The new Honda NSX isn’t just motor show fantasy: it’s headed for production, and here’s the first image of the hybrid supercar in testing.
This very NSX prototype will lap the Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course racing circuit in Ohio, USA, ahead of the Honda Indy 200 IndyCar Series race on 4 August 2013. It’ll be the first time the new NSX has turned a wheel in anger in view of the public, as it gears up for a showroom debut in 2015.
What’s changed for this Honda NSX mule?
Compared to the concept car, very little. Predictably, the show car’s slim side mirrors have been swapped for bulkier items, and the car appears to have ditched the flying buttress structures aft of the engine air intakes. There’s smoother surfacing for the door panel and bonnet, but overall the shape and proportions are preserved from Iron Man’s one-time company car…
So what’s going on under the skin?
The new NSX doesn’t just have any old all-wheel drive; it’s ‘Super Handling All-Wheel Drive’. The system, developed especially for the new NSX, twins a petrol 3.0-litre VTEC V6 with front-mounted electric motors, allowing balance-improving torque vectoring as per the Porsche 918 Spyder and Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive.
Integrated into the electric drive system is a new seven-speed dual-clutch paddleshift gearbox. Honda is promising ‘supercar acceleration’ from the aluminium and carbonfibre flagship: expect 0-62mph in less-than four seconds. It sets up quite a tasty hybrid supercar battle between the NSX and the new BMW i8, which will offer BMW M3 pace and twice the claimed economy of a 330d.
Honda has confirmed that the new NSX, unlike its Ayrton Senna-developed ancestor, won’t be built in Japan. Instead, production will be outsourced to Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Centre in Marysville, Ohio. With America set to be the biggest market for the hybrid sports car (especially when an open-top version goes on sale in around 2016), Honda will cut overall costs by producing the NSX ‘locally’.
For CAR’s complete story on the NSX’s cabin, click here.