Acura made noise last week at the Detroit Auto Show, as parent company Honda unveiled the return of the NSX and boldly dubbed it the return of the supercar. And that certainly caught the most eyes on the first day of the press preview at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.
Honda introduced three planned new Acura models Jan. 9, hoping to build momentum for a slumping brand. And in a vote of confidence for American manufacturing, Honda said the car will be produced in Ohio factories. Honda hopes the move also will lead to increased U.S. sales of the brand.
Supercar was a popular word during Honda President and CEO Takanobu Ito's press conference reintroducing the NSX, which was discontinued in 2005. The new NSX concept is a hybrid built from lightweight materials. It features a mid-mounted V-6 engine.
Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency, Ito said in his remarks. In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities.
Honda also will look to the ILX compact sedan and a redesigned RDX crossover -- both also introduced in Detroit last week -- to boost slumping sales. The Acura brand's 2011 sales were down 8 percent, but that was due in part to a loss of production because of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. But Honda is predicting a huge jump for the Acura brand's sales in 2012 -- 46 percent.
The NSX concept should hit the market by 2015, Honda said.
Ito touted the supercar features, such as a V-6 engine with direct injection that works with a dual clutch transmission to give the feel of supercar acceleration. It will have all-wheel drive and could have a 400 horsepower.
The NSX was the major hit of the first day of the press preview in Detroit. An hour and a half after Honda's announcement of the car, crowds still gathered to take a look at the supercar.
Take a look for yourself and click ahead.