After scuttling an NSX revival several years ago and dropping the S2000 roadster at the close of 2009, Honda’s lineup has been relatively devoid of sports cars — but that may soon change. In fact, along with a small roadster, Motor Trend says the company is reportedly investigating crafting a lithe, mid-engine hybrid sports car that could serve as an NSX successor
Previously, the next-generation NSX was to be a wild, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe with a screaming V-10 engine placed in front of the passenger cabin. That program was scrapped during the global economic downturn, and virtually no single aspect will be recycled for the new sports car.
Motor Trend reports the new NSX program once again calls for a mid-engine car, albeit one blessed with a hybrid powertrain — something we heard was a possibility nearly two years ago. Interestingly, the magazine also suggests the car could be built off a modified form of the Accord’s front-wheel-drive architecture. An unusual approach, perhaps, but it’s similar to what Honda is purportedly doing to create a new Beat roadster from the Fit’s subcompact platform.
Power will reportedly come from Honda’s tried-and-true 3.5-liter V-6, albeit pared with a performance-tuned hybrid driveline far more sophisticated than the company’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) design. Motor Trend suggests the system will allow the sports coupe to occasionally be driven purely by electricity — a feat that isn’t possible with the current IMA design. With the electric motor assisting the V-6, the entire system is said to produce nearly 400 horsepower, which will subsequently be sent through either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission to Honda’s SH-AWD system.
By reducing the number of bespoke components, Honda should be able to amortize the development and production costs of the new NSX, and offer the coupe at a fairly reasonable price. You can start saving loose change now, NSX fans, but you’re a long ways off. MT suggests the car won’t launch until 2014 at the very earliest, and it’s unknown when — or if — the model will be offered in North America.
Source: Motor Trend