Mike Chan goes from Bellanova White Pearl to Crystal Black Pearl for #TheTLXproject2. This 2015 Acura TLX gets the same Vossen VFS/2 wheels, this time in Satin Bronze. Rolling shots courtesy of Tony Phanvu.
Acura has released these epic images of the NSX Pace car at yesterday’s Race to the Clouds:
“Pace car driver Sage Marie pilots the new NSX up the mountain at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.”
Another Acura, another road trip to the Canadian Rockies. This time around I had the pleasure of shooting a Bellanova White Pearl 2016 Acura ILX with Technology Plus and A-SPEC Package.
Refreshed for the 2016 model year, the new ILX received some relatively significant exterior updates. It features a new Jewel Eye LED Headlight design which adds some nice chrome styling details and uses a lower LED strip as daytime running lights. It’s also the first production Acura model to wear the new, slimmer grille which to me resembles a contoured wing or boomerang.
The A-SPEC Package further adds to exterior styling with fog lights, side skirts, a deck lid spoiler, and some funky 18-inch wheels. My only wish is that it was equipped with the front and rear Aero Kit pieces for the full effect.
All the photos in the gallery were shot in one day, in and around Alberta’s Jasper National Park.
We finally get to see some high quality images of a 2016 Acura ILX with the A-SPEC Aero Kit thanks to Vossen Wheels and Acura of Pembroke Pines. But it’s not just about the kit, this Catalina Blue Pearl Acura ILX looks extra aggressive with a nice drop and some sleek 19″ Vossen CVT Wheels. A shout out to Mike Chan from Acura of Pembroke Pines for heading up this build.
[Source: Vossen Wheels]
Official release from Acura Media Newsroom:
Acura RLX Earns Top 5-Star Overall Safety Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Apr 30, 2015 – TORRANCE, Calif.
Acura has taken another step in solidifying its reputation as the safety leader and innovator in the luxury segment with the addition of the Acura RLX to its growing list of models earning a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score, the top available rating in the U.S. government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The safety rating, which includes five star ratings in all six crash test ratings and a five-star rollover resistance rating, applies to the 2016 RLX and RLX Sport Hybrid.
In addition to the RLX, Acura has earned top safety ratings from the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating for the TLX performance sedan and MDX luxury SUV, which are each equipped with the exclusive AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. AcuraWatch™ has expanded to every model in the Acura lineup for 2016.
“The 2016 Acura RLX exemplifies how the brand is creating new value for luxury customers with the addition of advanced safety technologies,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager, Acura Division. “Luxury customers expect the latest in technology and Acura delivers with safety and driver assistive technologies available across the lineup.”
Available on all trims and standard on the Technology and Advance packages, the RLX now includes AcuraWatch™, a comprehensive suite of safety and driver assistive technologies that help to improve the driver’s situational awareness and, in certain circumstances, intervene to help avoid a collision or mitigate its severity. AcuraWatch™ includes Acura’s Collision Mitigation Braking System, an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) feature that the NHTSA recently announced would be added to its list of NCAP recommended safety features.
The 2016 RLX offers the most comprehensive suite of safety and driver assistive technologies available on an Acura vehicle to date; depending upon trim, the RLX includes:
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF)
- Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) – new to RLX
- Blind Spot Information (BSI)
- Multi-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines
- Cross Traffic Monitor – new to RLX
Acura Surround View Camera System
The luxury sedan features the first U.S. application of Acura’s Surround View Camera system, which provides a 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. Assisting drivers with critical and precise driving and parking situations, the system employs four cameras to seamlessly create a composite bird’s eye image to provide the driver with information about the surroundings. The cameras can also provide singular views behind, in front, to the left and right of the vehicle. Dynamic guidelines are displayed on the navigation screen to help the driver see their projected path relative to the lines demarking parking spaces or other objects, allowing them to maneuver with greater confidence.
RLX Gets Other Key Refinements
The 2016 RLX flagship luxury sedan has also received significant chassis tuning refinements to enhance ride quality and has upgraded to 19-inch wheels that are standard across all trims. Despite all of the additions to the 2016 model year, the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) of the 2016 RLX remain unchanged from the previous model year.
The 2016 RLX Sport Hybrid, which features a three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system with electrically powered torque vectoring, will go on sale in early June.
Official release from Acura Media Newsroom:
New Technical Details of the Next Generation Acura NSX Revealed at SAE 2015 World Congress and Exhibition
Apr 23, 2015 – DETROIT
- New information disclosed on innovative powertrain, body and manufacturing technologies further solidifies the NSX’s position as a world-class supercar
- NSX legacy of innovative, lightweight body design for high performance is advanced with world’s first automotive application of ablation casting
- Total airflow management design strategy employed to achieve world-class supercar performance
In advance of the market launch of the highly anticipated next generation Acura NSX, the engineers leading the supercar’s development shared new technical details and design strategies with the automotive engineering community at the April 22nd SAE Detroit Section dinner, held in conjunction with the SAE 2015 World Congress and Exhibition. Additional information about the team’s efforts to achieve a true “New Sports Experience” included details of the NSX’s world’s first body construction process that helped create a multi-material space frame resulting in class-leading body rigidity, the advanced total airflow management system and an update on NSX’s power unit specifications.
Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX, introduced key powertrain, body and dynamic performance engineers who shared new product and technical details in their related areas of the development. The unprecedented sharing of technical details prior to the car’s market introduction reflects the desire of the NSX development team and the company to inspire the imagination of automotive and technology enthusiasts along with the next generation of engineers.
“Our goal is to create something altogether new and exciting, something that advances the concept of a next generation supercar in the spirit of the original NSX,” said Klaus. “In order to provide NSX-level value, we needed to push ourselves to experiment with, refine and then realize many new technologies.”
Significant technical revelations concerning the NSX included:
- The NSX includes Acura’s first use of a revolutionary multi-material space frame design that delivers class-leading body rigidity while remaining lightweight.
- World’s first automotive application of new ablation casting1 technology resulting in world-class body rigidity for ultimate handling and control.
- World’s first use of a three-dimensionally formed, ultra-high-strength steel A-pillar, supporting class-leading rigidity and crash performance while providing outstanding outward visibility.
- The NSX achieves top-in-class aerodynamics targets without the use of active aerodynamic elements, while its three-motor Sport Hybrid power unit is cooled through 10 heat exchangers all thanks to a total airflow management strategy that maximizes the flow of air around and through NSX.
- Displacement of the NSX’s all-new twin turbo V-6 engine was confirmed to be 3.5-liters.
- The NSX will mark the introduction of the most capable and highest torque capacity Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system in Acura history.
- The latest proprietary logic advances Acura’s two decades-long pursuit of Super Handling that proactively responds to driver inputs, allowing the NSX to achieve a new level of line trace while at the same time intelligently supporting the driver in changing environments.
Additional details on each of these engineering achievements follow:
Acura’s First Application of a Multi-Material Body with Space Frame Construction
Developing the Most Rigid-in-Class, Multi-Material Body
At the core of the NSX mission to deliver timeless sports car values is an aluminum-intensive, multi-material space frame. This innovative space frame represents a next-generation leap in body design with class-leading technology that is exclusive to Acura within the automotive market. Based on internal data, the all-new Acura NSX multi-material body is by far the most rigid in its competitive set.
While the all-aluminum monocoque body of the original NSX was ahead of its time, current aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel-intensive body architecture has been taken to the limit for supercar design.
“For this new NSX development, anything and everything that could offer incredible base rigidity and lightweight design was on the table,” said Shawn Tarr, principal engineer and Acura NSX body development leader. “We considered all-aluminum unibody, carbon fiber monocoque and space frame designs and ultimately engineered a multi-material space frame because it offers the lowest weight and best rigidity, precision and hybrid powertrain packaging capability of any design.”
A key advancement in casting technology allowed the NSX development team to realize a quantum leap in body design, for the first time being able to engineer a vehicle with castings in key locations for rigidity, that also support the ductility necessary for placement within crush zones.
World’s First Application of Ablation Casting
The Acura NSX heralds the world’s first application of ablation casting technology in the automotive industry. Ablation casting combines traditional casting methods with rapid cooling techniques to offer the design flexibility and rigidity of casting with the ductility and energy absorption characteristics of extruded material.
Traditional castings provide the ultimate rigidity in space frame and other body designs, but have traditionally suffered a major drawback: traditional castings are brittle. With the no-compromise performance goals of the NSX, a groundbreaking new casting method within the crush zones had to be used.
- The ablation process allows the ultra-rigid castings to be located within the crush zones and to function as large aluminum nodes, or junction points. Aluminum extrusions are then inserted into sockets in the ablation cast nodes, which act as fixtures that hold the space frame in place during welding.
- During the welding process, shorter stitch welds can be applied, enhancing the exceptional, repeatable precision of the NSX space frame construction by reducing heat deformation during the production process.
- Ablation castings also enable traditional aluminum castings to be used at strategic locations in the space frame and as the primary mounting points for suspension and power unit components, in addition to being the reference and temporary attachment points during the highly accurate space frame construction process.
- Full space frame construction and vehicle assembly are conducted on-site at the new Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, OH, providing a high level of quality control.
New A-Pillar Construction Technique
In addition to the world’s first casting technology, the NSX applies an all-new three-dimensionally formed ultra-high-strength steel A-pillar that provides next-generation rigidity and precise shape specification tolerances.
The previous generation NSX had a thin A-pillar that provided very good outward visibility. Reflecting this heritage with modern rigidity and roof crush performance requirements demanded this new, ultra-high-strength production method.
Advanced Materials Strategy
NSX represents an advanced expression of modern body design theory: the strategic integration of multiple materials to achieve optimal body performance for numerous targets, including rigidity, dynamic response, superior fit-and-finish and occupant protection.
- The aluminum-intensive space frame is complimented with precisely crafted ultra-high-strength steel and anchored with a carbon fiber floor together producing body performance at its peak.
- For the new NSX, the body design and technologies are about more than just raw performance – a goal of any supercar development. In keeping with the human-centered supercar concept, the NSX development team went further, to optimize how the car’s performance capabilities are experienced by the driver through the body.
- Drivers will experience all of the on-the-rails handling provided by the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit because it is communicated in high-fidelity through the most rigid body in its class.
Total Airflow Management
Engineering a Next Generation Thermal and Aerodynamic Package via Total Airflow Management
To meet the challenge of the ambitious performance targets, radical packaging design and exotic styling for the next generation Acura NSX, the development team had to totally re-imagine the thermal and aerodynamic engineering for this modern supercar so that maximum energy is extracted from the flow of air around and through the NSX with the highest efficiency.
This new total airflow management strategy supports component cooling, aerodynamic performance (drag and downforce) at a very high level without the use of active aero technology, while also contributing to even more dynamic styling.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used extensively during development to allow the U.S.-based development team to maximize the performance of a power unit being developed in Japan. CFD models were run on computers totaling many years’ worth of computational uptime.
Thermal CFD was effectively used in two ways during development: first, for the proof-of-concept in establishing heat management strategy at the earliest development stage and second, for continuous thermal performance improvement as the vehicle matured through development. Extensive involvement of thermal CFD with design engineers during the development enabled maximum design optimization.
Along with the use of advanced CFD, wind tunnel and real world testing, the development team also employed computerized lap-time simulation models of some of the world’s most legendary proving grounds that could then be run on chassis-dynamometers allowing testing and validation of computer models for thermal management.
- The all-new NSX employs 10 air-cooled heat exchangers responsible for cooling the front twin-motor unit (TMU), twin-turbo V6 engine, rear direct-drive electric motor and 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT).
- The all new, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine at the heart of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD power unit requires the greatest cooling and receives it through three radiators: one center and two side units to get maximum airflow volume and efficiency. The center radiator is tilted forward 25-degress, allowing the largest, optimized configuration that best utilizes the inherent pressure gradient while maintaining the strict low center of gravity targets of the NSX’s Advance Sports Package.
- Condenser and power drive unit (PDU) coolers are efficiently packaged in front of the center engine radiator.
- The TMU is cooled passively through strategic use of air in the front motor room and by a heat exchanger mounted in front of the right engine sub-radiator.
- The 9-speed DCT is cooled by two heat exchangers, one mounted in front of the left engine sub-radiator and the other in the engine compartment.
- Twin-intercoolers located in the signature side intakes are used to cool the intake air charge.
NSX achieves top-class aerodynamic balance and supercar aerodynamic downforce without the use of active aero. Aerodynamic drag is minimized, even while moving large airflows through NSX as it inhales and exhales. Aerodynamic downforce is created through the total airflow management focus on utilizing airflow through each vent, as NSX exhales, and through more traditional aerodynamic shape optimization.
NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, using ultra-detailed 40-percent-scale models that replicate all of the intake and exhaust vents, heat exchangers and major under-hood components. These highly accurate scale models replicate drag and lift performance with near perfect approximation. It has been verified and put through its paces at the company’s full-scale wind tunnel in Japan, and on real and simulated proving grounds throughout the world.
Total airflow management vents and precision ducting also help create strong, consistent downforce for NSX and were tuned to optimized forms with aerodynamicist and designer input during working wind tunnel sessions.
- Six vortices flow at the rear of the NSX including those that support creating the highest downforce across the rear deck lid.
- Flowing from below the car and exiting through meticulously optimized lower, rear diffuser fins is a critical vortex that further anchors NSX to the ground. Uniquely, the fins are not parallel to each other, but are narrower toward the front of the car and wider at the rear. This design creates low pressure and further maximizes downforce.
Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
A new handling paradigm decades in the making
The groundbreaking Sport Hybrid SH-AWD dynamic torque vectoring technology applied to this all-new NSX represents research and development that has been ongoing for well over two decades.
Next-generation torque vectoring
Acura has been continuously refining its advanced torque vectoring technology while in parallel developing new ways of accomplishing the timeless sports car values of lightweight, rigid chassis and potent powerplants. This all-new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD represents a system injected with more electric power, delivered more directly, managing more internal combustion power than any system Acura has engineered to date.
In keeping with the development team’s ‘human-centered supercar’ concept, the new NSX and its Sport Hybrid Super Handling drivetrain were truly engineered from the driver out. While the NSX provides a new sports experience with ‘on rails handling,’ its Super Handling technology was optimized to enhance the driving experience by responding instantaneously and intuitively to the will of the driver.
- Super Handling is brought to its pinnacle form in NSX where the strengths of electric motors –delivering zero delay acceleration – allows the NSX to offer dynamic torque vectoring even at low vehicle and engine speeds.
- Super Handling logic has progressed along a parallel path with hardware. While many advanced automotive technologies are focused on feedback, measurements of how the vehicle is reacting, NSX uniquely applies additional technology to focus on accurately responding to driver input through immediate, precise application of torque at each wheel at any moment.
- Using cutting edge computer-aided engineering (CAE) optimization software, engineers created a double-wishbone, double lower control arm front suspension that decouples the twin-motor unit (TMU) torque from the driver’s experience at the steering wheel, providing timeless sports car steering communication to the driver with a new experience of on rails handling provided by the precise torque vectoring of the TMU.
- Variable gear ratio steering is applied to further enhance the confident, race-ready driving dynamics of the all-new NSX.
Sport-Hybrid SH-AWD Power Unit
Powering the Sport Hybrid Power Unit with Racing Technologies
As announced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the new NSX will utilize an all-new power unit from a clean sheet design. At its heart is an all-new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 engine that is mated to an all-new, Acura-developed 9-speed DCT with an electric motor that applies its torque directly to the crankshaft for higher output with immediate power delivery to the rear wheels.
- The new engine has a displacement of 3.5-liters and utilizes pinnacle racing technology, applying both direct and port injection to its design.
- The 75-degree V-angle and dry sump design optimizes engine rigidity and further supports the NSX’s Advanced Sports Package by allowing the engine and components to be lowered in the chassis to the maximum extent, resulting in the lowest center of gravity in its class. This also supports the advanced packaging of other engine components.
- The engine’s dry sump design also helps maximize vehicle performance in high lateral-G conditions.
- The rear direct-drive electric motor applies its torque directly to the crankshaft.
- The 9-speed DCT’s main, counter, secondary and output shaft design maximizes the advanced sports package through a configuration that lowers weight and helps to center the mass nearer the driver.
The all-new Acura NSX represents the convergence of timeless sports car values and advanced technology in a pinnacle supercar. Timeless sports car values include classic goals like a rigid and light chassis with the mass placed low and close to the driver. Advanced technologies include those that enhance the driving experience in new ways.
To bring back the legendary NSX the global development team has innovated in the critical, timeless areas of frame and aerodynamics in addition to tirelessly refining its key advanced technology – the state-of-the-art hybrid power unit. The NSX has many innovative components, but the basic recipe is simple: timeless sports car values blended perfectly with advanced technologies that deliver a new sports experience.
Official release from Acura Media Newsroom:
Ready for Liftoff: 2016 Acura RDX Launching with More Performance, Luxury Appointments and Advanced Safety Technology than Ever Before
Apr 15, 2015- TORRANCE, Calif.
In a major commitment to advance what is already one of its most successful models, Acura is launching a more powerful, fuel efficient and luxuriously appointed 2016 RDX luxury SUV at dealerships nationwide tomorrow with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $35,270 – an increase of just $175 over the 2015 model, despite the additional performance, features and capability.
Coming off an all-time record sales year in 2014, the refreshed 5-passenger RDX now packs an even stronger punch in the compact luxury SUV class for 2016 with a more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, ride and handling refinements, an expanded list of available AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, restyled exterior and interior elements and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including standard Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights. A new line-topping Advance grade ties the improvements and new features together in one comprehensive package.
“The new RDX is another great example of how we are continuing to advance our Acura lineup with a focus on prestige, performance and dynamic proportion,” said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. “With the all-new TLX and upgraded MDX, RDX and ILX all getting a major injection of Acura DNA, we have one of the strongest Acura lineups in a decade.”
The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up to 279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of three of the engine’s six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway).1 Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX’s available all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance.
The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fascia, including the addition of Acura’s signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. All models also receive new wheel designs.
Inside, the new RDX gets a freshened look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger’s front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura’s intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI), Multi-view Rear Camera with dynamic guidelines and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.
A new line-topping Advance Package for the 2016 RDX features unique machined alloy wheels (18″ x 7.5″) with painted gray inserts and adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror and the full suite of AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages can be equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation prompts (when equipped with navigation).
While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Departure Warning, along with the Expanded View driver’s side mirror.
In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced crash safety design with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The RDX continues to be produced at the company’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Last year, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America were made in the company’s plants in Ohio and Alabama.