Not too long ago, Honda Motor Company had a lineup filled with fun and sporty cars , including the Prelude, CR-X and S2000, while the more luxurious Acura division had its own offerings such as the Integra, RSX and, of course, the NSX. Fast-forward to today, and it’s not hard to see the brand has been focusing on strengthening its car and crossover lineup for most of the past decade as the sports cars have all died off. That will soon change, though, as Honda is bringing the 2016 Honda Civic Type R , and the 2016 Acura NSX is returning to the supercar world, but somewhere in the middle ground between these two cars, it looks like Honda is working on yet another sporty offering.
Details are slim, but a recent set of patent images have reignited rumors of a smaller version of the NSX going into production. For now, it’s just being called the Baby NSX, but reports indicate that the coupe would actually wear the Honda badge, making it a successor to the Honda S2000. There are still plenty of questions surrounding this car, but if built, it would definitely help rejuvenate some of the gusto that the automaker boasted in the 1980s and 1990s, and subsequently lost.
Baby Acura NSX
Looking at the design, this vehicle shares cues with the recently introduced 2016 Honda S660 and the long-awaited, second-gen Acura NSX, but the small mirrors and outlandish styling still suggest that the car pictured in the images is more likely a concept car than a soon-to-be production vehicle. Still, with that kind of jumping point, it didn’t take long for our graphic artist to conjure up the amazing rendering you see here, showing what could be an excellent mid-level performance roadster.
With such an exterior design this aggressive, the interior of this car would be equally sporty. Like the NSX, the smaller sports car would offer the latest in-car technology, with the rest of the cabin likely focusing more on weight savings than luxury – especially if it does in fact have a Honda badge instead of an Acura. Unlike the patent images, our rendering goes a step further by showing what this car would look like as an open-top roadster, which would make this small sports car even more fun to drive.
There is no telling what secrets are held by the body work of the vehicle shown in patent image, but with the massive air intakes and vents at the rear of this car, it will surely have a mid-engine layout similar to the NSX and S660. Beyond that, reports indicate that this car will be powered turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of around 330 horsepower, and a pair of electric motors at the front axle to provide an additional 70 horsepower, leaving the car with a combined output of 400 horsepower . Keeping weight low, the new model will use an aluminum frame with lots of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, giving the car an estimated curb weight of close to 3,000 pounds.
Official pricing for the 2016 Acura NSX has not been revealed yet, but it is expected to fetch somewhere around $150,000 when it finally goes on sale. It doesn’t sound like Honda has plans of making this an affordable sports car like the S2000, but it would still be exciting even if it were priced close to the Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche Cayman.
2014 Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S. is sparked by the all-new 4C, which squeezes just 237 horsepower from its 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This car is definitely a throwback, with a curb weight of just 2,465 pounds and manual rack-and-pinion steering, but it’s also advanced, with its six-speed dual-clutch transmission and carbon-fiber monocoque. Starting at $53,900, the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is available in both Coupe and Spider body styles.
2014 Porsche Cayman
When it comes to small and exciting performance cars, the Porsche Cayman might be second only to the Mazda Miata. For 2015, the Cayman starts at $52,600 for the standard 275-horsepower model, but it is also offered with outputs of 325, 340 and 380 horsepower in the Cayman S, 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS and the all-new 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4, respectively.
Ever since the departure of the S2000, Honda has been lacking an affordable, enthusiast-minded sports car, and it looks like this new downsized version of the Acura NSX could be just what the doctor ordered. Although the little sports car is far from a sure deal, it will be interesting to see if Honda sticks with a hybridized competitor to the Cayman or if it can go with a lower-priced version as a true follow-up to the S2000 to compete against the Miata.
- Potential successor to the Honda S2000
- Exciting exterior design looks like a Baby NSX
- Market has been lacking an affordable mid-engine sports car for some time
- Could just be a concept car patent at this point
- Honda needs a Miata rival, not a Cayman rival