In 1991, Acura shocked the exotic car world with the introduction of the NSX , a supercar that stood up to models like the Ferrari 328 . However, as good things can’t last forever, the NSX was discontinued in 2005 due to slow sales. Of course, it didn’t take long before people started talking about when a successor would show up, especially considering the fact that the NSX was said to go into production a few years back, but was denied on several occasions.
However, rumor mills don’t just shut down and the latest information churning them is that an NSX successor has always been in the cards. At first it was believed to come out in 2009 , but the economic crisis made sure that didn’t happen so this future model is still a few years away. It was first thought to be powered by a 4.5L V10 engine , but Honda President Takanobu Ito has already chatted it up with Automotive News and stated that the future NSX won’t come with a V10 engine. The idea for an engine that size was actually dropped in 2008, then the company decided that the car should be environmentally friendly and still fun to drive. "That’s the kind of sports car we want to make," Ito said.
The future NSX will be positioned as a high-performance counterpart to the two-seat Honda CR-Z sporty hybrid. According to Ito, the company is working very hard on the new car and now rumors are suggesting that it will go hybrid. We’ll get official confirmation of whatever will be under that hood eventually.
UPDATE 09/22/2011: At the start of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Honda President and CEO, Takanobu Ito, confirmed that the company has started working on a new sportscar in the mold of the iconic NSX . They said that the new model would be radically different from its predecessor with an improved engine and better power-to-weight-ratio. The company, like everyone else, will also work on improving the vehicle’s fuel economy.
"Our recent efforts have been focused on fuel efficiency, and that perhaps gives the impression Honda is behind with pushing the brand image of sportiness, but let me assure you that is not the case. We will address that impression with our new generations of cars." (AutoCar)
UPDATE 10/05/2011: A new Acura Supercar Concept may be our first glimpse at the future NSX. Sources are stating that this concept will mark the beginning of the NSX as the next supercar will borrow design elements from it. Other sources have also told AutoExpress that the new supercar may benefit from one of a couple of different engine setups. The first possibility is a 3.5-3.7 liter VTEC V6 engine in combination with a twin electric motor set-up powered by lithium-ion batteries. This motor will have a plug-in recharge system for a small electric-only range, giving it great amounts of torque. The second is the set up from the Dual Note 4WD Hybrid Concept consisting of a 3.5 liter V6 engine which sent power to the rear wheels, while in-wheel electric motors sent power to the front. This setup delivered an output of over 400 HP.
UPDATE 12/30/2011: British magazine, AutoExpress, is offering few new details about the future NSX to pacify the masses. The new NSX will be a 400bhp four-wheel-drive hybrid model and will be heavily based on the concept car seen on the set of the new Avengers movie. The hybrid system will combine a 3.5-liter V6 engine driving one axle with a pair of in-wheel electric motors driving the other ones. This system will offer a total of 400 HP and will propel the FWD NSX from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds.
The biggest news offered by AutoExpress is that the NSX will also be offered as a roadster, but no other details about this model were provided.
Hit the jump to read more about the future Acura, or Honda, NSX.
Exterior and Interior
Unfortunately, not much has been released on the look of the future NSX, so for right now we can just speculate on its exterior design. We figure that since the project is still about three-four years away, the engineers probably don’t even have a final design set up. However, we do expect to see the classic NSX design with a modern twist. Acura has unveiled lots of concepts lately, but we don’t really expect any of them to give a preview on the future supercar. The NSX will feature a body composed of carbon fiber panels over an all-aluminum unit body frame, short overhangs, and a large wheelbase. The exterior will feature slick and elegant lines, a lowered ride, headlamps like no other Acura model, and a rear wing.
The interior will be defined by sportiness and elegance. There will not only be racing bucket seats, aluminum pedals, and a three-spoke steering wheel, but also numerous carbon fiber inserts and all the latest technologies.
When discussions on a possible NSX successor began a few years ago, it was rumored that the right engine for it would be a 4.5 liter high-rev V10 engine producing around 550 Hp. That is actually not the case as Acura has recently patented a new V6 engine that will deliver up to 400 HP, making it a more ideal choice for the sports car once it is coupled to a combination of electric motors. Specifically, the NSX will get a 3.5L V6 engine, most likely offered in a supercharged version that will be coupled to the automaker’s proven SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system and a hybrid synergy drive system from the next generation Acura Legend and RL. The gas/electric power plant will produce a maximum output of around 450 HP.
The SH-AWD system combines front-rear torque distribution control with independently regulated torque distribution to the left and right rear wheels to freely distribute the optimum amount of torque to all four wheels in accordance with driving conditions.
We expect this engine setup to deliver a 0-60mph sprint in no less than 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 200mph.
A while ago a mysterious Acura sports car was caught on the movie set for The Avengers. Now, rumors about that mystery prototype suggest that some of its design elements will be used for the long rumored Honda NSX supercar. In September 2011, the Acura prototype was spotted in Central Park, New York, with actor Robert Downey Jr at the wheel.
This may all just be a coincidence, but this new mysterious supercar concept has befallen our eyes at the same time Honda CEO, Takanobu Ito, confirmed that the next NSX would be a high-performance exotic sports car. Then there’s a source leaking information, saying that "Honda wants to build a supercar that breaks the mould while creating a new technological package." The company is currently working on a 3.5-3.7 liter VTEC V6 engine in combination with a twin electric motor set-up powered by lithium-ion batteries. This motor will have a plug-in recharge system for a small electric-only range, giving it great amounts of torque.
Another source told AutoExpress that the Dual Note 4WD Hybrid Concept from the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show was the first glimpse at the technology that will underpin the NSX. This concept was powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine which sent power to the rear wheels, while in-wheel electric motors sent power to the front. This setup delivered an output of over 400 HP.
When Can I Get One?
The new generation Acura NSX is expected to go on sale in 2014 with a price tag of more than $150,000.
While the first NSX model targeted models like the Ferrari 328, the new NSX will mostly focus on the Lexus LF-A and the Nissan GT-R . These vehicles will surely be offered in hybrid form by the time the NSX appears.
Kazutoshi Mizuno, the GT-R’s chief engineer has already announced that a hybrid version is the only way for the GT-R to remain a relevant sports car. Basically, it must adapt to the changing landscape of the industry as far as future emissions and fuel economy standards are concerned.
Lexus, on the other hand, has already started testing on a future Plug-In hybrid version of the LF-A . The hybrid system will come with a complex system of batteries and sockets that will help reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption.