The 2017 Acura NSX is finally in production. But not like this.
The simply-dubbed “Acura EV Concept” is a four-motor’d full-electric mountain attack vehicle designed to compete at the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb; the only race in America almost three miles above sea level.
It’s basically just an NSX body dropped on top of the CR-Z electric prototype race car Honda entered in last year’s event. “Just.” In case you don’t remember that car, it won the the Exhibition Class with a blistering time of 10:23.829. Oh yeah, and the new version has three times the power output as explained in a press release.
While Acura will have two other NSX race cars in the Time Attack 1 and 2 classes, the 4-Motor EV Concept will run in the Electric Modified Class. No more screwing around “exhibiting;” this electric car is on the scene to do battle.
The idea behind assigning an individual motor to each wheel is basically to maximize torque vectoring. That means the car should be able to apply the optimal amount of power to any given wheel at any time. As the company states:
By applying separate Twin Motor Units (TMUs), the brains of Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, on each axle, Acura has achieved independent torque distribution to all four corners – true four-wheel torque vectoring. Based upon the learnings from last year’s race, the team updated the system management of the powertrain for more precise thrust at each wheel.
Now electric power in particular is relatively new to Pikes Peak, but it’s ideal for the conditions. As you probably know a gasoline engine needs air and fuel to survive. And the faster you want to go, the more your engine needs to drink.
At around 14,000 feet above sea level naturally aspirated engines are already choking at the starting line, and even turbocharged cars tend to get wheezy toward the top.
Not the case with electric power– it just plows and plows. Speaking of which, this car looks like it could clear snow off the course pretty well with that front air splitter.
Look for the Acura 4-Motor EV Concept in action at the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the event’s 100th anniversary, on June 26th. If you can’t make it out to Colorado Springs, I’m sure there will be plenty of internet coverage for all of us to devour.