Honda is reportedly working on a mid-engine sports car that will sit underneath the upcoming NSX hybrid supercar.
Last week, CAD illustrations, supposedly submitted as part of a patent filing, of a new Honda mid-engine vehicle appeared online. The images you see here were first published by AutoGuide.
Speaking to members of the American motoring press today, John Mendel, vice president of Honda USA, did rule out that his company was working on sub-NSX sports car.
When asked about a “baby NSX”, he is quoted by Autoblog and others as saying: “No, I can’t tell you anything about the baby NSX. I mean, I could, but I’d probably be fired.”
Sources have informed AutoExpress that Honda is indeed planning a third mid-engine model to sit in between the S660, which is a Japan-only proposition at the moment, and the much larger and more expensive NSX.
The in-between model is reportedly deep into its development cycle. It will be powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine used in the forthcoming Civic Type R, although it will likely produce around 250kW rather than the Civic’s 231kW.
It will be aided by a hybrid system similar to the NSX’s, with two electric motors at the front and one at the rear that’s built into the nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. Estimated total output will be around the 300kW mark.
According to the British publication, the mid-engine car will weigh under 1400kg thanks to an aluminium space frame and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body panels.
The new sports car will allegedly be built alongside the NSX at the company’s purpose-built factory in Ohio. In contrast to the NSX, which will be badged as an Acura in countries where the luxury brand operates, the unnamed mid-engine vehicle will wear Honda badges around the world when it launches in 2018.