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Acura to attack mountain with hybrid NSX

21 June 2016

The Honda NSX has been an extremely common mountain warrior in Japan for the better part of two decades. It’s a touge monster like no other in its original guise, with handling and balance to be reckoned with. It even featured a fairly potent three-litre V6 VTEC engine with 206kW. Nothing compared to the supercars of today, however. With the announcement that Acura will be heading to Pikes Peak (being held over the weekend of June 26) with the latest NSX, we thought we’d take a closer look at the beast that will be doing battle against a fierce array of opponents. 

Now, just to clarify, there will be no screaming VTEC V6 turbo, as found in the latest NSX, but rather four electric motors, placing this example in the EV category, up against the likes of Rhys Millen. Why electric you ask? VTEC is the business you say? Well, unfortunately, it makes complete sense. Why? Altitude. 

Altitude is the biggest killer of horsepower ever — besides running out of petrol. For every 1000ft elevation increase with a naturally aspirated engine (such as the original NSX), you can kiss three per cent of your horsepower goodbye. That being said, petrol engines are at a disadvantage from the get-go — with the start line of the Pikes Peak hill climb at 10,000 feet — making your dinosaur fossil—fuelled race car at a 30-per-cent power disadvantage. You can watch power drop off as you climb, too, with the total power loss at the summit a massive 42 per cent. Care to take a guess at the percentage loss for the electrically propelled vehicle? Zero per cent. Making them an extremely competitive hill-climb machine. 

The EV NSX will use two twin-motor units (TMUs), which allow true torque vectoring to each wheel. Acura has mentioned that this provides a major increase in the handling capabilities of the NSX, and it’s something they hope to continue developing. There’s no word as to how much power the electric motors in the NSX produce, but, to stay competitive, we are guessing a total power output north of 600kW. We’re just impressed with how badass the NSX looks in full race trim!