Yes, Virginia – it’s official. As we reported earlier this morning, Acura is in fact working on a successor to the vaunted NSX sports car, and a concept will be unveiled at the 2012 Detroit auto show come January.
You can find more details on the car – along with a handful of Acura’s other forthcoming model introductions – in our look at Acura’s future product launches. Still, we can’t help but notice this announcement is but the latest chapter in a saga that stretches back quite some time. Here are a few of the major plot turns in the never-ending story that is the next-gen NSX.
2000: The dawn of the new millennium also marks the tenth anniversary of the NSX launching in Japan. Aside from the introduction of a larger V-6, a targa-top variant, and a few minor trim changes, the car differed little from the original batch produced ten years prior.
2001: The Dualnote concept doesn’t bear much of a resemblance to the existing NSX, but its powertrain — which uses a mid-mounted V-6 to drive the rear wheels, and electric motors to power the front – would influence the NSX project much later on.
2002: Still no word on a new NSX design, though the base car receives a mild facelift to replace pop-up headlamps with fixed lamp assemblies.
2003: Honda shows the HSC – which literally stands for Honda Sports Concept – at the Tokyo Motor Show this year.
2005: After 15 years, NSX production ends. The last car is reportedly sold and delivered in 2006.
2007: Acura unveils the Advanced Sports Car Concept in January at the Detroit auto show, but the car is wildly different from any previous NSX. A V-10 powerplant is placed ahead of the passenger compartment, and is mated to an all-wheel-drive system. Honda officials confirm later in the year a NSX replacement will be based off this configuration.
2008: A shaky global economy forces Honda to cancel the development of the front-engine NSX project. Engineers recycle the spurned project to create the HSV-010 GT racer for the Japanese Super GT race series.
2011: After rumors of such a project emerged in late 2010, Honda Motor Company CEO Takanobu Ito confirms the company is working on a mid-engine sports car to succeed the NSX. Ito says the car will be “environmentally friendly,” lending credence to rumors of a hybrid sports car.
2012: The new NSX concept will make its official debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
2015: Officials expect the new NSX to enter production by 2015 if all goes according to plan. If so, that timeline means it will be the first NSX to be built for public consumption in about ten years.