is also prompted to maintain a consistent level of torque output to ensure that there is no letup in power.

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Gregory Sze

An “actor” by training, Gregory Sze realised that he has had enough of drama in his life. Following his number one passion (acting was actually number two), he decided to make the jump into the realm of automotive journalism. He appreciates the simple things in life – a simple car with nothing but back-to-basics mechanical engineering and minimal electronics on board.



  • Wiwiwiwiwiw on Oct 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
    If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?
    Clarity, clarity, clarity, clarity ,clarity, clarity

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
    • The Power of Dreams on Oct 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Honda news is on the roll today!
      1) 2017 Honda Civic to get new 1.0 and 1.5 VTEC Turbo
      2) Honda FCV production
      3) 2017 Acura NSX
      4) Honda mulls all-electric sports car to sit below NSX 5) 2017 Honda Civic for Europe – 1.0 litre VTEC Turbo and 201 hp 1.5 litre Turbo
      6) New Honda 10-speed automatic transmission detaile

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • The original NSX is already good car (in their era).. So how do you improve on that? By making a better replacement :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • sabahan on Oct 27, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    just bring it on! even though i will never have that chance to drive one of these…. not even the old NSX…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • shawal on Oct 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    as battery technology and electric motor gets better as the years go by….

    imagine the potential to tune this thing…….

    no 0-60 time…?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • namanama on Oct 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Its predecessor have strong characteristic but this is really boring-looking car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • s2000 on Oct 27, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    PLEASE REVIVE THE s2000 ALSO!! :'(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Bad interior for a 2017 highend sportcar

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • can wait the reviews on this car..hope that it could give the ferrari 488GTB good fight!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • vtec fan on Oct 27, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    i guess i going to miss the screaming vtec sound when the new vtec is all about turbo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • The Archbishop of Banterbury on Oct 27, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Ayrton Senna will be proud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • New reason to work very hard!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • heybadigol (Member) on Oct 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Very very nice. I was hoping the car would be light, but at 1725kg (sourced from vtec.net), that’s quite heavy. Hopefully it handles well despite the weight.

    I liked that Honda decided to maintain the boot, as per the original NSX. But this one with the high tech engine & batteries, might result in a pretty warm boot after a hard drive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • BeemerFreak on Oct 27, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    This was what the 86 should have been, a halo all conquering technologically cutting edge sports car. Now it will go down in history as the should have been. Man Honda has really pull out all stops.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • Honda just copied Audi’s Aluminium Space Frame tech and called it Honda Space Frame. LOL..
    Good thing that Audi considers the Aluminium Space Frame tech outdated now. Audi’s new R8 uses a Carbon backbone. I bet Honda’s engineers are looking to copy that tech now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Rawasa on Oct 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Anyone remember this car from GTAV? see if you can find it in-game lol also…rockstar has a huge copyright issue here >.<

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • @JB Honda ‘beat’ Audi in making the first all aluminium prpduction car with the first gen NSX…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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