(from Acura Press Release, New York 03/28/2002) -- Acura debuted its
newest concept vehicle today, the DN-X sports sedan, at the New York
International Auto Show. Infused with the latest technology, the DN-X
puts an exclamation point on the term sports sedan by combining the
style, handling and exhilarating performance of a high-powered sports
car with the roominess and functionality of a luxury sedan.
"Don't let the four doors fool you, the
DN-X concept is all sports car," said Tom Elliott, executive vice
president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Looking into the future,
our designers created the perfect solution for those that want a sports
car but also need to carry passengers."
The company's racing heritage and
legendary engine technology is evident in the DN-X. The mid-engine,
all-wheel-drive DN-X concept is equipped with a unique 400 horsepower
hybrid powertrain that combines a high-output, 3.5-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC
V-6 engine powering the rear wheels and an advanced electric Integrated
Motor Assist (IMA) system that provides additional power to all four
wheels. Not only does this system provide outstanding performance, but
also achieves an environmentally conscious 42 miles to the gallon.
During acceleration, the IMA system
contributes supplemental torque, resulting in both lower fuel
consumption and powerful acceleration. The IMA's ultracapacitor is
recharged by regenerative braking that takes energy from forward
momentum and captures it during braking. This system makes an external
electric power supply unnecessary.
Mated to this high output powerplant is a
unique 6-speed transmission allowing the driver to chose either manual
or automatic mode at his or her discretion. When placed in manual mode,
the DN-X operates as a clutchless, 6-speed manual transmission similar
to those found in Formula One race cars. Shifting gears is accomplished
using controls located on the steering wheel. Or, if desired, the DN-X
can be driven as an automatic by selecting "D" on the center console.
Also unique to the DN-X are new
drive-by-wire systems that control throttle, brake and steering
operations and eliminate the need for a mechanical connection between
the cockpit and these components. Steer-by-wire utilizes two actuators
in the car's front corners that receive input from the control module
and turn the front wheels accordingly. Likewise, the electro-mechanical
(EMB) brake-by-wire system, replaces the hydraulic system with
electronic controls and actuators.
To further enhance its performance, the
DN-X is equipped with a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system similar to
other Acura models, as well as the Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS).
Synchronized to work together, VSA and ATTS help to suppress wheel slip
and provide smoother, more stable cornering.
Designed as a true sports car, the DN-X
has been given a highly rigid, lightweight state-of-the-art chassis
tuned to provide the ultimate in handling and maximum aerodynamic
efficiency. A wind tunnel-designed monocoque body and highly effective
integrated front spoiler help to improve handling by lowering the
coefficient of drag to a mere 0.23, nearly 25 percent less than the
exotic Acura NSX sports car. Fully independent front and rear double
wishbone suspension, large ventilated disc brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels
in front and 19-inch alloy wheels in the rear compliment the DN-X's
The DN-X is equipped with a host of
technological innovations. Among them is the Intelligent Driver Support
system (IDS) which is comprised of Lane Keeping Assistance and Adaptive
Lane Keeping Assistance uses CCD cameras
to recognize when the DN-X is veering out of its lane. On a highway,
these cameras detect the lane markings and, if the car veers out of its
lane, an audible and visual warning occurs and the steering
automatically re-centers the car in its lane.
The Adaptive Cruise Control system uses
sensors to keep the DN-X a safe distance from the car in front of it by
controlling the accelerator and brake as needed. Laser radar tracks the
speed and distance of the vehicle in front and maintains the DN-X's
Another component of the DN-X's high-tech
wizardry is the Night Vision System. Night Vision uses infrared cameras
to enhance visibility and safety at night. When an object is detected,
the system provides an audible warning and shows a highlighted infrared
image on the center display.
Active Headlights further aid visibility
by adjusting the angle of its beams to match the speed and direction in
which the vehicle is traveling. During straight-line driving, the
headlights perform like conventional systems by illuminating the road
directly in front of the vehicle. When entering a curve, the upper
portion of the headlights respond to steering direction and mapping
information provided by the GPS navigation system to illuminate the
entire road surface throughout the corner, thus minimizing blind spots.
The DN-X concept's technical advances
extend to the passenger cabin as well. The instrument panel of the DN-X,
featuring interactive voice-recognition, is divided into three,
easy-to-read units. A pop-up display in the center console provides
access to e-mail, Internet and cellular telephone service. The LCD
screen also shows navigation information from the Acura Satellite-Linked
Housed in the center display, located
just below the windshield to minimize driver distraction, is a
navigation section that indicates upcoming turns as well as the presence
of objects in the roadway detected by the vehicle's Night Vision System.
The third unit is comprised of a
three-dimensional meter located in the dashboard that displays the
speedometer, tachometer and odometer. In addition, alerts from the IDS
system, notification of incoming phone calls and e-mails, as well as
other basic driving status information are also displayed on this meter.