Honda Files Patent For Name That Could Be Used In A Smaller NSX
This new baby sports car ties up with Honda’s plan of treating the NSX more as a platform than an actual modelby Kirby, on
The triumphant return of the Honda NSX jolted some life back to the automaker’s sports car offerings. Now there are talks of another sports car entering the fray, and if this rumored model is as legitimate as some people have claimed it to be, the automaker’s recent filing of the letters “ZSX” with the European Union Intellectual Property Office is as good a sign as any that another sports coupe could be on its way.
The Japanese company filed the trademark on July 26, essentially reserving it for use on any type of vehicle, motorcycles and watercrafts, included. There is a possibility, slim as it may be, that the ZSX name could be used for a very different purpose. A new bike, perhaps? But the resemblance to the NSX name is what’s causing a lot of people to start connecting the dots. Is the rumored "baby NSX" going to be called the ZSX?
Honda has been mum on that issue, but according to Automoto, the company is scheduled to pull the covers off of a new concept at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. This will eventually spawn into the much talked-about entry-level version of the NSX. The source, a Honda engineer from Japan, also claims that the model will initially be available as a coupe, but will be quickly followed by a version with a removable roof. It is also said to feature a hybrid engine, much like the NSX, made up of two electric motors and the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s currently being used in the Honda Civic Type R.
This isn’t the first time that news of a mini NSX sports car has surfaced. There’s already been talks within Honda of building an S2000 successor in the vein of the current NSX and just last month, NSX project boss Ted Klaus made the most significant declaration, telling Autocar that the NSX is being treated more as a platform than an actual model and that its platform is being prepared to give rise to a number of different versions, including a non-hybrid, a lightweight model, an all-electric versions, and a convertible model.
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Why it matters
The filing of the ZSX trademark is the latest indication that Honda is serious about turning the NSX into a family of sports cars. In addition to the sports car that’s already in the market, it seems the Japanese automaker wants to make different versions of the car that will appeal to a specific clientele. Obviously, an electric model would be a different take on the model, as is one that will be powered by a conventional engine. But the ZSX, if it really ends up being its name, appears to be taking the slot of a junior version of the NSX. It’s going to have the same hybrid engine configuration and it will also be offered in coupe and convertible versions, just like the NSX.
Another interesting tidbit about this news is that Honda appears to have filed the trademark only with the EU’s IPO. A quick look at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database reveals that the company actually applied for the same trademark as early as October 14, 2008 but the trademark has since been abandoned. It happened almost four years ago – December 10, 2012, to be exact.
Whether Honda revives this trademark in the U.S. is anybody’s guess, but given how it took the same to filing the three letters in Europe, it would be highly unlikely if the company doesn’t at least try to revive the trademark. That would be in Honda’s best interest, especially if the rumor of a concept car arriving at the 2017 North American International Auto Show comes true.
In any event, it’s going to be very interesting how Honda plans on using the ZSX name. The obvious choice is for a model that will be branched out of the NSX, but as we’ve seen time and again with trademarks, that’s not necessarily a guarantee. At the very least, this is worth keeping an eye on.
Read our full review on the 2019 Baby Acura NSX here.