HONDA NSX

Elec­tric mo­tors bring an ex­tra di­men­sion to Ja­panese su­per­car

Evo - - 4WD MEGATEST - JB

THE NSX HAS WHAT HONDA SNAP­PILY TI­TLES Sport Hy­brid SH-AWD, or Su­per Han­dling All­Wheel Drive. The mid-en­gined NSX sup­ple­ments its twin-turbo V6 with three elec­tric mo­tors: one driv­ing each front wheel and a third ‘di­rect­drive’ mo­tor slot­ted be­tween the en­gine and gear­box. The lat­ter also acts as the starter mo­tor, elim­i­nat­ing the need for the 12V starter and ring-gear sys­tem, sav­ing weight.

Largely, the masses of the elec­tri­cal sys­tem are cen­trally lo­cated, the con­troller manag­ing bat­tery charge and dis­charge fill­ing what would be the trans­mis­sion tun­nel, while the lithi­u­mion bat­tery pack sits trans­versely be­hind the seats. The out­put of the elec­tric mo­tors to­tals 119bhp, and they have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on get­ting the 1776kg NSX to 62mph in just 2.9 sec­onds – elec­tric mo­tors pro­duce their max­i­mum torque from zero revs, don’t for­get. Mean­while, the front-axle mo­tors de­liver torque di­rectly and pre­cisely to each front wheel, which is pure torque vec­tor­ing.

Each mo­tor can act in­de­pen­dently, so for, say, turn-in agility, the mo­tor of the inside front wheel could be un­pow­ered, ef­fec­tively brak­ing that wheel, while the outer is un­der full power. The NSX’S elec­tric mo­tors pos­i­tively power the front axle to in­flu­ence the han­dling, rather than brak­ing it. At the rear, tuned to match the front, is a torque-sen­si­tive, multi-plate-type lim­it­ed­slip dif­fer­en­tial that max­imises the drive from the V6 and also of­fers sta­bil­ity un­der brak­ing.

The third mo­tor, sand­wiched be­tween the en­gine and gear­box, acts di­rectly on the out­put shaft and, along with the front-axle mo­tors, gives an ini­tial kick that masks any turbo lag. And, be­cause an elec­tric mo­tor is an al­ter­na­tor when driven, the mo­tors recharge the bat­tery on the over­run, tak­ing a load off the brakes.

En­gine V6, 3493cc, twin-turbo, plus 2 x 36bhp front elec­tric mo­tors and 47bhp rear elec­tric mo­tor Power 573bhp (com­bined) Torque 476lb ft @ 2000rpm (com­bined) 0-62mph 2.9sec (claimed) Top speed 191mph (claimed) Weight 1776kg (328bhp/ton) Ba­sic price £144,765 evo rat­ing

4 W D M EGAT EST

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