Honda NSX reborn as a hybrid
Will still go like stink
Detroit Motor Show
Don't let the Acura badges fool you, what you are looking at here is the new Honda NSX, the long overdue replacement for what many people regard as the finest handling road car ever made.
Under the striking bodywork sits a mid-mounted V-6 VTEC engine and what Honda is calling a Sport Hybrid SH-AWD - Super Handling All-Wheel Drive - hybrid system.
The system uses three electric motors: one to deliver extra power to the rear wheels when you put your foot down, and two smaller ones attached to the front wheels.
As well as giving the NSX on-demand four wheel drive, the two front electric motors can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering.
Honda says this will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous all-wheel drive systems.
No details were offered about speed, acceleration or power outputs but it's probably safe to assume it will go like stink.
The original NSX, in which the late, great Ayrton Senna had a hand in development, ceased production in 2005. The new model will go on sale in 2015. ®
I think you will find that is actually an opinion and not a fact.
Motors per wheel
Full electric drive is an issue when it comes to range - Teslas (the only real comparitor here) have a poor range when driven hard, and apparently the torque isn't good for gearboxes.
Hybrids at least can be filled up on the road; you can't (realistically) top up your Tesla with a new battery pack at any service station, in any country in the world. A dozen laps of the Nurburging or a a hard driven trackday, and you're driving your Tesla home on a trailer.
NSX concept? Wang some 98 RON in there and you're on your way.
Honda had enough problems shifting NSXs originally - (no-one believed Honda could make a supercar that could outhandle a Ferrari and be driven by your granny to the shops) so I doubt they'd want to limit their market even further the second time around.
Practicality is the problem. The Tesla - and all electric cars at the moment - are close to being toys, not through their marketing or intent, but just due to the nature of the power sources.
I agree, however, that full electric drive is The Way Forward; just not yet. But then, look at the Jaguar CX concept (IIRC - you know the one I mean); twin gas turbines powering the generators for four 250hp electric motors, on per wheel, direct drive of 1000hp. And 50+mpg.
Now *that's* progress.
one rear motor allows...
...LSD-led grip/powersliding - and a simpler drivetrain if you have a conventional engine in the mix too.
You could try to get two electric motors at the wheels to work in tandem with an LSD, but I think that way only leads to lots of diff replacements as the surface changes and it eats itself up.
Wanging a big leccy motor to the gearbox output shaft (or the flywheel, or whatever) lets them keep the electric boooooost (or eco mode) without having to redesign the tried and tested limited slip diff - IE getting jiggy with some fancy electromechanical one, etc, suspect.
So not a money issue per se, more one of not reinventing the wheel. Hondas first new supercar in years, they probably don't want it to be remembered as the car that ate it's diff every thousands miles, if they get the development wrong.