Finally! Some Honda/Acura sportscar news! Now if we can just get Honda to start thinking about a Next Generation Honda Prelude (non hybrid of course) ....
The NSX lives, at least in a different form. According to one source, Honda never gave up its plans for an NSX successor. Even though the V-10-powered post-NSX concept came along at the wrong time -- during the economic meltdown -- and had to be cancelled, Honda engineers didn't completely shelve the project.
They simply applied a more market-friendly (and eco-friendly) sports-car approach to the company's flagship two-door, giving it the latest hybrid gizmology. Completely different than Toyota's THS-II hybrid system, the technology slated to power Honda's new sports coupe "can be driven with either a clutch and an engine only, the engine and motor only, or the motor only," says our source. It will also offer a manual transmission option.
It apparently will employ a modified Accord platform, and power will come from either a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V-6, with the latter considered the sure favorite. Why do we think so? Once again our spies in Japan have uncovered a patent application that specifies a "V6 powertrain developing upwards of 400 horsepower." (yes!) That makes sense, especially when you consider what one company staffer told us about Honda's desire to return to making sports cars.
"Honda does not see the CR-Z as a sports car. It's a sporty coupe and a great first try in the hybrid-sports direction. To be called a sports car, a car needs to have the potential of an NSX or an S2000. That's what we need to aim for."
And as expected, the coupe will employ a version of the automaker's proven SH-AWD system, but Honda will apply NSX concept technology by fitting the rear-drive-based SH-AWD setup that enabled the test mule to lap the Nürburgring in 7 minutes, 37 seconds two years ago.
Using the front-wheel-drive Accord platform as a base for this car will cut R&D costs dramatically. Engineers will swap the front and rear around to create a rear midship AWD package. If the coupe gets the green light for production, expect to see it in showrooms as early as 2014. Still unclear is if the car will continue to be badged as an Acura here in the U.S.
Source (via autoblog);