After rumors surfaced that the NSX project would be put on hold last December, we’re now told the new Honda flagship’s development is steaming ahead despite some big changes.
We’ve been told the new NSX has been steadily progressing since the test car’s appearance at Nürburgring last year where it pulled off some promising lap times. Where things get tricky is that the project now seems to be more like an exercise in parts sharing to create what Honda calls “Super Hybrid Sports”. It’s been hinted that rumours of Honda scrapping the new NSX project turned out to be merely a slight direction change to accommodate a more environmentally friendly approach which, according to our sources, will be a direct answer to Toyota’s FT-HS hybrid sports car.
Readers with long memories might remember the 600PS 5.5L V10 that was slated to power the new NSX. Well with the direction change comes a new powerplant which is now expected to be the next generation “valveless throttle” 3.5L V6 coupled with a hybrid system (from the next-gen Legend/Acura RL) to produce around 450PS which would put it in line with the Toyota FT-HS. Honda hopes to beat Toyota in the fuel efficiency stakes so there might still be some work to do to overcome the expected weight deficit. The added weight of course will be due to the SH-AWD system which will be bolted to an aluminum platform and feature a rear transaxle just like the R35 Nissan GT-R. We’re told that this same platform, albeit made of steel, will provide the basis for the next Honda Legend/Acura RL. For the time being our source withheld any mention of a release date or pricing, also the change in direction for the NSX has obviously pushed back the previously expected 2010 debut.
So it seems that the next NSX will be somewhat of a diluted version of the car we reported on last year, unfortunately without the potentially GT-R slaying V10. It begs the question, is it better to have an eco-friendly super hybrid sports car, or nothing at all?
Words: Justin Karow
Images: Holiday Auto