Acura's DN-X concept sedan is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that produces 400 hp yet gets 42 mpg.
"You will see some of these technologies on Acura models in the not-too-distant future," said Acura boss Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., based in Torrance, Calif.
"That is, you will see the basic concept, which is a gas-electric hybrid that is used not just for economy but for performance and all-wheel drive," Elliott said at the New York auto show. He declined to be more specific about timing.
The conventional engine in the DN-X is a 300-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, which drives the rear wheels. The car also has electric motors, which drive the front wheels, and a so-called Active Torque Transfer System, to proportion torque to each wheel, to prevent slipping.
The V-6 has Honda's i-VTEC technology, which controls the valves electronically to boost low-end power, yet minimize gasoline consumption. The company has said it will apply the i-VTEC system to all of its four-cylinder engines by 2005. The DN-X hints that the same technology also will be applied to six-cylinder engines.
The conventional engine powers the car when cruising. The electric motors kick in during acceleration.
Some styling cues from the DN-X could appear on other cars, but the styling of the DN-X is not meant to hint directly at future models, such as a possible replacement for the NSX, Elliott said. "The attractiveness of some of these (DN-X) attributes is not limited to a sports car," he said. "If you look at the concept, it's a four-door."