Report: Acura NSX Type R Under Consideration, Could Go Rear-Wheel Drive

We waited a very long time to see the production version of the Acura NSX, and now there are already rumblings of a more aggressive version. Though nothing has been officially put into motion, Acura NSX Dynamic Development Leader Nick Robinson told Autocar that engineers are interested in a sportier Type R version of the new hybrid supercar.

Robinson reportedly said that Acura and Honda insiders are interested in the idea of a lighter NSX, which could be achieved in part by stripping out certain components and replacing them with more exotic lightweight materials. “There are places weight could be cut out,” he told Autocar. “We are Honda so cost is a consideration, but for a limited edition? Why not?”

The Acura NSX Type R would also likely ditch its twin front electric motors and their heavy battery pack, making the Acura a rear-wheel-drive model. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 and its rear-mounted electric motor would remain, though without the front motors the Type R might be down on power compared to a regular NSX. But removing those parts would save significant weight; Autocar says the NSX’s hybrid drive system weighs a total of 331 lb.

In fact, Acura engineers have already played around with a rear-drive NSX. Robinson admitted to Autocar that the NSX has a “cheat mode,” activated by a complex set of inputs, that disables the front motors so the car can be operated as a rear-drive sports car. Because the car is designed around the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, Robinson says the car is hardly ideal in that mode, but notes that, “it’s a drift machine.”

The Type R project has not been officially green-lit from within Acura or Honda, but we’re hopeful such a model might make production. At the same time, rumors continue to swirl about a “baby NSX,” a smaller mid-engine model that would draw much of its design and platform from the standard NSX. Recent reports suggest the car could use a hybrid powertrain with a 1.5-liter turbo-four gas engine, and that it might arrive by 2018.

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