Electric NSX looks loud and fast, but you’ll barely hear it go by
A four-motor, all-electric Acura NSX is racing at this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
The unique powertrain is an evolution of that found in the Honda CR-Z that competed in Pikes Peak last year. Honda’s four-motor system, dubbed SH-AWD, is capable of pushing torque to every corner independent from one another. Torque vectoring is used in the road-legal version of the NSX, as well, through two electric motors up front and a limited-slip differential in the back. By ditching the combustion engine and going with four electric motors, Acura says the car gets even more precise torque vectoring.
There hasn’t been much said about the changes to the torque allocation system from last year, but it has been updated to provide “more precise thrust at each wheel.” How many hundredths of a second that might be worth is unknown to us, but the powertrain won its class when used in the CR-Z last year, so it couldn’t have been too imprecise before.
When it comes to power, Acura doesn’t look like it’s taking any chances. The claim is three times the total system output of the Honda CR-Z. No official numbers are out, but the CR-Z made something in the region of 200 hp. That would lead us to assume this NSX is producing around 600 hp, pretty close to its road-going twin that puts out 573 hp.
This EV NSX will maintain thrust all the way to the top of the mountain — an internal combustion engine would lose power at higher altitudes due to lower air density. The overall first-place time last year was set by an electric racer, so the technology is proven. One thing electric motors still can’t compensate for is weight. Batteries are stupid heavy, and lugging them up a mountain doesn’t make it any easier.
What Acura is banking on here is the torque vectoring to help pull the car through corners faster than its competition. Fair enough — now show us the Type R version of the supercar we want to see.