1998 Acura NSX -- Interior
CONCEPT AND GOALS
The objective was to create an interior that was the sports car equivalent of a jet fighter pilot's helmet. The key elements of this concept were unlimited visibility, a feeling of snugness or intimacy with the interior of the vehicle, and the sense that the cockpit and driver were out in the airstream rather than enclosed and isolated from the environment. To achieve this feeling, the seating space for the driver and passenger was designed to fit snugly at the hips and flow outward and upward to provide ample space for the head and shoulders.
SEATING POSITION AND VISIBILITY
A low seating position contributes to a low center of gravity and helps to reduce the frontal area for improved aerodynamics. Ordinarily, a low hip-point would impart to the driver the feeling of being buried in the interior and create a claustrophobic feeling. To avoid this, the body engineers created a very low cowl section which allowed them to lower the height of the dash and instrument panel. The low cowl also enhances forward visibility.
INSTRUMENTATION AND CONTROLS
In designing the instrument panel, the approach was one of simplicity. Since the primary function of the instruments is to relay information as clearly and quickly as possible, the designers opted for a traditional analog execution. The instrument faces are round with white numerals on a black background. The instrument panel is dominated by the tachometer on the left and the speedometer on the right. To the left of the tach are the smaller water temperature and oil pressure gauges. To the right of the speedometer are the fuel gauge and voltmeter.
All the major controls are clustered around the steering wheel column to make them easy to reach.
Additional features unique to the NSX-T include a dash light alerting the driver in the event the roof panel isn't fully latched and a locking mechanism for the roof panel storage compartment.
NSX-T WIND PROTECTION
The windshield header of the NSX-T has a special aerodynamic design that directs the airstream up and over the passenger compartment to minimize wind buffeting at speed. It's also equipped with smaller sun visors to enhance visibility.
The NSX also uses special, highly efficient heat-absorbing green glass to help keep the effects of solar loading on interior temperatures at a minimum in hot weather.
DUAL AIR BAG SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS) WITH AUTOMATIC
SEAT BELT TENSIONERS
The NSX is equipped with driver's and passenger's Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags which are intended to supplement the seat belts. In conjunction with these, the NSX features automatic seat belt tensioners which use the same impact sensors as the air bags. The belt tensioners are activated simultaneously with the air bags, causing each belt to retract to help restrain the occupants in the event of a severe frontal collision.
Leather was a natural choice for the seat trim material; it is hand-stitched and hand-fitted to ensure quality craftsmanship and durability. The seat facings, door inserts, steering wheel and shift knob are covered with leather.
AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
A compact Climate Control System has been developed specifically for the NSX. This is a fully automatic system, but the automatic function can be overridden and the system can be used in a fully manual mode. The system uses the environmentally friendlier R134A refrigerant.
ACURA/BOSE® MUSIC SYSTEM
Bose® engineers became involved with the NSX sound system at an early stage of interior design. This 4-speaker system was designed and calibrated specifically for the unique acoustics and resonances of the NSX interior and provides the highest quality imaging and spatial dynamics for both the driver and the passenger.
The Acura/Bose® Music System speakers are precisely aimed so that the pressure wave of the speaker closest to each occupant does not overpower the pressure wave from the speaker which is farthest away. This produces a balanced sound from each speaker and the net result is true stereo performance.
The AM/FM stereo/cassette features Dolby® Noise Reduction and an FM diversity antenna system. The auto preset function will automatically lock on eight strong AM and eight strong FM stations and store them into the preset selector buttons. An optional CD changer is available.
A sophisticated alarm system is standard equipment on the NSX. If an unauthorized attempt is made to enter or start the NSX, the horn sounds, the flashers are activated and the starter system is disabled. The system automatically arms 15 seconds after the doors are locked and is disarmed when a door is unlocked with the key. The system will operate even with the removable roof panel off the car.
A special, electronically coded key prevents the car from being started, even if a mechanical duplicate of the proper key shape is used. A transponder, built into the key, signals the immobilizer control unit that the key is genuine. If the car is hot-wired, or an unauthorized key is used, it simply will not start. This system is a substantial deterrent to theft. In New Jersey, for example, insurance premiums have been reduced as much as 15% when such a system is used.
The central goal behind the design of the unique NSX assembly plant in Tochigi, Japan, is to produce the highest-quality automotive product in the world.
This plant has no automated conveyor line. Rather, each car is mounted on a dolly and pushed by hand from one workstation to the next. Each team of workers is responsible for the quality of work performed at their station. The car is not passed on to the next area until the team is satisfied that their procedures have achieved the tolerances and goals required in the specifications. Each assembly station, in effect, also functions as an inspection station.
Engine assembly is also done in a unique way to ensure the highest level of assembly quality. Contrary to typical mass production procedures, each NSX engine is assembled by an individual, highly skilled technician from start to finish. This process keeps tolerances to levels that would not be possible in a mass assembly procedure and helps assure reliability and durability.
The NSX is painted in a 23-step paint process, including an aircraft-type chromate coating designed for use with aluminum. A waterborne paint for the base coat was developed to achieve a clearer, more vivid color and a smoother surface finish.