Honda’s NSX replacement is here. CAR Online’s spies have snapped the first pictures of the replacement for the legendary mid-engined supercar testing in Germany. Only this time around the engine – a V10 – will be mounted in the nose while drive will go to all four wheels. Gone is the NSX’s mid-engined, rear-drive V6 layout.
Honda is taking inspiration for the new car from the 2007 Acura ASC concept, and recently stepped up development of the NSX replacement. Honda has watched Lexus flounder with the LF-A, while the Nissan GT-R has become a phenomenon. For a company with such rich engineering history, Honda cannot afford to be without its own flagship car.
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So the Honda NSX is now going to be front engined?
Yes, and it may not even be an NSX, let alone a Honda. At the 2007 Detroit motor show Honda unveiled the Acura Advanced Sports Car concept (ASC for short). At the time, its designer Jon Ikeda told CAR Online that it was the successor to the NSX. Not its replacement mind, but a new car going in a new direction. Hence the new layout, and not a bit of it to do with chasing increased sales and better profitability…
Either way, the new company flagship will be a tech-fest, desgined to showcase Honda’s know-how. ‘This car will feature advanced technology and match my passion for performance,’ Honda CEO and president Takeo Fukui told CAR Online. ‘This will include an all-new V10 engine, Acura’s most powerful ever.’ That engine will sit in the nose of the new car, and drive all four wheels via Honda’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which will have a rear torque bias.
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What about the styling?
The Acura ASC was styled in Honda’s LA design studio, and seemed to take a lot of inspiration from the Corvette. For production it will be updated, as the concept was too low. The production car is less rakish but will keep the ASC's clean, crisp surfaces.
At the rear the concept’s twin stacked exhausts remain, but now seem the norm after the Lexus IS-F and Ferrari California. Even the concept’s rear light bar stretching across the boot seems to be visible through the disguise.
And it’s going to be an Acura?
That’s the theory. The NSX’s biggest market was America, and sales should only increase with a switch to a front-engined GT layout.
For the UK, nothing is 100 percent. According to Honda UK there are no current plans to launch Acura in Europe, and while the NSX replacment has been confirmed for production, no dates have been set for any launch.
We don’t expect to see a production car until 2009 at the earliest, but in the meantime start drafting your letter of intent to your local Honda dealer now.