Despite being very different in execution, the 2017 Honda NSX has an awful lot in common with its groundbreaking predecessor from the early 1990s.
Much like the original, technology plays a major part in the car’s appeal and nowhere is that more apparent than the car’s drivetrain. An all-new, sand-cast aluminium 75° block with aluminium cylinder heads is paired with two auxiliary electric motors to deliver a combined output in excess of 560ps.
Due to their arrangement, these motors act as torque fillers for the V6, delivering a combined 645Nm both instantly and continually across the rev range.
The fundamental principals of the all-aluminium engine, increased strength and lower weight, are mirrored throughout the drivetrain, with conscious decisions on materials made throughout the entire package. Elements such as plasma transferred coating on the cylinder walls, offering 52% thermal conductivity with much less weight than traditional cast-iron liners, Inconel turbines, sodium filled valves and compact exhaust system, all help shave valuable weight from the car.
This lightweighting optimization continues through the valvetrain, with swing arm-type valve actuators reducing inertial weight by 22% over common rocker-arm type arrangements, while the decision to use a dry sump lubrication system enabled the engine to be mounted 61mm lower in the car’s frame, compared with a traditional wet sump arrangement.
Translating these advanced technologies into real-world performance means that the NSX dispatches the 0-60mph sprint in 3.1s, achieves 191mph flat out, returns 28.3mpg and emits just 228g/km. The NSX, however, wasn’t the only technical masterclass in the coveted New Engine category, with exemplary new engines from Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo running the Honda close, right until the last few votes trickled in.