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Turbo lag and EV

8 March 2016
SF Bay Area
I thought I would post a note (essay?) on initial impressions of the Gen 2 NSX on the topic of Turbo lag and whether the NSX eliminates it.Context: I love EV cars. The instant and full availability of torque from low / moderate speeds make them a joy to drive around town. I have a BMW i3 that gets more miles than my >500HP cars for short trips because is is legitimately fun to drive. In an EV car, you don't need to "plan" to go fast, you just use your right foot to request a given level of torque and, boom, it's there. No delay, no drama, no head turning noises. Just fun. Although the i3 runs out of real oomph around 45 MPH, cars like the "P" Teslas deliver it all they way up to freeway speeds (but, it's important to note, not much beyond that before their acceleration also falls off).Anyway, my dream for the NSX was to have that same experience. It doesn't quite deliver, but that's OK. The EV motors simply don't have enough power to deliver satisfying thrust by themselves. They are great for low/medium power requirements but, by themselves, cannot generate grins.How does this relate to Turbo Lag? Well, since the electrics themselves can't make you smile, you need to wait for the ICE to join the party. This involves three stages (from cruising along in "D"): (i) downshift (do front wheels pull while ICE is downshifting? I'm not sure, but it's not dramatic if they do), (ii) EV-Torque fill (seems to help, but I'm not smiling yet) and (iii) Turbos spool and all power plants are online and at peak output. Cruise along on freeway in Sport (or Sport+) and mash the throttle and you can count off these steps. It is NOT instant insane torque like a Tesla. It DOES *start* accelerating strongly sooner than a conventional turbo, but weirdly that masked some of the subjective sense of power.Here's what I mean. In a conventional turbo, you mash the throttle and wait for the power. Modern turbos spool quickly, but there is still very much a delay between WOT and "holy sh*t" acceleration form turbo surge. And, because of the relatively abrupt increase in power, it subjectively feels faster overall. I think it's the G-differntial (I think called "jerk," technically) that make you smile, not just the peak-Gs themselves. And the NSX, being smoother in its power delivery, doesn't kick you in the pants as much as a conventional turbo. Likewise, it doesn't give the instant full TQ of a performance BEV like a Tesla. But wait. There's a fix. Once you are in the right gear, with the revs above 4K, the car is VERY responsive and feels more like a NA car in the power band. In that situation (at least in Sport+ and Track), there is no sense of delay while power builds. The power is on tap all the time and from all sources. Advice: paddle shift if you are in "fun" mode on the street (keeping revs above 4K), and use Track mode on the Track (you can stay in "D" on the track while you get used to the car, it will keep you in the right gear all the time).So, in summary, I still dream of a performance hybrid car that can silently squirt around town like my i3 and go from cruising lazily at 60MPH to full power instantly like a Tesla. The NSX is not that. But, the electrics go a long way toward smoothing out power delivery and providing a much better overall driving experience on road and on track.
Chris....Does the NSX have an "over boost" function (like the TT/TTS) which offers increased torque by increasing maximum
charge pressure by around 0.15 bar for up to 20 seconds in the mid speed range? .

This feature enhances acceleration for passing etc....it works!
Chris....Does the NSX have an "over boost" function (like the TT/TTS) which offers increased torque by increasing maximum charge pressure by around 0.15 bar for up to 20 seconds in the mid speed range?
Unclear, I guess. There is no boost gauge in the NSX (although Harry's lap timer pulls in off OBD port-- so might be fun to log it). In Track mode, the car is very eager use the EV boost. In a sense this might be like "over boost" in the sense of a temporary boost in power--- but I was on a short track so never experienced any power fall off. Perhaps that happens on longer straights. I have "Sport Chrono" package with overboost on my 997 TT, so know what you mean. I have always considered that to be a marketing tactic / way to increase $$$ from options-- I mean who *doesn't* tick that option (or get a TTS)??? Also, in Sport Mode, the overboost automatically comes on with WOT, so it's not like you can really control it-- it just increases peak power a bit. Maybe its different in the 991.
Interesting review on the power. I was pretty curious how it felt. I'm a little disappointed. I guess I was hoping for a Tesla model p90d experience when you mash then throttle. That probably wasn't realistic.
I was hoping for a Tesla model p90d experience when you mash then throttle.
Only if you're ready. Sport+ or Track mode, in 3rd gear and I think you'd take a P90D from a 60MPH roll, but if you were loping around in Quiet mode and mashed the throttle when you saw him hit it, he would walk away briskly for a second or so (many car lengths).
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i rode in my friends P90D ludacris the other day. from a stop, jeebus.the nsx is far from that dramatic, although the tesla makes zero noise, the G's alone create drama. the NSX is almost too smooth, lacking some emotion.
...The NSX is almost too smooth, lacking some emotion.
On initial impression, for sure. Which is critical because that is what is reported by reviewers and experienced on test drives. But, very quickly, that smoothness and composure translates into confidence for the driver. At least that is my experience. Maybe my confidence will soon expose me to scary oversteer as reported by Randy Pobst. We shall see.Also, in terms of Tesla, I expected the dramatic difference in torque from a dig, but was hoping the NSX would narrow the gap in terms of stomping throttle in lazy highway driving. Instead, the responsiveness has more to do with gear and mode selection versus Tesla's "infinite power on tap at any time."