Acura hit the market hard when it introduced the Integra, Legend, and first-generation NSX. The late 1980s and the 1990s represented a time when Acura was about little more than producing performance cars that looked good and felt comfortable. By the time the 2000s hit, however, the company fell into a funk that, at one time, could have pushed the company to the brink of destruction. Now, at just 34 years old, the Acura brand is looking to its roots for guidance as it looks forward. We’re here to tell you that it’s a very good thing, and the company is already several steps into its new master plan.
Is Acura’s Plan for a New Compact Type S Sedan a Hint That The Integra Name Could Make a Comeback?
Acura got us all excited with the new TLX sedan,, which is now available in a high-performance Type S trim fitted with a twin-turbo V-6 engine that should generate well in excess of 300 horsepower. But there’s more good news coming from a leaked dealership video that talks about a Type S version of the new MDX crossover. Acura is also set to launch a "new compact sedan" in Type S spec by 2022. This could also mean that the Integra could also make a comeback soon.
Does the Acura Type S Concept Make a Good Case for Revival of Acura’s Performance Arm?
Acura has introduced the Type S Concept, a model that not only serves as the official reintroduction of Acura’s Type S performance division, but it also serves as a preview to what the next-generation TLX will look like. According to Acura, two high-performance Type S models will make their debut by 2021, one of which is the TLX, but there’s a big elephant in the room – the Type S name, while revered by Honda and Acura Fanboys, only lasted eight years the last time it was a part of Acura’s lineup.
So, that raises a few questions: Is Acura’s reintroduction of the Type S name a strategic move in a time where some automakers are dropping cars from their lineup altogether or is it pure coincidence? Does the Type S Concept represent that Acura is ready to step back into the performance car battlefield yet again? Will the Type S name have a bright but short existence this time around or with it thrive? I intend to answer these questions, and we’ll start by exploring the new concept.
The Acura NSX is one of those cars that constantly come up in conversation, and that conversation usually revolves around either the baby NSX or the NSX Roadster – neither of which have ever been confirmed. The baby NSX, for that matter, might as well be filed away in the drawer of things that will never happen, but German site Autobild has now put out a report that NSX Roadster is coming as one of several sporty, open-top vehicles.
Reminder: Acura is Working on a Turbo V-6 Engine and Type S Models are Coming to Offer the Performance A-Spec Models Won’t
We were shocked at first sight of the MDX A-Spec. It had all of the looks that scream killer performance, yet we were left wondering just where the extra performance was at. As it turns out, there was a reason for the lack of extra performance, and it will always be this way for Acuras that wear the A-Spec badge. That may seem like a letdown but don’t go switching brands just yet. In case you forgot, Acura has big plans, most of which revolve around the long-lost Type S moniker that is set to make its return sometime in the fairly near future. Arguably more important is the fact that Acura is working on a turbocharged V-6 engine that could be associated with future Type S models. It’s not fresh news, but it serves as an explanation to why the A-Spec trim is what it is.
Acura is Not Interested in a Subcompact SUV; Aims to Always Put Performance over Luxury
The launch of the redesigned 2019 Acura RDX marks an important time in Acura’s business. Honda’s performance brand has been on the right side of business recently, and the introduction of the new RDX gives the automaker another model to offer to the public. Should the RDX become a success, it could convince Acura to beef up its lineup with a smaller, subcompact SUV. That may be a possibility in the future, but for the moment, don’t expect to see one, at least according to Acura Division general manager Jon Ikeda.
Despite Patents and Trademarks, a Baby NSX isn’t on the Horizon
Bad news, gentlemen. Forget about seeing a baby Acura NSX on the road anytime soon. It’s not happening, at least according to the company’s brand leader, Emile Korkor. Speaking with Autoguide, Korkor admitted that a baby NSX would be an awesome addition to the automaker’s portfolio, but nothing, at this moment, is on the cards.
Acura Dusts Off Type S Performance Brand, Plans New Models With New Engine
It’s been 10 years since Acura released a full-fledged Type S model for the masses. We haven’t seen a performance brand from the automaker since, but that’s about to change because Acura’s bringing back the Type S brand with the expectations of new performance models in the near future.
What Do The New NSX Patents Tell Us?
Patent drawings of cars are always fun when they’re leaked because they, directly or indirectly, provide a window into an automaker’s plans for a specific model. It’s certainly no shock then that these new patent drawings from Honda have created quite a buzz in our circles, largely because it looks incredibly like the NSX sports car. First spotted by Autoguide, these patents have been registered and published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office and while they don’t reveal anything specific as to what Honda’s plans are, it does point us in a direction where we could be seeing another Honda sports car in the works. Could it be a smaller version of the NSX as many people seem to think it is? Or could it be something else entirely, perhaps even the long-rumored successor to the Honda S2000?
These are very interesting questions that only Honda can answer over time. What appears clear at this point though is that the automaker isn’t content with just having one full-spec sports car in its portfolio. It figures that there’s a move to add to the NSX given how rival automakers have made similar pushes to beef up their own sports car lineups. Add that to Honda admitting that its dealerships have become more demonstrative in their requests for more sports cars wearing the Honda badge and it’s clear that there’s a groundswell of support coming from all sides for a new Honda sports car to enter the fray. There are plenty of questions that need to be answered though before anything concrete can be laid out on the table. Join us then as we try to answer some of them.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Acura NSX GT3 Program on Schedule; Surprise Public Testing Session this Week
When Acura showed up at the New York Auto Show with the 2017 NSX GT3 in its booth, all of us here at TopSpeed went a little crazy. We’ve known that the plan was to homologate the car as an FIA GT3 racer this fall, and so far, it looks like everything is on schedule. In a press call today, Acura announced a number of things, including a surprise public testing session during the Pirelli World Challenge practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The car will be driven by Peter Kox, who has been named as the official NSX GT3 development driver and has driven various GT3 vehicles in Europe in the past. The NSX GT3 will take its turn on the 2.25-mile, 14-turn course on Thursday, July 28 and on Friday, July 29. According to Art St. Cyr – the President of Honda Performance Development, the car is “pretty much a stunner” and steady progress has been made thus far.
“Based on a very successful test program, we’re taking the next logical step in seeing how we stack-up against the competition,” Said St. Cyr. “Mid-Ohio seemed like the perfect opportunity, given the demands it places on a racecar and its proximity to NSX R&D and manufacturing.”
During the press call, it was stressed that this car isn’t in finalized form, which means there could be any number of changes before we see the finalized version, including changes to the cockpit. The car you see here in these pictures is the primary development car, so don’t expect to see Kox get too wild behind the wheel. As Art St. Cyr put it, they aren’t racing the car so they are “limiting the risk that it will get smashed up.”
2017 Acura NSX Type R
The second-generation Acura NSX was introduced in 2015, eight years after the Japanese firm announced that a new supercar is under development. The new NSX succeeds the original sports car that was produced in Japan from 1990 to 2005, but unlike its predecessor, the second-gen car uses a hybrid drivetrain and a significantly more upscale interior.
Despite the new 2016 Acura NSX having been somewhat outshined by the 2017 Ford GT at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the model’s sleeves are still filled with a few more aces. The most important one will obviously be the expected Type R variant, which was somewhat officially confirmed by Ted Klaus, the chief engineer in charge of the second-generation Acura NSX. Set to arrive in late 2016 or early 2017 at the latest, the new Acura NSX Type R will probably give nightmares to the engineers in charge of the Nissan GT-R R36, which is also currently in development.
The "regular" 2016 NSX puts out a total of 573 horsepower and 623 pound-feet of torque. The mid-mounted V-6 mill delivers 500 ponies and 406 pound-feet, while the electric motor between the engine and transmission cranks out an additional 47 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque. Two motors on the front axle each generate 36 horsepower and 54 pound-feet. With the additional power that would come with the additional of a Type R badge, the Type R should be one hell of a ride.
The 1991 to 2005 NSX spawned a Type R version about two years into the product-cycle, first as a Japan-only Honda and then as an Acura in the United States as well. With over 250 pounds of weight removed compared to the standard NSX, the Type R offered blistering track performance but a much more low-tech cabin due to its lack of air conditioning and less sound-deadening materials. The new NSX Type R will probably not be as barebones as the first generation though, with most of the performance additives coming from the improved hybrid technology sported by the model.
Updated 06/28/2016: Based on the recent rumors, we decided to create a rendering for the upcoming NSX Type R. Let us know in the comments section below what do you thin about it.
Continue reading to find out more about the Acura NSX Type R.
Not too long ago, Honda Motor Company had a lineup filled with fun and sporty cars, including the Prelude, CR-X and S2000, while the more luxurious Acura division had its own offerings such as the Integra, RSX and, of course, the NSX. Fast-forward to today, and it’s not hard to see the brand has been focusing on strengthening its car and crossover lineup for most of the past decade as the sports cars have all died off. That will soon change, though, as Honda is bringing the 2016 Honda Civic Type R, and the 2016 Acura NSX is returning to the supercar world, but somewhere in the middle ground between these two cars, it looks like Honda is working on yet another sporty offering.
Details are slim, but a recent set of patent images have reignited rumors of a smaller version of the NSX going into production. For now, it’s just being called the Baby NSX, but reports indicate that the coupe would actually wear the Honda badge, making it a successor to the Honda S2000. There are still plenty of questions surrounding this car, but if built, it would definitely help rejuvenate some of the gusto that the automaker boasted in the 1980s and 1990s, and subsequently lost.
Updated 10/02/2015: British magazine AutoExpress reports that the upcoming "baby NSX" aka the S2000 successor is expected to be unveiled in 2018. It will a hybrid roadster that will combine a 1.5-liter turbo engine with an electric motor for a total output of 300 horsepower. On the British market the model is expected to be priced at £50,000 - which is about $75,000 at the current exchange rates.
Continue reading for more about the Baby Acura NSX.