Acura’s slick NSX hybrid hits the road

Honda is starting to ratchet up public appearances of its forthcoming Acura NSX hybrid supercar, currently set for a limited release in 2015 with a rumored price of over $150,000.

The two most recent sightings include a special racing version in Japan and the more consumer focused model showing up at a fancy California event.

The Japanese racing edition, according to Honda, is known as the NSX Concept-GT. It sports a a mid-mounted 2.0 liter inline direct-injection 4-cylinder turbo engine mated with a racing hybrid system. It is designed for entry in the GT500 class of the 2014 SUPER GT Series Round 5 “2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT” at Suzuka Circuit and is noted for complying with the Japan Automobile Federation’s GT500 regulations for 2014.

image via Honda

The California showing, meanwhile, found the regular NSX Concept putting in an appearance on on the Concept Lawn at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “Only the most beautiful and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links,” according to Honda, and given the reported price tag of the car, it seems like a good place for it to be.

Prior to this, on August 4, a testing prototype version of the Acura NSX lapped the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio before the running of the Honda Indy 200 race. It ran around the 2.4-mile winding road course there, driven by a member of the Ohio-based engineering development team.

Global development of this hybrid is being led by those at Honda R&D Americas there in Ohio and it is said it will ultimately be produced in-state as well, using domestic and globally sourced parts, at a plant that’s still under construction. The NSX was first brought back from retired supercar status as a concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A more refined version of the NSX concept was showcased to the Motor City the following year and, more recently, pre-orders started being taken.

The hybrid system in the consumer edition of the NSX will mate to a mid-mounted, direct-injected V-6 engine and is dubbed the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. It is described by Honda as

an all-new, three-motor high-performance hybrid system that combines torque vectoring all-wheel drive with advanced hybrid efficiency through the use of three electric motors – one motor integrated with the V-6 engine and its all-new dual-clutch transmission (DCT) driving the rear wheels, and two independent motors driving the front wheels. The system enables instant delivery of negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering to achieve a new level of driving performance unparalleled by current AWD systems.

Rumors suggest the NSX will deliver a total of 400 horsepower, making it capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling