Honda Says There’s Room For Another Sports Car
A new mid-engine Honda sports car that will slot in between the upcoming 2016 Acura NSX hybrid supercar and the Japan-only 2016 Honda S660 kei car is looking like more of a real possibility. We’ve seen a few patent images of the new car, but Honda is yet to announce anything official, or even mention anything about the new car, until now.
“I can’t tell you anything about the ‘baby NSX’ … I could, but I’d probably get fired.” That’s what Honda of America vice president John Mendel recently told AutoGuide, when asked about the possibility of a new mid-range Honda sports car. That’s not a confirmation, but it’s definitely not a denial either from someone who likely has a pretty good idea of what’s in Honda’s product pipeline. AutoGuide went on to ask if there is room for a dedicated sports car in Honda’s current lineup. “Absolutely there is,” Mendel responded.
So, what shape could this new Honda sports car take? The 2019 Acura ‘baby NSX’ will likely be positioned in Porsche Boxster and Alfa Romeo 4C territory. Styling will echo that of the new NSX, but feature a speedster body with a stowable top. It should get the turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder from the 2016 Honda Civic Type R mounted behind the rear seats and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Unlike its probable rivals, the ‘baby NSX’ could be a hybrid, with a pair of Honda’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive motors powering each of the front wheels. Total system output should be around 400 horsepower.
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Why it matters
Honda hasn’t really given enthusiasts a lot to get excited about over the last few years, but with a fleet of fun new performance cars, Honda is getting back to doing what it did so well for so long. The new Civic Type R has already arrived (not in North America, but Honda promises we’ll get the next one), and the flagship NSX is coming in hot.
In addition to the all-but-confirmed ‘baby NSX,’ Honda could also be working on S1000 and S660 Type R sports kei cars for Japan, as well as a new-and-improved CR-Z. If this performance car renaissance turns out to be as good as it looks on paper, then we could looking at some very exciting Hondas in the very near future.
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