2003 Acura NSX -- Body

A rigid structure is of paramount importance in a performance car. High rigidity provides a stable platform for proper suspension geometry and alignment, and it makes possible a tight, rattle-free interior. A lightweight structure greatly enhances the car's power-to-weight ratio. As a rule, a very light car can achieve high performance levels with less horsepower. After an intensive research effort, it was determined that the most efficient way to meet the rigidity and weight targets for the NSX was to build the body exclusively of aluminum.

Using a Cray supercomputer, the engineers performed millions of Finite Element Modeling (FEM) and stress analysis calculations. The result of this research and development effort is a unit body structure that weighs approximately 462 lb (210 kg) with doors, hood and deck lids installed - about 40 percent less than a steel unit, but with the same rigidity and impact protection. The NSX structure is significantly stiffer than most of its competitors.

Key body parts are made with 6000 series aluminum alloy that is up to 50 percent stronger than other similar alloys, thus requiring less material to perform effectively. The doors, fenders, front and rear deck lids, and other key parts of the NSX are made from this material. For example, by using this high-strength alloy, thinner door skin material netted a 4.9 lb (2.2 kg) weight reduction without any sacrifice in strength.

All NSXs feature a removable aluminum roof panel that can be easily stowed under the rear glass hatch as standard equipment.

To maintain high rigidity, extensive reinforcement measures are employed throughout the body. These reinforcements include a side sill aluminum-extrusion design with thick wall sections. Other reinforced areas include the base of the B-pillar where it joins the rocker panel, a larger rear bulkhead crossbar and a thick trunk leading-edge panel. In addition, generous wall sections can be found in a reinforcement web in the rear floor cross member, and there's a strengthening rib in the center rear bulkhead section, a redesigned and thicker walled rear roof-rail section. Robust A-pillars and front and rear roof rails also contribute to body rigidity.

To attain a structure of high rigidity, complex aluminum extrusions were used for the crucial side sills of the unit body. These extrusions, with their carefully braced internal structure contribute to the extremely high torsional stiffness of the NSX.

To help maximize occupant protection, the front frame rails of the unit body are designed with large-radius curves where they meet the passenger cabin. This design helps to dissipate energy in the event of a collision, spreading out impact loads and diverting them under the passenger cell.

The NSX features projector-type Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) low beam headlights. Three times as efficient as conventional halogen lamps, the Acura HID system uses less energy, with more than double the bulb life. Luminosity increases by 132 percent over halogen lights. The increased beam width eliminates the need for separate fog lights. The NSX's high beams use conventional halogen bulbs and operate in conjunction with the HID lights.

The 2003 NSX comes in the following body colors, Long Beach Blue Pearl, New Ioma Orange Pearl, Grand Prix White, New Formula Red, Spa Yellow Pearl, Silverstone Metallic, and Berlina Black. Each of these colors can be matched to a corresponding interior color for a personalized look or ordered with a conventional tan or black leather interior.

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