Even before the reborn Acura NSX rolls into showrooms, Honda Motor Co. is working up a downsized version of the hybrid sports car, this one planned for the flagship Honda brand.
The so-called “Baby NSX” would serve as a replacement for the old Honda S2000, according to several insiders, and would take aim against such competitors as the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Like the NSX, the new model is expected to use a drivetrain blending an internal combustion engine and three electric motors, and a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber would help hold the weight down. With development just getting underway, the new model isn’t expected to reach showrooms for at least three years.
Honda has long been hinting of plans to replace the S2000 which was pulled from production in 2009. But as with the newest version of the NSX, the plans now call for going with a much more modern, green and high-tech approach.
(Acura offers closer look under the skin of new NSX. For more, Click Here.)
Taking a cue from the Alfa 4C, the Honda sports car would put a premium on holding down mass – lightweighting, in industry terms – with an aluminum spaceframe wrapped in a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, body panels. The target is said to be 1,400 kilograms, or just over 3,000 pounds.
As for power, the Baby NSX would likely make significantly lower numbers than the Acura sports car which is expected to ultimately come in at around 550 horsepower. But various sources and reports quote numbers in the 350 to 400 hp range.
To get there, Honda is expected to start with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine currently powering the Civic Type R. It would not only get beefed up, but also would be paired with a trio of electric motors in an arrangement similar to that of the NSX. The Acura model’s Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system not only provides all wheel drive but electric torque vectoring by adjusting the speed of the motors powering the individual front wheels.
(Click Here for details about the new Civics in the Honda line-up.)
The mid-rear-mounted engine and third electric motor would drive the back axle through a nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The Baby NSX would be assembled alongside its big brother at a special plant Honda has set up near its flagship factory in Marysville, Ohio – the Honda Performance Manufacturing Center.
The maker is expected to pull the wraps off the new Honda sports car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit – the same show used to reveal both a prototype and the final production version of the all-new Acura NSX. The debut is said to be targeted for January 2018, with the Honda sports car expected to roll into showrooms later that year.
(To see more about Honda’s expectations for a new U.S. sales record in 2015, Click Here.)
Perhaps not so coincidentally, that’s about the same time that Toyota is said to be planning to roll out a newly revived version of its old Supra model. That sports car is being developed as part of a joint venture with BMW.