Honda NSX brings 'Hummingbird' to life - VIDEO

By CARSIFU | 11 October 2016

NSX_Interior_2 (1)

LOS ANGELES: Here's a much more sophisticate art than the one produced by the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Honda has combined its NSX hybrid supercar with advanced GPS visualisation equipment to recreate one of the world's most famous geoglyphs – huge artworks that can be viewed in full only from high altitude.

The amazing "NSX Driving Drawing" – depicting the "Hummingbird" geoglyph in the Nazca Desert in Peru – has been documented in an online video.

The Nazca Lines geoglyphs in Peru, created between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are formed from shallow trenches, where the top layer of dark pebbles has been removed to expose a lighter-coloured layer of earth below. Over time, the exposed earth develops a protective layer that shields the drawn lines, preventing distortion or erosion.

While the original "Hummingbird" is 93 metres long, Honda "supersized" the earthwork, with a final design more than 10 times the size, measuring 965 metres end to end. A high-resolution image of the Nazca Lines was used to trace and digitise the Hummingbird, producing a set of GPS co-ordinates accurate to within three metres.

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The intricate design incorporates more than 30 hairpin turns, so the Honda NSX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) technology was crucial to achieving the precision cornering required to recreate the earthwork. The two electric motors driving the front axle meant the NSX could execute exceptionally tight turns, slowing the inner wheel in sharp corners, while increasing the drive on the outer wheel to accelerate through the hairpin.

Recreating the geoglyph required a huge effort from a joint Japan-US Honda team, using high-accuracy GPS mapping and tracking, as well as a head-mounted display to enable the NSX driver to follow the design precisely. While the car sped along the planned route, its GPS signal was tracked and displayed on a monitor in real time, revealing the giant 601,195 square-metre artwork to the team back at the staging site.


The feat took place on the El Mirage salt flats in California, which became an expansive white canvas for the day, with high-tech drones and camera cranes on hand to capture the event on video.

The NSX gets power from a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged V6 engine, paired with a nine-speed dual clutch transmission and direct drive motor that supplements the engine. Allied to this set up is the front Twin Motor Unit (TMU), with two electric motors capable of independently driving the left and right front wheels.

This powertrain is coupled to Honda’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, a first-of-its-kind technology in the supercar arena.