The NSX's multi-material body design concept extends throughout the entire body construction. By employing sheet molding composite (SMC), aluminum stampings and high temperature-resistant plastic in key locations of the body, the NSX design team takes advantage of each material's unique characteristics to create exterior body panels of the highest finish quality while also minimizing vehicle mass, optimizing weight distribution and center of gravity, and helping to ensure outstanding longevity and durability.
Used extensively in the construction of high-end exotic cars in key exterior componentry, SMC is a high-grade specialty glass-fiber reinforced polyester, its shape formed while heated under pressure within a compression molding. By utilizing special resins as well as high-strength fiber composite matting, NSX exterior design engineers have developed SMC material for specific applications on the vehicle's exterior.
Specially engineered SMC material is used in the fender sections at all four corners. Designed to possess high structural rigidity, this unique SMC paneling makes an important contribution to optimizing the NSX's overall center of mass by minimizing weight at all four corners. The rear trunk skin is also made of lightweight SMC, with structural support provided by a stamped aluminum inner frame structure.
A special, high temperature-resistant plastic is used in the small body panel sections just below the floating C-pillars (forward of the rear fenders) due to the body panels' close proximity to the turbo intercoolers.
A rigid, structural SMC material has been developed for the NSX's trunk internal structure. This highly rigid construction allows the trunk structure to serve as a mounting point for the rear fenders and rear bumper for a sturdy and precise fit. An added benefit of the trunk compartment design is that it allows for easy removal when the vehicle is brought into an Acura dealer for service; after removing the rear fascia, the entire trunk structure can be removed for easy access to the engine room. This design also simplifies replacement of the rear section should the NSX be involved in a rear-end collision.
The NSX door skins are made of sheet hydroformed aluminum. Sheet hydroforming is the ideal means to shape the one-piece aluminum panels that make up each door, as the process supports the construction of complex shapes that cannot be formed by conventional stamping techniques. Moreover, the aluminum door skins can be relatively thin and light as they are naturally supported by the inner door structure.
The hood, roof panel and the engine compartment/trunk frame are composed of high-grade stamped aluminum. A carbon fiber roof panel is optional. Like the other composite materials utilized in the exterior, the use of aluminum in these areas offers light weight with excellent structural rigidity and surface quality.