Honda presents the “Total Airflow Management” of the NSX

There are great expectations towards the future Newey-Reichman Aston Martin hypercar not only about the way it will look, but also about the aerodynamic solutions Adrian Newey can give it. But the fact is that most supercars rely heavily on this factor, maybe even more than in their engines, to perform as they should. And Honda has given Thomas Ramsay, the Aerodynamics and Cooling Project Leader on the second generation NSX, the mission to explain how it works on the new supercar.

‘TOTAL AIRFLOW MANAGEMENT’ CONCEPT

The airflow is required not only in preventing the car from flying in high speeds, but also to cool things up. In the first part, Honda engineers have decided that the rear needed 3 times more downforce than the front in order for the NSX to behave as desired. The effects Honda wanted to give the car were achieved with no active aerodynamic components. And this is basically due to reliability and to cost. Mostly to cost.

The idea is making the air enter the front fender and follow specific paths around the body. Vents strategically positioned help reduce turbulence around the front wheels and also direct the air to the second task of airflow: cooling. The NSX is 4.47 m long, 1.94 m wide, 1.22 m high and  has a wheelbase of 2.63 m. It reaches a top output of 427 kW and a total torque of 645 Nm, with 373 kW from its 3.5 V6 alone. With all that power and a lot of weight (1,725 kg), this is also a key factor in the supercar performance.

‘TOTAL AIRFLOW MANAGEMENT’ CONCEPT

The image above shows the cooling elements of the NSX. You can try to count them. We have and we could see 5, but Honda says the supercar has 10 “heat exchangers” for the 7 heat sources of the car: the V6, the transmission, a 9-speed automated dual clutch gearbox, the Power Distribution Unit, 2 turbochargers and the 2 electric engines. The brakes also need cooling, but Honda has not described any special feature in order to lower their temperatures.

‘TOTAL AIRFLOW MANAGEMENT’ CONCEPT

The first second generation NSX has rolled off the production lines in Marysville, Ohio, last May 24. The first reviews of the car have criticized it for being relatively numb. Especially when compared to the first generation. Let’s hope that feeling has been improved for the production version of the car.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.