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Archive for June, 2016


Another Step on Road to Self-driving Cars

With the creation of its second generation of automated test vehicles in California, Acura is well on the way to solving the technological problems that stand as a road block to self-driving cars. The modified Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is outfitted with a complete set of radar, cameras, GPS sensors and Lidar to go along with a powerful computer and heat handling equipment. The hardware is host to a new, intelligent software package that allows Acura engineers to solve more complicated testing problems. When you finally do pick up that self-driving car at Chapman Acura, it will partly be because of technology mastered and issues solved with this test vehicle.

Sensor Fusion Key to Autonomous Driving

Think about all the data you input into your brain on your daily drive. You not only have to know where you’re going and how to get there, but you also have to deal with a number of obstacles and issues, including traffic, pedestrians, stop lights, emergency vehicles and road obstructions. To design a vehicle that can automatically deal with all those issues and more is quite a task. That’s why the new development vehicle uses a system of overlapping information from various sensors, known as “sensor fusion.” By using multiple data points for the same information, engineers can increase the reliability that the data is valid. For example, if five sensors say a duck is walking across the road, chances are it’s a duck and not a steamroller. The sensor fusion technology is the same system used by the AcuraWatch driver assistance safety features, available on all 2016 vehicles.

Testing Accomplished in Realistic Environment

GoMentum Station is a 5,000-acre test site in northern California that has more than 20 miles of paved roads, including traffic grids, buildings and other points of interest and obstacles one would find in an urban environment. By testing the development vehicles in this life-like scenario, Acura is shooting for having its first automatic driving vehicle for sale at dealerships such as Chapman Acura by 2020. Self-driving vehicles are one way to reduce traffic congestion in urban areas along with cutting the number of collisions between vehicles. By talking to one another, self-driving cars will be able to weave through traffic seamlessly, keeping the parade of vehicles moving during rush hour.

Safety Features Test Autonomous Technology

The AcuraWatch suite of sensor-based driver assistance features are testing technology right now on our nation’s highways in development vehicles such as the Acura RLX. Adaptive cruise control maintains a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you, applying the brakes if necessary to avoid a collision. Road departure mitigation and collision mitigation braking similarly give you an audible warning, but then take over if you fail to react.

When looking at the Acura NSX, we can see that it is a powerful sports car that is at the top of its game. But, if you are thinking about a high-end sports car such as this one, you probably didn’t realize that Acura is working on an electric car, which will compete at Pikes Peak. This is pretty impressive considering the hill is not an easy climb for gas-powered cars.

If you are not a sports car buff, you may not know about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It is important as car manufacturers can show off the power of the most recent cars built. It is hosted every year in Colorado and has been since 1916. The track measures nearly 12.5 miles, and it features over 156 turns. The climb is an impressive 4,720 feet on grades averaging 7.2 percent. The race is truly a test of the driver and the car, and it features plenty of cars, trucks, quads and motorcycles. On average, the race has about 130 competitors, and it is growing in popularity every year. In 2012, electric cars joined the fray, and Acura is getting in on the action. If you want to check out a hybrid or any other Acura, you can at your local Chapman Acura.

Acura is going to show off two 2017 NSX hybrids to run up the peak. But, while hybrids are well-loved and have been for years, the great thing is that Acura is bringing a third NSX to the competition – an all-electric version. The electric vehicle is not an NSX per se, but it has a new NSX-inspired, purely electric 4-motor SH-AWD. This was first announced back in March, and it was announced that the EV will run in the Electric Modified Class.

While in the past it would have been easy to be a bit cynical about an electric car, especially in a race, things have changed, and quickly. In fact, when racing up the mountain, electric cars have an advantage as electric vehicles don’t lose power when the air thins out with the elevation. The prototype is based on a four-motor Honda CR-Z-based vehicle the company took up the mountain last year. The driver of the pure-electric car will Be Tetsuya Yamano, who won the Challenge Exhibition class in that vehicle.

Acura isn’t exactly revealing much in the way of specs for its latest sports car experiment. Acura has said that it will have four motors and the all-electric NSX will be more than three times powerful than last year’s CR-Z, which is quite impressive considering the jump in power. The company is not in the race just to show off and have fun; the motors were developed based on data it obtained from Pikes Peak 2015. With this information, Acura didn’t just make a bigger motor. No, the company changed the control torque applied to each wheel, which gives the car a huge advantage when taking on hairpin turn after hairpin turn on the way to the over 14,000 foot summit. To get your own car that can climb any summit, come on down to a Tucson Acura dealership and get behind the wheel of one. 








Acura makes some amazing cars, and one of the best sports cars on the planet is also created by Acura. The NSX, while not exactly affordable for everyone, is a truly amazing car that impresses anyone who gets behind the wheel of one. It is much more popular and loved than almost every other sports car, all while being more affordable than the rest of the high-end sports cars. With this in mind, Acura has spent a lot of money in research and development, and the Aerodynamics are something that Acura is constantly improving.

The 2017 Acura NSX is one of the top sports cars on the planet, and it has a solid engine, great design and impeccable interior. On top of that, the aerodynamics are something to get excited over. With solid aerodynamics, the car takes on twists and turns with ease, and drivers get the most out of this truly perfect sports car. In fact, when compared to other high-end sports car, it is easy to see that the Acura NSX is on top of the rest as it has a near 50-50 weight distribution. For this reason, if you are interested in a sports car, you should take one for a test drive at your local Chapman Acura. Or, if the NSX is out of your price range, you should take another Acura for a spin.

The Japanese automaker used a concept called “Total Airflow Management” on the 2017 Acura NSX. With wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics in the United States and Japan, the manufacturer was able to create maximum downforce, all while minimizing drag.

Outside of the industry, not many have heard of Thomas Ramsay, whose job is to improve the aerodynamics at Honda, which is the parent company of Acura. In fact, Thomas Ramsay is an aerodynamicist, and his sole purpose is to make cars more aerodynamic. Mr. Ramsay, along with his team, used computational fluid dynamic simulations. With the testing of 40 percent scale models at its wind tunnel facility in Ohio, the team was able to optimize the intricate body shapes.

There is no wasted space on the exterior of the NSX as it all serves a function. Whether you are looking at the intake grilles or the exhaust vents, you will see aerodynamics at work. With this setup, it creates a downforce, which maximizes cooling and dissipates unwanted heat. The development team, interestingly, discovered that when they generated three times as much downforce (at the rear relative to the front of the vehicle, it would offer the best performance in both day-to-day and high-performance driving. This gives the driver the best driving experience, all while not taking away from anything. This means that whether you want to drive this car to work or take it to the track, you will get the best experience, every time.

The Acura NSX is a great car, and it is only getting better with every release and every year. With the ever-improving aerodynamics, this sports car should get faster on the track and easier to drive on the freeway or highway.

From left, Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group, takes delivery of 2017 Acura NSX, VIN 001, from Acura NSX Engineering Large Project Leader Clement D'Souza.

Number 001 Earns $1.2 Million for Charity

When Rick Hendrick bid $1.2 million to take delivery of the first Acura NSX Supercar off the line at Ohio’s Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC), the real winners were two children’s charity. The $1.2 million bid goes to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground, a place where children can overcome social, emotional and academic difficulties. “Today marks the realization of a big dream here at the PMC and the culmination of more than 30 years of manufacturing experience and expertise here in Ohio,” according to NSX project manager Clement D’Souza. “Our world class team of expert technicians, through their passion has realized major innovations in the design and manufacturing of a next-generation Acura supercar that truly delivers incredible precision crafted performance.” Check in with Chapman Acura to see when the first NSX will hit the showroom floor.

PMC Built to Combine Craftsmanship and Technology

The NSX is only going to be built at the PMC, taking advantage of a manufacturing plant design that blends the finest human craftsmanship with the most modern technology. PMC engineers and technicians have worked tirelessly to create new ways of manufacturing a vehicle that will produce one of the finest supercars to ever hit the road. While many of the methods require a deft craftsman’s touch, the assembly line is also stacked with robotic technology that performs different tasks in the final construction of the vehicle. Drawing from Acura’s extensive race experience, the NSX goes through a stringent performance testing evaluation before being released for sale.

Hendrick Motorsports Creates Special Moment

Although the Acura NSX starts at only $156,000, Hendrick said he was happy to be a part of such a significant event and write a check for more than $1 million. “Taking delivery of this first new Acura supercar and knowing the proceeds will benefit two remarkable organizations for children makes this a very special moment for me and everyone on our team,” the owner of Hendrick Motorsports said. “It’s especially rewarding to see this incredible supercar coming to life in the United States, which is a real testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and manufacturing here.”

NSX Breaks the Mold on Sports Cars

From its hand-assembled gas engine to the hybrid super handling all-wheel drive powertrain, the NSX is breaking the mold on sports car technology. With a cockpit built for racing and comfort, modern aerodynamics and a selection of driving modes depending on your mood and road conditions, the NSX is the next big thing on the road. See it and take a test drive at Chapman Acura.

We are creeping faster and faster towards a driverless future, and companies such as Google, among with trucking companies, are getting involved. What seemed like a dream even 20 years ago is becoming a reality. Major brands are now in the fray, and it is only a matter of time before we see every car on the road without a driver. Acura, like many other major players in the industry, is on top of things, and it has just introduced a sleeker self-driving test car.

Recently, Acura introduced its second generation Automated Acura RLX Development vehicle. This is an updated version with improved sensors and a more pleasing aesthetic, which is missing from plenty of autonomous vehicles. In the past, there was the bulky LIDAR system, which has now been replaced with a more compact and robust version of the light detection and ranging tech. It also enjoys an updated RADAR, GPS, camera, GPUs and CPUs. In addition, Acura is claiming that is has a more intelligent software and algorithm, which will support more complex testing scenarios, which will make any autonomous vehicles in the future that much more reliable and efficient. While there is nothing available now, Acura has a lot of great cars available, and you should test drive one at Chapman Acura.

This isn’t something that has happened overnight. No, in fact, Acura, and its parent company Honda, have been working on self-driving cars for some time in its GoMentum Station in the Bay Area. The company has been at in since last year, starting with a specially outfitted RLX. The company has not been too forthcoming as works in progress often take a while to develop. While true, Acura is not going to let others pass it by, and it is obvious that big things are coming for driverless vehicles.

Currently, most manufacturers have plans to make an autonomous vehicle, and there are plenty of prototypes and cars available to check out. However, what sets Acura above the others is that the company makes comfortable, luxurious and aesthetically-pleasing cars, which should make any potential buyer smile as it is not that fun to have an ugly, boxy and bulky car. Not only that, as times change and technologies improve, you can bet that Acura will be on top of things as the company has allays been one that tests the limits and make better vehicles for its drivers.

While there is a lot to get excited about, you can’t run out and buy one of these vehicles. In fact, it may be another few years, or up to a decade, until you can get a self-driving car. Only a couple of states allow them, and this is generally for testing purposes. As times change, it should be easier to get one, and that time may come sooner rather than later as trucking companies and even Google are in the mix.

If you love Acura, you are sure to love just about any of its offerings. And, while you may not be able to get a self-driving car, you should have no trouble finding a luxurious and fun to drive model that you will love to the fullest.