It's an important question to ponder.
Just a few days ago, we posted a video and a few spy shots showing an advanced prototype of the new Acura/Honda NSX performing some hot laps around the Nurburgring. Then, for some unknown reason, it caught on fire. There’s still no answer as to why that happened. Acura isn't talking. But before the flames set in, we couldn’t help but notice something about the NSX prototype from the spy video: it sounded like, well, nothing.
Not EV nothing, but there certainly wasn’t a high-performance supercar engine note on par with the likes of the Audi R8 or even the Ferrari 458, two mid-engined exotic rivals. Now, a couple of things to bear in mind here: 1.) the NSX is a hybrid while the aforementioned two are straight-up naturally aspirated V8s (or an optional V10 in the case of the R8). And 2.) this now destroyed NSX prototype was just that – a prototype. Its engineering development team still has some time (not much) to improve that exhaust note before production commences. But this issue made us wonder about a potentially bigger problem: Will future supercars lack an emotional engine and exhaust sound?
With the turbocharging and hybrid era upon us, will supercar companies still manage to give their creations emotional noise? Ferrari’s new turbocharged California T does sound pretty good, as does the LaFerrari. Could the Prancing Horse be the odd exception? Can a V6 engine paired to an electric motor, as in the case of the new NSX, be technically capable of producing a proper supercar sound? These are valid questions that don’t have clear answers just yet. We just hope that automakers, in this case Honda, remember that supercars are compromised of many defining elements. A fantastic engine note is one of them.