The same synthesized material found in fake diamonds is being used in the 2016 Acura NSX to reduce the need for multiple paint layers. Though the zirconium e-coat was developed for Formula One use, in the new hybrid Acura NSX, it adds some extra environmental credentials.
Paint is one of the many areas where automakers could do a lot to reduce the carbon footprint of cars and trucks, and to their credit, many are doing just that. The new Ford Transit line of vans uses a new two-wet paint process to reduce the amount of coloring and time needed to cure, while being more durable. The much-higher-end Acura NSX hybrid, however, will use a zirconium e-coat that reduces the number of paint levels. This technology came about as Honda granted engineers to cast a wider (and more expensive) net around the technologies needed to make this new hybrid supercar scoot, but in an environmentally responsible(ish) way.
In this video interview with Autoline, Honda Senior VP Jon Minto discusses at length why the NSX team did what they did, and what it means for buyers of this new age hybrid supercar.