Far from being a passing fad, electric cars are a definite market segment with an expanding mix of vehicle types. While still emerging, the electric sports cars category is already rife with some thoroughly exciting automobiles from some of the most respected manufacturers of performance cars in the business. This includes the likes of Acura, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche. With the cessation of production of the Tesla Roadster and the Mercedes-AMG SLS Electric Drive, currently there are no pure electric sports cars offered. However, electricity still plays a highly significant role in making contemporary sports cars quicker and more fuel efficient with gasoline/electric hybrid powertrains. Indeed, some of the most interesting sports cars introduced in the last few years have combined electric motors with traditional gasoline engines for propulsion. But don’t count pure electric sports cars out. Audi’s upcoming R8 e-tron electric sports car promises to quite exciting too.
If it follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the new Acura NSX will be right on the edge of affordability while delivering all of the presence and driving exuberance of exotics costing hundreds of thousands more. Acura is promising power output “north” of 550 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a price starting in the mid $150,000 range. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 with direct fuel injection and twin turbochargers teamed with three electric motors and a nine-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The V6 alone should be good for close to 500 horsepower. One of the electric motors is mounted between the engine and the transmission, while the other two drive each of the front wheels independently. As with the original, significant weight savings will be achieved through the use of aluminum; a fiberglass like composite will be employed as well in certain areas. Pricing has yet to be announced.